How to Identify the UK’s 10 Most Common Birds

If you love nature and want to get out from the garden shed for a bit, then bird spotting will surely give you great delight! Aside from being an enjoyable past time, this hobby has also been proven to improve a person’s eyesight.

And while some rare species are hard to spot, watching and identifying common breeds can be just as exciting. You can even do so from the comfort of your own garden in a spacious garden shed! To help you with this venture, our garden experts have compiled some of the most prevalent but beautiful species and their notable features.

Bird Spotting: 10 Most Common Wild Birds in the UK

A lot of people view birdwatching as a hobby that requires far too much effort for too little reward. However, it has increased in popularity among younger men in particular, over the last few years.

Too gain an edge in birdwatching, some gardeners at present also aim to invite wild birds to their gardens, while others are offering them their kitchen scraps.

Though there are hundreds of wild bird species in the UK, nature novices may find it difficult to identify each type. By understanding which species you will most likely spot in the park or land in your garden, the process can be a whole lot easier.

1. House Sparrow


Being the most commonly-sighted breed in the UK, this bird is prevalent from the countryside to the cities as they feed and breed relatively close to people.

If you are fond of birdwatching, you can easily identify the house sparrows for being full-bodied and having a stout beak.

Breeding males have grey crowns, white cheeks, a black bib and a chestnut neck.

The bodies of breeding females, on the other hand, are brown with grey-brown underparts. They also have black and brown stripes on their backs.

2. Starling


Except for the highest parts of the Scottish Highlands, starlings are a widespread breed in the UK, especially in southern England. They have a chunky body with the size of a blackbird, but their tails are short and their bills are long and slender.

Breeding starlings are entirely dark with striking purple-green iridescent feathers and yellow bills.

3. Blue Tit

One of the UK’s most attractive birds, blue tits are also highly-recognisable for their vibrant colours — a mix of yellow, blue, white and green. They have a black bill which is short and thin.

This breed is a common sight in woodlands, hedgerows, parks and gardens.

4. Blackbird

From gardens to coasts, blackbirds are prevalent almost everywhere in the UK.

You can instantly notice an adult male for its black feathers vibrant orange-yellow beak and eye ring.

Female blackbirds, meanwhile, are mostly brown and have spots and streaks on their breasts.

5. Woodpigeon

Mostly flocking the rural areas, woodpigeons come in grey bodies with hints of pink/purple plus white patches on the neck and wings. They have thin and black, brown or even orange beaks.

6. Goldfinch

Migrating south as far as Spain, this social species is still seen often around the UK.

They have a bright red face and yellow wing patch and are known for their long fine beaks which allow them to extract difficult to access seeds.

7. Great Tit

The largest UK tit is found across woodlands, parks and gardens across the UK.

It is green and yellow with a striking glossy black head and white cheeks.

Originally a woodland bird, it has adapted to man-made habitats and now is a familiar sight in the garden. However, be aware as the species does have aggressive tendencies towards other birds.

8. Robin

Robins are one of the most famous bird breeds since they are being associated with Christmas.

Males and females look identical with their bright red breasts and thin and short black beaks.

You can spot them during the colder months, but if you want to attract them to your yard then, make sure to convert your garden into a bird-friendly space in the winter.

Don’t let their size fool you though — robins are aggressively territorial and they drive away trespassers quickly.

9. Chaffinch

Chaffinches are currently becoming more abundant.

Their plumage helps them blend in when feeding on lower levels. But as they fly, this bird exposes a flash of white on the wings and white outer tail feathers.

However, if you want to spot them on your garden, they can be the most difficult birds to attract since they don’t generally use bird feeders.

10. Magpie

Revered for their noisy chattering, magpies are the more likeable member of the crow family.

They have a black-and-white plumage and a long tail that seem plain at first, but at a closer look, you’ll notice the purple-blue iridescent sheen to their wing feathers and green gloss to the tails.

Magpies are also excellent at scavenging and destroying pests, making them a great natural pesticide!

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