Top 10 British garden birds that you may spot in your garden!
If asked to describe what we love so much about seeing birds in our garden, it would probably make us think about their incredible sense of cheer and an exhilarating charm that spreads from one corner of our window to the other. As a population, we probably don’t spend anywhere near enough time gazing into the big blue sky wondering who our next friendly feathered visitor will be (… probably because the sky is hardly ever blue!). But we do have bird tables! And as much as bird tables are great for birds, they’re even better for us because they provide the perfect stage to attract even the most shyest of birds, so for that reason – we still stand by our statement (even if slightly altered to suit our miserable British weather) – not enough time is spent gazing out of our kitchen window, enjoying “feed time” over a big juicy fat ball. But the time that we do spend admiring the best of Britain’s garden birds is rather precious, and for that reason we have compiled a list of our top ten favourite British birds and our reasons why each one is so special to us!
Position number 10
The elegant Collared dove is often seen in a pair, its clearly visible black collar markings setting it aside from any other pigeon or dove. With a dusty pink-brown grey coat, the Collared Dove has deep red eyes to match its red feet and is a common visitor to gardens and town centers. Their monotonous cooing is a comforting yet incredibly familiar sound to many.
Position number 9
The Great Tit – yes it’s “great” but there’s a little more to it than that! With striking green and yellow outfits it’s no wonder we human’s find them so captivating. The Great Tit is instantly recognizable for its distinctive two-syllable song and although quite aggressive at the bird table, their beautiful glossy black helmets melt our hearts! During the Winter, the Great Tit will join Blue Tits and other small birds to form flocks which scour over the tops of our gardens for food.
Position number 8
The UK’s most common and largest pigeon with a widespread grey and white neck patch is the beautiful Woodpigeon. Although tame and friendly in town centres, you will more often than not, experience a slightly more timid side to those woodpigeons spotted in your garden. The waddling Woodpigeon can sometimes appear a little clumsy with their loud clatter of wings as they take off for flight, yet the most comforting sound emanates from their call when the common cooing is heard across the rooftops. Its grey coat with a pinkish breast and green, purple and white patch on the neck is iridescent in the sunlight, complementing the black tip to its tail with perfection.
Position number 7
With population declines in both rural and urban areas by 71% back in 2008, it’s not surprising that we cherish the House Sparrow for its intoxicating cheerfulness and gregarious nature! This beautiful creature is feisty, sprightly and incredibly interesting to watch. Although sadly on the decline, the House Sparrow is still by far the world’s most common bird, but that doesn’t make them any less special! Their brown mottled plumage serves as a superior camourfage with distinct markings on the head that set them aside from any other small bird their size. Found in pairs or small family groups, the House Sparrow spreads its wings to join mixed flocks of different sparrow species during the Autumn and Winter months. We love to watch our Sparrows foraging in between leaf litter in the morning for small seeds and insects and hopping to scratch with both feet whilst enjoying a feed!
Position number 6
The Chaffinch is arguably the most colourful of common British garden birds. A combination of its intricately patterned plumage and a flash of white which reveals its wings during flight, help to define it as one of the most interesting and captivating of small birds. The chaffinch is rather discreet in its feeding patterns however, and will not openly feast on a bird table or patio. Instead it prefers to hop around underneath a hedge or at the base of the table collecting fallen seeds. The outer tail of the Chaffinch is also a stunning white. As a conspicuous character, you will probably hear the Chaffinch before you see it. Shy yet largely vocal, when you do catch sight of this little chap with striking double white wing bars and blue-grey crown – it won’t be without a smile on your face.
Position number 5
Well…. what can we say about the elegant Goldfinch? An appreciation for the Goldfinch’s hugely vibrant appearance cannot be justified in such few words but to sum up – their breathtaking red, white and black mixtures are just heavenly. Their beautiful liquid twittering – a true delight to listen to! And let’s not forget their natural beauty and charm in abundance. Their lores and crowns are black, their chin and forehead – red finished, with stunning white cheeks and tawny brown bodies. Goldfinches will feed on various seed trees and create cute little cup-shaped nests. Having recovered from a serious decline in the 70’s and 80’s we can only look at the shy Goldfinch from afar and admire its strength and resilience to those threats they have faced in recent years.
Position number 4
Conspicuous, noisy and even slightly greedy, the Starling never fails to provide us with a little humor whether that be in the form of fighting its fellow friends for scraps at the feeding table, or their quietly confident run along the ground. The Starling is abstract and dynamic, with a beautiful glossy sheen of purples and greens to its coat which consists of several layers as light hits its surface. Although looking like the most scraggly, unfortunate creature during molting season, the Starling redeems itself by boasting a unique blend of diverse eye catching layers that consist of pigments which selectively absorb and reflect different colours of the spectrum. The Starling’s flight is fast and direct spending a lot of the year in flocks.
Position number 3
The Blue Tit is common in woodland areas and hedgerows but are also commonly spotted in gardens and parks. Showcasing a stunning palette of vibrant blue, green and yellows dispersed with ice white tones, this little feathered friend is probably the most instantly recognizable of all our British garden birds. Four or five parent birds with their blue caps and bumblebee yellow chests can be feeding anything from around twenty or more babies who display sunny yellow cheeks rather than white. Whether collecting worms and seeds for their young, or busying away plucking at moss for their nest, the British Blue Tit is utterly gorgeous – make no mistake about that!
Position number 2
The blackbird is melodious and harmonious. If you think that this stealthy creature exhibits a rather plain and simplistic appearance, you will more than likely agree that he or she makes up for it with their tuneful presence. Lighting up every garden along the street with its delicate euphonious tones, the male Blackbird’s eye-ring and the female’s light speckling to the breast make them one of the most striking of garden birds. The glossy black plumage and yellowy-orange bill of the male, differs from the female’s mature dark brown upperparts and underparts with a slightly browner beak. With an affinity towards dense undergrowth and deciduous trees the territory-holding Blackbird will also seek gardens for a safe breeding habitat, using their “bow and run” display a defense strategy.
Position number 1
The number one spot goes to our favorite red breast – the beautiful Robin. With songs that last all year through and a vibrant mane of soft rusty ember-red feathers, this bird is majestic and surprisingly powerful for its small size. Sometimes they can be spotted sat next to a lamppost chirping away at nighttime! And with such an attractive appearance that becomes almost impossible to tell the male and female apart, for most of us that’s a great thing, because it allows us to enjoy their stunning allure regardless!
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Grow Your Ideas
If you would like to attract more birds into your garden, please do check out the RSPB website for more information and please consider donating to this amazing charity.