Who eats what?

Many birds use our gardens throughout the year for supplementary year-round feeding. It is however when food is at its shortest that birds will use our gardens most. Here is a rough guide as to what some of our most common garden visitors enjoy the most. As a general rule the more varieties of food you offer the more species you are likely to attract into your garden.

BlackbirdBlackbird

The male of the species is jet black with a bright yellow beak, though the beak colour is browner on younger birds. The female bird is similar in size but its plumage is brown in colour.

Ground Feeder

Blue TitBlue Tit

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.

Hanging Feeder

ChaffinchChaffinch

A colourful member of the finch family. The male Chaffinch has a pink breast and cheeks, blue-grey crown and nape, and chestnut brown back. The female has an olive-brown back, and grey-brown under parts becoming almost white towards the rump, which is greenish. The juveniles are similar to the female but lack the greenish rump.

Ground Feeder
Hanging Feeder

Collared DoveCollared Dove

The delicately coloured plumage of the collared dove is a blend of pinkishsandy 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.

Ground Feeder

DunnockDunnock

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.

Ground Feeder

GoldfinchGoldfinch

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.

Hanging Feeder

Great Spotted WoodpeckerGreat Spotted Woodpecker

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 skull cap.

Hanging Feeder

Great TitGreat Tit

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.

Hanging Feeder

GreenfinchGreenfinch

Similar in size to a House Sparrow, the Greenfinch is a chunky-looking finch. The male Greenfinch is known for its olivegreen back and bright yellow patches in its wings and tail. The female is duller with streaky upper parts. Juvenile Greenfinches are similar to the female but browner.

Ground Feeder
Hanging Feeder

House SparrowHouse Sparrow

The male House Sparrow has a black bib with grey cheeks, crown and rump. The female is more uniformly brown with a paler front. Juveniles resemble the female.

Ground Feeder
Hanging Feeder

Long Tailed TitLong Tailed Tit

The Long-tailed Tit is easily recognised as its tail is longer than its body. 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.

Hanging Feeder

RobinRobin

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. Juveniles have a speckled breast instead of the red.

Ground Feeder

SiskinSiskin

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 with yellow and green in it 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.

Ground Feeder
Hanging Feeder

Wood PigeonWood Pigeon

The Woodpigeon is Britain’s largest and most common pigeon. It has a grey head, white collar and an ample pinky-grey breast. Its five note cooing can be heard as early as February. These birds have a voracious appetite and are prolific breeders.

Favoured foods

Ground Feeder

StarlingStarling

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.

Ground Feeder
Hanging Feeder

WrenWren

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!

Ground Feeder