To identify a Hawfinch (Coccothraustes coccothraustes), most ornithologists and birdwatchers would use the white wing bars, or small stripes, barely visible unless the bird is in flight. Other hawfinches are instead looking at the blue wingtips seen in the lower photo.

The modified primary feathers may work as visual signalling clues for Hawfinches, much like a European aristocratic lady’s fan may once have been used to signal to suitors. In this case, more indented feathers signals that a female bird is an adult, and possibly able to breed.

Photo credit: Ash Boudrie


The Cramps – The Way I Walk (1983)
Jack Scott
Jack Scott Cover
from: “Off the Bone” LP

Produced by Alex Chilton