This section is from the book "The Balance Of Nature And Modern Conditions Of Cultivation", by George Abbey. Also available from Amazon: The Balance Of Nature And Modern Conditions Of Cultivation.
The Grosbeak or Hawfinch (Coccothraustes vulgaris), included in the family Fringillidae or Finches, is noted for its conical and strong beak, which is fitted for the destruction of hard kernels. It is not a very rare bird, but on account of its shyness very seldom seen, venturing only from thick woods in quest of food. The nest is very shallow, and slightly put together, being little superior to that of the wood-pigeon. The eggs are from four to six in number, of a greenish-white, covered with dark marks and spots. The length of the hawfinch is 7 in. and very ornamental in plumage. Its food consists chiefly of seeds and berries, such as those of hornbeam, holly, bird cherry, laurel, and hawthorn, while at times it is very destructive to peas in gardens.