The Twite, or Pennine Finch as it’s sometimes called, is the South Pennines’ special bird. It is unusual because it has a diet consisting entirely of seeds, even when feeding its young. Numbers have dropped by 90% over the last 15 years and in England it now only breeds in the South Pennines, where it is resident from March to October. Thanks to the work of the Twite Recovery Project (a partnership between Pennine Prospects, Natural England and the RSPB) vital foraging sites in the form of hay meadows are being restored and maintained, and breeding pairs are now hopefully on the increase.
Although rare, the twite is a sociable bird, nesting in colonies and gathering in large flocks in the autumn with other finches after their chicks have fledged. Listen out for its distinctive metallic call “twai-eeet”!