The Hawfinch Recovery project is an exciting initiative to research and help this charismatic species in the Morecambe Bay area.
Hawfinches are large finches with a bill powerful enough to crack cherry stones. But at the National Trust's Sizergh Castle, one of the best places to see hawfinces up close, these handsome birds prefer fallen seed from hornbeam trees.
Hawfinch is a priority species but sadly a recent national survey revealed a huge population decline over the last 20 years. Little is known about Hawfinches at Sizergh, so in order to learn more a research programme has started. The project team will be catching and fitting the hawfinches with tiny radio trackers and colour rings which will enable data on individual birds to be recorded. Ultimately this information will inform woodland management to create better conditions to help the birds to thrive in the future.
To see hawfinches, visit Sizergh Castle - the birds are most regularly encountered in the visitor car park area between February and April, with early March mornings often the most rewarding.