From Bird Study:
Capsule: At both landscape and local scales, breeding persistence in a declining Hawfinch population was greatest where broadleaved woodland cover was high, while at a fine scale, nest sites were associated with openings in the woodland canopy.
Aims: To assess which components of habitat are associated with Hawfinch occupancy at landscape (10-km), local (tetrad) and fine (nest) spatial scales, during a period of population decline and range contraction.
Methods: Bird Atlas 2008–11 data were used to determine areas of Hawfinch loss and persistence over 20 years. Current habitat was measured and compared to look for correlates that helped explain the differing status at both 10-km and tetrad scales. Fine scale habitat data collected at nest sites were compared with random locations to investigate within-wood nest site selection.
Results: At both 10-km and tetrad scales, Hawfinch persistence is more likely where woodland cover is greater. Recent woodland management was less evident in tetrads where the species persisted. At the nest site scale, the only relationship detected was for nests to be close to canopy openings.
Conclusions: Maintaining and increasing broadleaved woodland area is likely to benefit Hawfinch. Within woods, maintenance and creation of open areas may enhance nesting opportunities.