Sparrowhawks are one of our smallest birds of prey, the male being somewhere between a blackbird and a collared dove in size. The female is larger, up to the size of a pigeon. Sparrowhawks are excellent bird-hunters, catching small species
Sedge warblers are summer visitors to the UK where they live in reedbeds and scrub near to freshwater. They feed on insects and can be distinguished from reed warblers by their striped head and more ‘digital’ song.
Reed warblers are summer visitors to the UK where they live and breed in reed beds. They feed on insects and are often heard, rather than seen.
Long-tailed tits are tiny birds that live in small family groups, mainly in woodland and scrubby areas. They feed mainly on insects and can be seen all year round. In spring, they build domed nests out of lichen and cobwebs.
Kingfishers live mainly along rivers and, despite their bright colours, can be difficult to see due to their small size and fast flight. They feed mainly on small fish and can be seen all year round, breeding in holes in
Wigeon are winter visitos to the UK, arriving in large flocks to feed on wet grassland.
Cetti’s warblers can be seen all year round in areas of dense scrub. They feed mainly on insects and have a distinctive, explosive song. They have only recently started breeding in the UK.
Our largest and most common pigeon, the woodpigeon is a familiar bird of gardens, parks, woodlands and farmlands right across the country. Its husky ‘hoo-hroo’ call is a well-known sound of the country. Woodpigeons feed on seeds, leaves, grains, fruit,
Cuckoos are migrant birds that usually arrive in April and leave in August. They lay their eggs in the nests of other birds, such as reed warblers, who raise the cuckoo chick as their own. The distinctive call of the
Blue tits are a common species often seen in gardens, woodland and scrub. They feed mainly on insects in the summer but will also eat nuts and seeds in the winter.
House martins are smaller than swallows but arrive at a similar time in spring. They hunt for insects on the wing and build mud nests under the eaves of buildings, hence their name.
The great spotted woodpecker is a medium-sized woodpecker, about the same size as a blackbird. great spotted woodpeckers nest in holes which they excavate in trees in woodlands (mainly broadleaved), large parks and gardens. They have a distinctive, bouncing flight
Reed bunting can be seen all year round, feeding on the seeds of grasses close to reed beds.
Robins are a very common species and can be seen all year round in a variety of habitats. They feed mainly on insects and are common visitors to gardens.
The hobby is Britain’s only migratory falcon and it arrives in April to breed in the disused nests of crows. It is an excellent flier and hunts dragonflies and other birds, such as swallows on the wing. It can be
Kestrels are a small bird of prey that can often be seen hovering whilst hunting for small mammals above areas of grassland. They can be seen all year round.
The chaffinch is a common bird that can be seen all year round, usually in woodland and scrubby areas. It feeds mainly on seeds and insects and has a long descending call.
The common sandpiper is a smallish wading bird which breeds along fast-moving rivers and near lakes, lochs and reservoirs in Scotland, Wales, Northern Ireland and the north of England. Wintering birds may be spotted along the south coast but passage
Lapwings feed on insects and other invertebrates and can be seen all year round, although greater numbers can be seen in winter. They like areas of wet grassland and breed on bare ground.
Golden plovers are winter visitors to the UK where they feed on invertebrates on wet grassland and farmland.
Oystercatchers are mainly summer visitors, feeding on insects and shellfish in the mud and meadows around lakes and rivers.
Swallows are migratory birds that spend the winter in Africa and arrive in the UK in April. They feed mainly on flying insects and often build their mud nests on the sides of buildings, returning to the same spot year
The lesser black-backed gull can be found on farmland, wetlands and around the coast. It is a large, elegant gull just a little smaller than herring gull. The world’s population of this gull can be found entirely in Europe; in
This is a species which skulks in the undergrowth, creeping through bushes and low foliage, and which is very difficult to see except sometimes when singing from a prominent position. The song, which gives this species its name, is a
Great tits are a common species often seen in gardens, woodland and scrub. They feed mainly on insects in the summer but will also eat nuts and seeds in the winter. They have a large variety of calls which often
Chiffchaffs are a small warbler, known for their distinctive song. They are summer visitors to the UK, living mainly in woodland and scrubby areas and feeding on insects.
Willow Warblers are slim, delicate birds of woodland, scrub, parks and gardens. They can be heard singing a melodious, warbling song from amongst the tree canopy. Willow Warblers are migratory birds, breeding in Europe and migrating to southern Africa for
Magpies are one of our most familiar birds and the source of much myth and legend – ‘one for sorrow, two for a joy’ is a rhyme that many children learn. Magpies are, in fact, small crows, and are omnivorous,
Green woodpeckers are often seen feeding on ants in grassy areas near to trees. They have a distinct laughing call and can be seen all year round.
Great crested grebes are a common species found mainly on freshwater throughout the year. They are excellent divers and feed mainly on small fish and aquatic insects. During the breeding season, the birds stick out their crests and perform an
Dunnocks are a very common bird but their dull colours and secretive behaviour means that they often go unnoticed. They live in a variety of habitats including woodland and scrub and feed mainly on insects, berries and seeds.
The Bullfinch is a large, plump finch which feeds on buds and fruit in woodlands, hedgerows, parklands, gardens and orchards. Beautiful, easy to tame and skilful at mimicry, it was often taken as a cage-bird in times past. Shy and
A small relative of the moorhen and coot and about the same size as a redshank, water rails live in reedbeds and freshwater wetlands where they feed on invertebrates and small fish. Secretive and rarely seen they are more often
Goldcrests are tiny birds of conifer woodland, scrub, parks and gardens. As well as our own resident birds, large numbers arrive on the east coast during autumn migration, and are often found in bushes on sand dunes. It is widespread
Sand martins are common summer visitors, arriving in March and leaving in October. They nest in colonies, digging burrows in steep, sandy cliffs, usually around water, so are commonly found on wetland sites. The tunnels they bore can be up
Tawny owls are nocturnal hunters, feeding mainly on small mammals and birds in woodland habitats. They can be seen all year round.
Blackcaps are a common warbler that like to live in scrubby areas where they feed mainly on insects and berries. They are mainly summer visitors but are occasionally seen in the winter. Only the male has a black cap.
The Garden Warbler is a medium-sized warbler of woodland and tall scrub, habitats it shares with the Blackcap. Garden Warblers are summer visitors, arriving in April and leaving in July, although Continental birds can be seen on migration around the
Whitethroats are a summer visitor that live mainly in scrub and bramble, feeding on insects and fruit.
Grebes are diving waterbirds, feeding on small fish and aquatic invertebrates. The Little Grebe or ‘Dabchick’, as it is sometimes known, is our smallest grebe, about half the size of a Moorhen. Grebes nest on floating platforms made up of
Wrens are one of Britain’s smallest birds, although also one of the loudest, and stay here all year round. They live mainly in woodland and scrub and feed on insects.
The Song thrush is a cousin of the blackbird and can be found in woodlands and scrubby areas all year round. It feeds mainly on insects (particularly snails) and berries and is known for its repetetive song.
Skylarks are present all year round but are mainly seen in the spring and summer when they perform their distinctive song flights to defend their breeding territory. They nest in grassland and feed mainly on insects and seeds.
A common and familiar bird, the pied wagtail is often seen in towns and cities, dashing across lawns, roads and car parks while wagging its long tail up and down. Pied wagtails eat insects but will feed on seeds and
A small, dumpy chat, the stonechat is a little smaller than a robin. Stonechats have quite a big head and short tail. They can frequently be seen sitting on the top of gorse bushes, flicking their wings and making a
The meadow pipit is a very common nesting bird of moorland, heathland and rough grassland. In the autumn and winter it moves out of upland areas to lowlands where it gathers in small flocks and can also be found on
Barn owls are nocturnal hunters, feeding mainly on small mammals such as mice and voles in open, grassy habitats. Their numbers dropped in the last century due to pesticide use by farmers. However, they are now protected by law and