British Garden Birds

If you have spent some time cultivating a bird friendly garden then you should soon start to see some of Britain’s most common garden birds visiting your bird tables and feeders and wildlife friendly plants.

These mini guides to some of our favourite birds to visit British gardens will assist you with their identification as well as helping you find out more about each species. For a more comprehensive guide to identifying British birds take a look at our bird identification guides where you will find detailed descriptions of over 130 British birds.

Blackbird

Turdus merula
Males are black with yellow bill and eye ring. Females are brown with spotted breasts. They often raise their tail on landing and have a loud, mellow, fluty song.

Blue Tit

Cyanistes caeruleus
Small and acrobatic, visits trees, shrubs and bird tables. Bright blue cap surrounded by white with blue wings and tail and yellow underside.

Chaffinch

Fringilla coelebs
White wing bars distinguish it from other finches. Male is pink below with blue cap in summer. Female is duller. Thick seed-eating bill.

Collared Dove

Streptopelia decaocto
Pale greyish-sandy dove with a thin black collar. Dark-tipped wings with grey panel. Monotonous triple call.

Dunnock

Prunella modularis
Delicate shy bird that creeps along the ground looking for food. Grey head, streaky back and flanks, thin bill, orange-brown legs.

Goldfinch

Carduelis carduelis
Conspicuous red face and yellow on wing. Feeds on seeds of thistle, teasel and other weeds. Distinctive tinkling call, often heard when birds are flying.

Great Spotted Woodpecker

Dendrocopos major
Black and white and vivid red under tail. Male has red on back of head. Drums in spring, hammering bill on a tree trunk or branch.

Great Tit

Parus major
Largest tit with bold black and white head and black central breast. Common at bird feeders but often feeds on the ground.

Greenfinch

Chloris chloris
Stout pale bill, drab to bright green body, yellow on wings and tail. Female has slightly less yellow than male.

House Sparrow

Passer domesticus
Small, lively, sociable and noisy birds. The male is streaked rusty-brown on his back while the female is sandy-brown. They usually feed on the ground in large groups.

Jay

Garrulus glandarius
Striking colours but white rump most obvious feature, especially in flight. Blue on wing less easy to see. Hops in springy bounds on the ground but usually secretive.

Long-Tailed Tit

Aegithalos caudatus
Tiny, pink, black and white with long, black tail. Usually in small groups flying "follow my leader" style from shrub to shrub.

Magpie

Pica pica
Large pied bird with a very long tail. Juvenile is short-tailed at first but unmistakably a magpie. Harsh chattering call.

Robin

Erithacus rubecula
Cocky bold birds with plain brown backs, orange-red faces and bibs edged with grey. They are territorial even in winter and sing loudly from perches to keep away rival birds.
Song Thrush

Song Thrush

Turdus philomelos
Pale brown back, v-shaped spots on cream breast. Musical strident song with each short phrase repeated several times.

Starling

Sturnus vulgaris
Blackish, glossy plumage, heavily spotted white in winter. Short-tailed, smaller than blackbirds. Good mimic of other birds and mechanical sounds.

Wood Pigeon

Columba palumbus
Large pigeon with white on neck, pink breast and white marks on wings. Takes off with a clatter of wings. Deep chest noticeable in flight.

Wren

Troglodytes troglodytes
Tiny, rusty brown. Pale line over eye and barred wings. Short, dry, irritated call and loud, strident song. Moves mouselike through undergrowth.

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