Small bird (about 14 cm or 5.5 in) very similar to a chaffinch. Upperparts of brown tones, with dark and white stripes on wings and tail. Pale orange breast and lighter belly. Head of intense black colour in the bridal season and brown with dark spots in winter. White rump, absence of white wing bands and of white tail outer feathers (differential features with the Common Chaffinch).
Species that uses very varied habitats, from alpine meadows in mountain areas to deciduous or pine forests. Usually present in meadows, farmlands, fallows and stubble fields.
Wintering species in the province. The Brambling breeds in the forests of northern Europe, in the taiga. Nest in trees. It makes one annual laying of 4 to 9 eggs. Omnivore. This bird feeds on seeds and fruits and insects in the reproductive season.
Relatively frequent species of irruptive nature, which means that it is more abundant as a wintering bird in years in which frosts cause that a greater number of specimens go into latitudes as southern as Malaga. It can be observed in the Sierra de Camarolos, Alta Axarquía, Serranía de Ronda, Sierra de las Nieves and Juanar (Sierra Blanca). In the Great Path it is present in stages 10, 11, 12 and 24, among others.
The massive displacements (irruptions) of birds such as the Brambling might have to do directly with climate goodness in their usual grounds, but also with the production of tree seeds. After a good year of seeds the trees may come to rest and produce very little during the following year. That year the birds will have had a great reproductive success and, therefore, there will be many new specimens that will have to look for food the following year. If resources are scarce in the usual area they will have no choice but to explore other territories to which they can go and break into them en masse.