Bird Library

Blackbird feasting on rotten apples

Blackbird

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The male of the species is jet black with a bright yellow beak, though the beak colour is more brown on younger birds. The female bird is similar in size but its plumage is brown in colour. They are very territorial in nature and if other blackbirds encroach on their territory they are very fast in trying to remove them from their patch. They are one of the first birds in the morning to start the dawn chorus and usually the last bird singing in the evening.


Blackcap

Blackcap

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The Blackcap is a small bird in the warbler family, the male having a black cap and a greyish under body with a brownish grey back, grey wings and a grey tail, while the female has a brown cap and a brownish body. The song is a delightful warbling sound, albeit not terribly tuneful.


Blue Tit

Blue Tit

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This small member of the Tit family is brightly coloured, with a blue cap and wings. Their tummies are yellow in colour. One of the most common visitors in our gardens.


Brambling

Brambling

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This is a chameleon of the finch family with its changing plumage through the seasons of the year. In the winter the male bird has a streaked head, orange breast plumage and a white rump, in the spring the males head becomes much darker in colour with a rich orangey red colour on his wings and breast. The females are not so bright and cheerful in colour, though have similar patterns in their plumage.


Bullfinch

Bullfinch

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A fairly large finch compared to other species and also quite shy, the male has a deep pink chest and under parts, black cap and a white rump which is often the only thing seen as it flies off. The female is a greyer version. These birds have the typical strong finch beak and can cause problems to gardeners and soft fruit growers.


Chaffinch

Chaffinch

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The male bird dons spectacular coloured plumage in comparison to the much drabber female bird. They are the second most popular bird in the UK, tending to merge into flocks of all male and all female birds in the winter months. At that particular time of the year they will visit bird tables in large numbers for the seeds and nuts that are provided. However, they tend to be found on the ground foraging for the spilt seeds and nuts that fall from the bird tables and feeders, though will use feeders with circular perches (they find straight perches difficult to balance on).


Coal Tit

Coal Tit

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Both the male and female bird has a black cap, throat and bib. The male bird's bib is slightly larger and triangular in shape in comparison to the female bird. They both have white markings at the back of the head. Their beaks are smaller than the blue or great tits. It is one of the smallest birds in the UK.


Collared Dove - image Roger Hughes

Collared Dove

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The delicately coloured plumage of the collared dove is a blend of pinkish-sandy browns and greys. Both male and female birds have the black half collar finely outlined with white around the nape of the neck. The young do not develop their collar until after their first moult.


Corn Bunting

Corn Bunting

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They are sedentary birds (meaning they spend their lives largely in the area they were born) and individual birds living only 30km apart and can sing in a different tone. Both male and female are similar in a brown colour but the male is 20% bigger than the female. They tend to look a bit like Skylarks, thougharen'trelated.


Dunnock

Dunnock

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Both male and female are alike in their grey colour but the younger birds tend to be more brown and striped. They can also be identified by their thin bill and orange legs. A very common garden bird, they’re normally seen in individually or in pairs. Sometimes also called a Hedge Sparrow, though they’re not related to Sparrows and actually come from a family of birds called accentors.


Fieldfair

Fieldfare

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Fieldfares are a large thrush with a grey head, dark chestnut back and a speckled breast. Their bill is similar to that of the blackbird apart from the tip which is black. They are very sociable birds and are generally seen in flocks in the winter months, before returning to their breeding grounds in Northern Europe and Scandinavia. They also often flock with Redwings (which are also a thrush).


Goldfinch

Goldfinch

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These small birds are highly decorated in colour. Their bodies are fawn in colour, their wings are black and white with a flash of yellow and their heads are a vibrant red with flashes of black and white. They have a long beak which enables them to extract seeds from the teasel and thistles, or niger seed in special feeders put out on the garden.


Great Spotted Woodpecker

Great Spotted Woodpecker

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A very distinctive brightly coloured bird with black and white features with a red patch under the tail. The male has a red patch at the back of his head, while the female has a black nape. Younger birds have a red scull cap.


Great Tit

Great Tit

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The largest member of the tit family, it is easily recognised by its black head and black breast stripe, bright yellow belly and green upper body. The male has a thicker breast stripe than the female.


Green Woodpecker

Green Woodpecker

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The Green woodpecker is the largest of the three woodpeckers that breeds in the UK. Unmistakable with distinctive green plumage on its back with a bright red head, with the plumage on its under body a light green. Can be seen feeding on lawns for ants and other insects.


Greenfinch

Greenfinch

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Greenfinches have gradually colonised urban gardens over the last century partly because of the loss of grain and weed seeds due to intensive farming methods. They are identified by their green and yellow plumage, the female being duller in colour. They have a typical seed-eaters powerful triangular beak, are gregarious outside the breeding season, and make a distinctive trilling call.


Grey Partridge

Grey Partridge

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It is a plump bird with brown back grey flanks and a white chest with an orange face. There is very little difference between male and female birds. The young birds are usually yellowish brown and do lack the markings on the underside of their bodies. Their diet is mainly seed eating however the young do like insects. The parental birds take the young to the edge of the fields to enable them to forage for insects, this being a substantial protein intake for the young birds in their first few days of life. These birds like the ground and when disturbed they will fly up and scatter over a short distance. They tend to colonise in small groups called coveys after the breeding season. This bird is now in decline due to loss of breeding habitat and food.


Hawfinch

Hawfinch

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The Hawfinch is large, shy and relatively rare member of the finch family. It has a massive bill and a short tail which gives the impression of being top heavy. The male has a bright tan coloured face.


House Martin

House Martin

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The House Martin is a smallish bird with a glossy blue-black back and pure white under parts. It has a forked tail (which has not got the long streamers that a swallow has) with white feathers on its legs. The young are slightly different in colour as they are brown on the rump and have some white mottling on the nape.


House Sparrow

House Sparrow

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The male has a black bib with grey cheeks, crown and rump. The female more uniformly brown with a paler front. Juveniles resemble the female. The House Sparrow has a persistent chirping call, particularly when the male is calling to attract a mate. Groups of House Sparrows often gather in the late afternoon and twitter conversationally until darkness falls.


Jackdaw

Jackdaw

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The Jackdaw is the smallest bird in the crow family in the UK. It has a greyish nape and cheeks and the rest of the body is shiny black.


Jay

Jay

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Both the male and the female are very similar in colour. There is a bold band of blue on the wings, the body is a pale pinkish brown in colour and they also have a black moustache. They have a distinctive screeching call, which often gives the location away of this relatively shy member of the crow family.


Kestrel

Kestrel

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The Kestrel is a member of the falcon family and has pointed wings and a long tail. There are distinct differences between the male and the female Kestrel, with the male being slightly smaller but much more colourful with its grey head, reddish brown back and grey tail with a black tip. Females are speckled brown in colour. Often see hovering along motorway embankments and other open areas where they hunt for mice and voles.


Linnet

Linnet

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A small, slim bird of the finch family. The males have a red forehead and breast while the females are much duller in colour usually brown. They are a bird of farm and heathland, where they can be seen perching on hedges and shrubs such as gorse.


Long Tailed Tit

Long-tailed Tit

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They have small bodies of what looks like black and white plumage but on closer inspection they are pinkish and their long tail is black in colour. They have a very small beak which is black. These small birds tend to flock together and keep together, and through the winter they stay close to one another to keep warm. They’re also very vocal and continually make a soft chattering sound which helps them ensure they stay as a flock.


Magpie

Magpie

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A very easy bird to recognise due to its distinct black and white plumage. A member of the crow family, the black feathers often shine with blues, greens and purple shades.


Mallard

Mallard

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The most common and widespread of our ducks, the male has the most vibrant of colours with a green head black rear end and a yellowish orange bill. The females are brown with a brown bill.


Marsh Tit

Marsh Tit

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The Marsh Tit is easy to mistake for the Willow Tit as they are very similar in looks. Their plumage is greyish brown above, dirty white below with black caps and bibs. Male and females are identical in colour.


Mistle Thrush

Mistle Thrush

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It is coloured with brownish black spots on its belly with a mid-brown back, with the underside of their wings being white. The males and females are more or less identical in colour.


Moorhen

Moorhen

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Close-up their body is olive- brown on the top and their underside is blue-grey. They have a red bill with a yellow tip. The breeding birds seldom travel very far.


Nuthatch

Nuthatch

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The colour of plumage of this plump little bird is blue/grey upper part with a fawn belly. On the back of the head there is a thick black stripe which follows through to the eye. It has a large bill. Another real give away in identifying this bird is its unusual ability to move down the trunk of a tree head first when looking for food – no other UK bird does this.


Pheasant

Pheasant

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The male bird is very brightly coloured with a bright green head and very red face. Their body is brownish with black markings which follow on through into their tail feathers. The females are not so brightly coloured having a mottled plumage of brown and black. The Pheasant in an introduced game bird to our shores and is native to much of Asia.


Pied Wagtail

Pied Wagtail

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This bird is small and has black and white feathers with a long tail. An insect eater, it is a bird that darts about, quickly wagging its tail up and down when stood still. Found in many open areas, including supermarket and motorway service station car parks!


Red Legged Partridge

Red Legged Partridge

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Another introduced game bird to the UK, it is larger than the Grey Partridge with a white chin and throat patch, greyish body with bold black flank. The breast of the bird is blue black, their legs, bill and eye ring are red. The young are similar in colour to the young of the Grey Partridge.


Redpoll - image Roger Hughes

Redpoll

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A member of the finch family, the males have a small red cap on their forehead black bib and a bright pink belly which gets brighter in the summer. The females differ slightly with only a small amount of red on the foreheads. Both birds have yellow bills with dark tips. Often flocks and can be seen with Siskins.


Redwing

Redwing

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This is the smallest member of the thrush family to be seen in the UK. It has red undertones on the underside of its wings and a creamy stripe above its eyes. The back of the bird is dark chocolate in colour so are the upper sides of their wings. A winter migrant from Northern Europe and Scandinavia and often seen in large flocks with Fieldfares.


Male Reed Bunting

Reed Bunting

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Similar in size to a Sparrow, the male bird is quite distinctive with a black head and white neck collar and a black moustache under his beak. The female is less distinctive with a dull brown head with a pale stripe below the cheeks. Both have a pale breast and darker upper body and wings.


Robin

Robin

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One of the most distinctive birds seen in Britain and certainly the best loved. Both male and female birds are identical with their red breast and olive brown upper parts. The juveniles lack the red breast and has a speckled breast.


Rook

Rook

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A member of the crow family, the the base of the rook’s beak has bare skin. Their plumage is black but will shine with a reddish purple tinge when caught in sunlight. They tend to look scruffy in appearance with their fluffy leg feathers. Their beak is pointed and much longer than the similar Carrion Crow.


Siskin

Siskin

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Both male and female have broad yellow wing bars and the male has a black cap and bib during the summer months. The female is brown and streaky to keep her hidden when on the nest. A small finch which is increasing in numbers across the UK, and is now a regular visitor to many gardens.


Skylark

Skylark

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A smallish bird with brown feathers, it has a crest which is raised when the Skylark is excited or alarmed. The wing tips are tinged with white and the tail also has white on the sides. This bird is well known for its spectacular vertical flight, where it produces its beautiful song which is its most distinguishing feature.


Song Thrush

Song Thrush

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A fairly common bird of gardens, parks and woodland, the Song Thrush’s nut brown upper plumage and speckled breast are perfectly designed to hide the bird whilst on the nest and when feeding on the ground.


Sparrow Hawk

Sparrowhawk

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Females are larger than the males and they differ slightly in colour. They both have striped under parts but the male has a blue back and the female's back is brown. Their wings are broad and rounded and with their long tail they are able to fly in between trees and branches at great speed.


Spotted Flycatcher

Spotted Flycatcher

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Both birds are the same in colour with a greyish brown body and the under parts of their wings being pale, and therefore are difficult to tell apart. Despite the bird’s name, the young are the only ones to have a spotted plumage. The bird perches on branches and fence posts in order to catch their prey, and make distinctive circular flights to catch insects as they pass and fly straight back to the same perch. A summer migrant to the UK, Spotted Flycatcher numbers have dropped dramatically in recent decades.


Starling

Starling

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The plumage is shiny black with white speckles during winter, revealing purple and greens glints in the summer sunshine. The young are grey-brown until their first moult. Numbers have declined somewhat in the last few years but it is still possible to witness the sensational aerobatic display of thousands of these birds as they prepare to roost on winter evenings. A vast cloud of thousands of birds can swirl and swoop in perfect unison as each bird follows those beside it.


Stonechat

Stonechat

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The Stonechat is similar in size to the robin. The male has a vivid black head with white patches on either side of its neck and a bright orange/red breast. The female bird has a brown head rather than black but otherwise is the same colour as the male.


Swallows

Swallow

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The Swallow has a blue-black back, a red throat and whitish breast. The tail is deeply forked with long streamers which distinguish it from Martins and Swifts.


Swift

Swift

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A small dark brown bird with a white throat. It is distinguished by its scythe like wings and small forked tail. The Swift looks black when viewed flying. When it nests this bird may not land again until the next year when it nests again.


Tree Sparrow

Tree Sparrow

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Distinguished from the House Sparrow by the black cheek spot and chestnut head (the House Sparrow has a grey cap), these sociable birds feed and nest in groups, constantly chirping to each other. It is smaller than the House sparrow.


Treecreeper

Treecreeper

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The Treecreeper lives on trees and is a very small bird which is brown in colour. Aptly named, Its movements tend to mimic a mouse when moving about the tree as it scurries in a circular movement up the tree. It has a long down-turned bill which enables the bird to gather insects and grubs from the tree bark.


Wood Pigeon

Woodpigeon

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It has a grey head, white collar and an ample pinky-grey breast. Large chest muscles are necessary to lift its heavy body into the air for flight.


Wren

Wren

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This tiny bird has mottled brown plumage, characterised by its cocked tail and very small neck. It is a small dumpy bird with long legs and toes, but with a very loud song!


Yellowhammer

Yellowhammer

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A member of the bunting family, the male Yellowhammer’s head in spring and summertime is a bright lemony yellow with black streaks. Its upper body parts are a rich chestnut colour. The females are much duller in colour with a smudged look to them. They have a very distinguished song which sounds like ‘A little bit of bread and no cheese’ and is repeated about every ten seconds.