|Eurasian bullfinch, Pyrrhula pyrrhula|
The genus has a Palearctic distribution. All species occur in Asia, with two species exclusively in the Himalayas and one species, P. pyrrhula, also occurring in Europe. The Azores bullfinch (P. murina) is a critically endangered species (about 120 pairs remaining), occurring only in the east of the island of São Miguel in the Azores archipelago.
Analysis of the mtDNA cytochrome b sequence indicates that the Holarctic pine grosbeak (Pinicola enucleator) is the closest living relative of this genus. Arguably, it could be included in Pyrrhula, but more probably is a distinct offshoot of a common ancestor, with the pine grosbeak as the sister group to the ancestor of the bullfinches. The evolution of the bullfinch species started soon after the pine grosbeak's ancestors diverged from them (at the end of the Middle Miocene, about 12 mya), and it is quite possible that the latter species evolved in North America; what is fairly certain is that the bullfinch radiation started in the general area of the Himalayas. The mountain finches also seem to be part of this clade.
Bullfinches have glossy black wings and tail feathers. They show a white rump. The legs and feet are fleshy brown. Their short, swollen bill is adapted to eat buds, and is black except for the brown bullfinch, which has a grey or greenish-grey bill. The males can be distinguished by their orange or red breast. Some species have a black cap.
The name of Pyrrhula for the genus was introduced by the French zoologist Mathurin Jacques Brisson in 1760. It was derived by tautonymy from the binomial name of the Eurasian bullfinch Loxia pyrrhula introduced by Linnaeus in 1758.
|Image||Scientific name||Common Name||Distribution|
|Pyrrhula aurantiaca||Orange bullfinch||India and Pakistan|
|Pyrrhula erythaca||Grey-headed bullfinch||Bhutan, China, India, Myanmar, and Nepal|
|Pyrrhula owstoni||Taiwan bullfinch||Taiwan|
|Pyrrhula erythrocephala||Red-headed bullfinch||Bhutan, northern India, Nepal|
|Pyrrhula leucogenis||White-cheeked bullfinch||the Philippines|
|Pyrrhula murina||Azores bullfinch||São Miguel Island, in the Azores archipelago of Macaronesia in the North Atlantic Ocean.|
|Pyrrhula nipalensis||Brown bullfinch||Bhutan, China, India, Malaysia, Myanmar, Nepal, Pakistan, Taiwan, and Vietnam.|
|Pyrrhula pyrrhula||Eurasian bullfinch||across Europe and temperate Asia.|
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- Rando, J.C; Pieper, H; Olson, Olson Storrs; Pereira, F; Alcover, J.A (2017). "A new extinct species of large bullfinch (Aves: Fringillidae: Pyrrhula) from Graciosa Island (Azores, North Atlantic Ocean)" (PDF). Zootaxa. 4282 (3): 567–583. doi:10.11646/zootaxa.4282.3.9. Retrieved 6 August 2017.