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Bird Identifier Guide

Our bird identifier guide is here to help you find out which bird species have been visiting your garden. We’ve grouped them by colour and size, so have a scroll through and see if you can spot your garden guest!

 

Brown birds (small)

Dunnock

Key features: Thin beak, orange legs, pale brown mottled belly. View our full Dunnock Guide.

Fact: The Dunnock is sometimes called a ‘hedge sparrow’ because it likes hedges, but it isn’t a sparrow at all!

Bird identifier guide: dunnock

 

Chaffinch

Key features: Pinkish-brown breast, bluish cap and striped wings. View our full Chaffinch Guide.

Fact: Our Chaffinch population doubles in winter, as more birds arrive from other European countries.

Bird identifier guide: chaffinch

 

House Sparrow

Key features: Chestnut brown with black flecks, large dark beak. View our full House Sparrow Guide.

Fact: House Sparrows have a thick bill, ideal for eating large seeds. As its name suggests, this familiar bird is found around houses.

Bird identifier guide: house sparrow

 

Wren

Key features: Small, brown bird with a sticky-up tail. View our full Wren Guide.

Fact: For such a small bird, the Wren has a very loud voice. Listen out for its trilling song.

Bird identifier guide: wren

 

 

Red featured birds (small)

Goldfinch

Key features: Prominent red face with flashes of black and yellow feather. View our full Goldfinch Guide.

Fact: A group of Goldfinches is called a ‘charm’ which is perfect for these colourful little birds.

Bird identifier guide: goldfinch

 

 

Orange featured birds (small)

Bullfinch

Key features: Males have a striking coral breast, while females are peachy/orange. View our full Bullfinch Guide.

Fact: British Bullfinches are rather lazy, rarely moving more than a few kilometres during their life.

Bird identifier guide: bullfinch

 

Robin

Key features: Red breast, brown back, lover of mealworms. View our full Robin Guide.

Fact: The Robin’s red breast is a badge of status. Young Robins don’t get theirs until they gain adult plumage.

Bird identifier guide: robin

 

 

Green/blue featured birds (small)

Siskin

Key features: Lime green feathers, black crowns. View our full Siskin Guide.

Fact: Siskins are much smaller than Greenfinches, and and appear in only 18% of gardens.

Bird identifier guide: siskin

 

Greenfinch

Key features: Muted green feathers and a thick white beak. View our full Greenfinch Guide.

Fact: Greenfinches were once woodland birds but they have learnt to visit gardens and are now one of our most familiar garden birds.

Bird identifier guide: greenfinch

Great Tit

Key features: Black and white head, a yellow/green breast and back. View our full Great Tit Guide.

Fact: If a Great Tit has a broad black stripe running down to its belly then it is a male. The females have a narrow stripe, which doesn’t reach the legs.

Bird identifier guide: great tit

 

Blue Tit

Key features: A mostly white face with blue and green plumage, and yellow underparts. View our full Blue Tit Guide.

Fact: Blue tits can lay as many as 13 eggs. Imagine how hard it must be for the parents to feed that many chicks!

Bird identifier guide: blue tit

 

 

Grey/black featured birds (small)

Nuthatch

Key features: Peachy coloured breast, grey back. View our full Nuthatch Guide.

Fact: The Nuthatch is the only bird that can walk down a tree trunk head-first. It uses its sharp bill to open tree seeds.

Bird identifier guide: nuthatch

 

Coal Tit

Key features: Black cap, white cheeks, black and white back. Its underparts can appear green or pinkish. View our full Coal Tit Guide.

Fact: The Coal Tit is a shy garden visitor. The best way to identify one is by the white patch on the back of its head.

Bird identifier guide: coal tit

 

Long Tailed Tit

Key features: Fluffy black and white plumage, plus a very long tail. View our full Long Tailed Tit Guide.

Fact: At a staggering 9g, they weigh in at less than a £1 coin. You can find them travelling in big groups!

Bird identifier guide: long tailed tit

 

Bird identifier guide: medium garden birds

Blackbird

Key features: Bright yellow beak and yellow-ringed eyes. View our full Blackbird Guide.

Fact: Female Blackbirds are, in fact, brown! They do share the same yellow features, though.

Bird identifier guide: blackbird

 

Song Thrush

Key features: Brown in colour with a speckled cream breast. View our full Song Thrush Guide.

Fact: The Song Thrush lives up to its name, having a tuneful song. It repeats each phrase two or three times over.

Bird identifier guide: song thrush

 

Great Spotted Woodpecker

Key features: Black and white plumage and red under tail. Males and females can be identified because males have a red marking on their nape whilst the females don’t have this. View our full Great Spotted Woodpecker Guide.

Fact: Did you know, sometimes a woodpecker can be heard drumming into a tree from 400m away?

Bird identifier guide: great spotted woodpecker

Starling

Key features: Glossy black plumage with purple and green metallic sheen.

Fact: Starlings are among the most social of birds, and this is particularly noticeable in winter, when they feed in flocks and roost communally.

Bird identifier guide: starling

 

Bird identifier guide: large garden birds

Woodpigeon

Key features: Small, grey heads, white neck patches, a pink breast, and grey bodies.

Fact: Woodpigeons are one of the few birds to produce ‘crop milk’ for their young. This ‘milk’ is more nutritious than cows’ milk.

Bird identifier guide: woodpigeon

 

Magpie

Key features: Petrol black and white plumage. They’re also very noisy!

Fact: There are lots of folk stories about Magpies. Some people believe that you should say ‘hello Mr. Magpie’ when you see one to avoid bad luck.

Bird identifier guide: magpie

Jackdaw

Key features: Striking dark silver feathers and a pale eye. No wonder they’re often mentioned in horror stories!

Fact: Jackdaws are resourceful birds and make the most of any situation – including stealing fish from Puffins! They may also nest in chimneys.

Bird identifier guide: jackdaw

 

We hope our bird identifier guide helped you distinguish you Blackbird from your Jackdaw, and your Chaffinch from your Dunnock! Learn more about birds and wildlife here.

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