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23 Common Garden Birds in the UK (Full Guide with Pictures)

An outing to the countryside is a lovely way to spend the day, but bird watchers in the UK don’t need to leave home to enjoy some fantastic wild bird species.

The United Kingdom is blessed with a host of wonderful garden bird species, from the tiny Wren to the heavyset Carrion Crow. These delightful creatures share our outdoor environments, providing hours of entertainment and a real connection with the natural world.

Would you like to learn to identify and attract more wild British garden birds to your garden? Read along to discover 23 garden species that might already call your garden home. We’ll also learn some interesting facts about them and give you some tips on their favourite foods.


Turdus merula

Blackbird portait

Close up portrait of a Blackbird

Blackbird foraging

Blackbird foraging for food in the grass

Blackbird eating berries

Blackbird eating berries from a tree

Blackbird in flight

Blackbird in flight

Blackbird foraging 1

Close up of a male Blackbird foraging for food in the woods

Blackbird singing

Blackbird singing from a branch

Female blackbird perched

Close up of a perched female Blackbird


24cm to 27cm


34cm to 38cm


85g to 105g

david m, XC619208. Accessible at

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The Common Blackbird (Turdus merula) is a ubiquitous, medium-sized garden bird in the UK. Males are black with a contrasting orange bill, while females are brown with a brown bill.

Blackbirds visit our gardens throughout the year, and their sweet song often rings out at the break of dawn. Common Blackbirds feed predominantly on insects but also eat berries when available.

They find gardens throughout the UK to be rich foraging grounds, although providing a water feature/ bird bath and their favourite foods like fat balls and mealworms will make your outdoor environment even more attractive.

Blue Tit

Cyanistes caeruleus

Blue tit 4
Blue tit 6

A pair of Blue Tits

Blue tit in flight

Blue Tit in flight

Blue tit 5

A blue tit feeding on a caterpillar

Blue tit 7

Eurasian Blue Tit perched

Blue tit 2







Eurasian Blue Tit Call / Song

Manceau Lionel, XC646473. Accessible at

Blue Tit

The Eurasian Blue Tit (Cyanistes caeruleus) is a colourful little bird with bright blue, white, yellow, black, and green shades.

This widespread species is a common visitor to gardens where they actively forage for caterpillars and small insects.

These lovely birds will visit bird feeders where seeds, nuts, and fat balls are provided. You can even encourage Blue Tits to nest in your garden by setting out a nest box.

Great Tit

Parus major

Great tit bird
Great tit size

Great Tits are a similar size to House sparrows, and larger than a Blue tit

Great tit diet

Close up of a Great Tit pulling a worm out of the woodwork

Great tit 2

Close up of a perched Great Tit in its natural habitat

Great tit habitat

Great Tits are quite bold around bird feeders, and won't be scared off by birds larger than them

Great tit flight

Great Tit in flight with wings spread wide

Great tit flying

Great tit in flight

Great tits at feeder

Great Tits at a bird feeder


12.5cm to 15cm




12g to 22g

Stuart Fisher, XC29756. Accessible at

Great Tit

The Great Tit (Parus major) is yet another bold and colourful garden species familiar to many British and Irish birdwatchers.

These non-migratory songbirds regularly visit bird feeders where they can be rambunctious and even downright aggressive towards other garden birds.

The Great Tit is similar in appearance to the Blue Tit but has a black (rather than blue) cap and throat. The species is also significantly larger than its blue cousin, although the two often forage together, especially in the colder months.

Birdwatchers can spot them throughout the UK (apart from the north of Scotland) and the rest of Europe.

European Goldfinch

Carduelis carduelis

Goldfinch close up

Close up of a Goldfinch

Goldfinch adult and juvenile

Adult and Juvenile Goldfinch

European goldfinch feeding thistle

European goldfinch, feeding on the seeds of thistles

Goldfinch 2

Perched Goldfinch calling before taking off

Goldfinch 3

Typical habitats for Goldfinches include woodland, parks, gardens, scrubland and farmland

Goldfinch perched on branch

Goldfinches have a stable population in the UK

Goldfinch 1

European Goldfinch perched on a branch


12cm to 14cm


21cm to 25.5cm


14g to 19g

Alexander Henderson, XC468562. Accessible at


The European Goldfinch (Carduelis carduelis) is a welcome sight wherever they turn up. These bold and bright little seedeaters are easily identified by their scarlet, white, and black faces and contrasting black and yellow wing feathers.

European Goldfinches are specially adapted to feed on fine seeds like thistle, and thankfully, they will happily visit your garden, especially if you hang up a nyjer bird seed feeder.

They are most common in the south of the UK, and although some are present throughout the year, you are most likely to spot them in summer.


Erithacus rubecula

Robin singing
European robin close

Close up of a European Robin

Juvenile robin

Juvenile Robin


Close up of a perched Robin

Robin eating mayflies

Robin with a beak full of Mayflies, ready to feed the hungry chicks in the nest

Robin flying

Close up of a Robin in flight

Robin redbreast mealworms

Robin Redbreasts are extremely fond of mealworms

Robin taking a drink

Robin taking a drink of water

Robin and butterfly

Robin standing on a branch next to a monarch butterfly (Danaus plexippus)

Robin nest

Close up of a Robins nest with unhatched eggs inside

Robin on watering can

Familiar sight of a Robin in a garden, perched on a watering can

Robin in bird bath

Robin taking a bath in a bird bath




20cm to 22cm


14g to 25g

Frank Lambert, XC414220. Accessible at


The Robin (Erithacus rubecula) is a beloved UK garden bird that needs little introduction.

These bed-breasted songsters are common in gardens throughout the country. Robins are generally unobtrusive, although they can become very confiding.

Despite their sweet looks and voices, Robins are highly territorial, which explains why you’re most likely to spot just one or two in your garden. The same mated pair will visit your garden throughout the year to forage for insects and other invertebrates.


Sturnus vulgaris

Starling 1
Starling calling

European Starling calling whilst perched on a branch

Starling feeding young

Starling feeding a Juvenile

Starling murmation

Starling Murmuration

Starling perched

Starling perched on a wooden log

Starling in flight

Adult Starling in flight, with spread wings

Starling eggs

Five starling eggs inside the nest of a Starling

Starling close up

Starling close up


20cm to 23cm


31cm to 40cm


60g to 90g


The Starling (Sturnus vulgaris) is a common and conspicuous garden bird across the United Kingdom.

These intelligent and wary birds are most beautiful in the breeding season when their plumage takes on an oily sheen and reflects green and purple shades in good light.

Starlings feed primarily on insects, although they will readily visit bird feeding tables, especially where suet, peanuts, and sunflower seeds are on offer.

Sadly, Starlings are in decline in rural areas of the UK, although they remain a familiar sight in urban and suburban parks and gardens.

Eurasian wren

Troglodytes troglodytes

Wren identification

Close up of a Wren, also known as the Eurasian wren

Wren size

Wrens are tiny birds, and one of the smallest bird species in the UK

Wren 2

Close up of a perched Wren singing in full voice

Wren bird with food

Wrens mainly eat insects

Eurasian wren foraging

Eurasian wren foraging for food amongst the leaves

Wren 1

Wrens are distributed pretty much all over the UK

Wren jump

Wren about to jump into the water

Wren close up

Wrens are one of, if not, the most abundant bird species in the UK

Wren nest

Close up of a Wren inside the nest, with two young chicks

Wren on the ground

Wrens can become highly territorial in the nesting season

Juvenile eurasian wren

Juvenile Eurasian wren perched on a branch


9cm to 10cm


13cm to 17cm


6g to 12g

iSpiny, XC314450. Accessible at


The Wren (Troglodytes troglodytes) is a tiny, non-descript insect-eating bird that is very common in gardens throughout the United Kingdom.

In fact, Wrens are the UK’s most common bird species, with an estimated population of over eight million pairs!

Wrens are active little birds that forage for insects in the undergrowth. They will occasionally forage for scraps around bird tables, however, particularly in the winter when insects are in short supply. At this time, they may become bolder and easier to observe.

Long-Tailed Tit

Aegithalos caudatus

Long tailed tit 1
Long tailed tit 4

Close up of a perched Long-tailed Tit

Long tailed tit 2

Long-tailed Tit eating seeds from a bird feeder

Long tailed tit close up

Woodland and forests are two of the best places to spot Long-tailed tits

Long tailed tit

Long-tailed Tit perched on a branch

Long tailed tit 3

Long-tailed tits are protected under the Wildlife and Countryside Act, 1981

Juvenile long tailed tit

Close up of a perched juvenile Long-tailed tit




16cm to 19cm


7g to 10g

Long-tailed Tit call

Simon Elliott, XC608607. Accessible at

Long-tailed Tit

The Long-tailed Tit (Aegithalos caudatus) is a unique little garden bird with some rather distinctive features.

Its tail is about the same length as its body, which is small and round. These birds have large heads without discernible necks and tiny black bills.

Long-tailed Tits visit a variety of habitats, and groups of up to twenty individuals may be a common sight in gardens during the winter.

These fascinating little birds feed predominantly on insects, although they are very partial to suet at bird feeders.


Chloris chloris

Greenfinch perching in conifer tree

Greenfinch sitting in a conifer tree

Greenfinch perched on top of moss covered post

Greenfinch perching on top of a moss-covered post

Greenfinch feeding young

Greenfinch adult feeding its young

Greenfinch on woodland ground

Greenfinch in woodland habitat

Greenfinch in natural habitat

Greenfinch in suburban garden

Greenfinches feeding

Flock of Greenfinches feeding together

Greenfinch during the winter

Greenfinch during the cold winter months


15cm to 16cm




17g to 34g


The Greenfinch (Chloris chloris) is a regular garden visitor and a welcome sight at the bird table. Males are greenish with bright yellow wing patches, whereas females are less colourful.

Greenfinches are commonly associated with humans and are quick to take advantage of a free meal.

Their decline resulted from the spread of a parasite-caused disease, which is why it is so important to keep bird baths and feeders clean.

Today, Greenfinch numbers are increasing, and you could spot them feeding on sunflower seeds or peanuts in your own garden throughout the year.


Fringilla coelebs

Male chaffinch

Close up of an adult male Chaffinch

Female chaffinch

Female Chaffinch

Chaffinch feeding chick

Close up of a Chaffinch fledgling being fed by adult bird

Singing chaffinch

Close up of a singing Chaffinch in its natural habitat

Chaffinch in flight

Chaffinch Flying

Male and female chaffinch

Male Chaffinch in flight, greeting a perched female

Nesting chaffinch

Male Chaffinch looking after the young chicks in the nest




24.5cm to 28.5cm


18g to 29g

david m, XC613420. Accessible at


Chaffinches (Fringilla coelebs) are one of the most abundant birds across the UK and Ireland, so it should come as no surprise that they are extremely common visitors to gardens.

They can be spotted year-round, where they tend to prefer feeding under bird tables instead of on them for seeds that have made their way onto the floor.

Male Chaffinches are mainly orange, with a mixture of browns, greys, blacks, whites and yellow, whereas females are less colourful, and are mostly brown, with black and white detailing, particularly on the wings.

You'll often hear chaffinches before you see them, as they are a vocal species with a distinctive, yet wonderful array of loud calls.

House Sparrow

Passer domesticus

House sparrow
House sparrow pair

Male (left) and female (right) House Sparrows

House sparrow perching on thorny bush

House Sparrow perching on a thorny branch

House sparrow singing

House Sparrow in song

Female house sparrow feeding young

Female House Sparrow feeding her young

House sparrow displaying

House Sparrow perching on a branch

Female house sparrow drinking from watering hole

Female House Sparrow drinking from a watering hole

House sparrow collecting nesting materials

House Sparrow collecting nesting materials

Young house sparrow peeping out from nest

Young House Sparrow peeping out from its nest

House sparrows battling

Two House Sparrows in a slight conflict


14cm to 17cm


19cm to 25cm


24g to 38g

House Sparrow

The House Sparrow (Passer domesticus) is an abundant and familiar garden bird species in the UK whose call is a familiar sound to people all over the country, whether they realise it or not!

These small seed-eating birds nest in cavities in our homes and buildings and forage in our gardens and parks, and streets.

House Sparrows tend to forage in pairs, and males have distinctive black throats and facial markings, coupled with rich brown backs, greyish underparts, and white markings on their wings and necks. Females are drab in comparison and relatively nondescript little birds.

Look out for these birds throughout the year.


Prunella modularis

Dunnock identification

Close up of a perched Dunnock

Dunnock foraging

Dunnock perched on a branch

Dunnock searching for food

Dunnock searching for food in the woods

Dunnock habitat

Dunnock in its natural habitat

Dunnock preening

Dunnock preening its feathers

Dunnock singing

Perched Dunnock singing from a branch

Dunnock nesting material

Dunnock gathering materials to build a nest

Dunnock perched on fence

Dunnock perched on a fence


13.5cm to 14.5cm


19cm to 21cm


19g to 24g

Dunnock Song

Frank Lambert, XC623601. Accessible at


The Dunnock (Prunella modularis) is a common but inconspicuous garden bird in the United Kingdom. These birds occur throughout the United Kingdom, with the exception of the Scottish Highlands.

Look out for these well-camouflaged birds as they forage on the ground near the protection of shrubs and other vegetation.

Both sexes are variously marked in grey and brown, with a sharp black bill and pinkish legs.

Don’t expect to see too many Dunnocks at your feeding station in the summer unless you provide mealworms. However, these birds will feed on seeds in the winter when insect numbers decrease.


Columba palumbus

Woodpigeon standing on the grass

Woodpigeon standing in a park

Woodpigeon during winter

Woodpigeon standing on top of a snow covered bush during the winter

Woodpigeon ditting on fence

Woodpigeon perching on a wooden fence

Woodpigeon feeding on an acorn

Woodpigeon foraging on the ground with an acorn in its beak

Woodpigeons perching in tree

Pair of Woodpigeons perching in the trees

Woodpigeon perching on wooden post

Woodpigeon resting on a wooden fence pole in its natural habitat

Woodpigeon resting on branch

Woodpigeon roosting in the trees

Woodpigeon in flight

Woodpigeon in-flight


41cm to 45cm


75cm to 80cm


284g to 690g


The Wood Pigeon (Columba palumbus) is a large and common garden bird that forages and breeds in British and Irish gardens throughout the year.

These pastel grey and pink pigeons are attractive birds, and their prominent white neck bars distinguish them from other doves and pigeons in the UK.

The Woodpigeon is a ground-feeding bird, typically seen searching the lawn for seeds and other plant material. However, they will readily feed on grain and birdseed mixes when available.

Carrion Crow

Corvus corone

Carrion crow 3
Carrion crow 1

Carrion Crow perched

Carrion crow in flight

Carrion Crow in flight

Carrion crow 2

Carrion Crow with food

Carrion crow profile

Carrion Crow profile

Carrion crow calling

Carrion Crow calling

Carrion crow with young

Carrion Crow with young


45cm to 47cm


93cm to 104cm


370g to 650g

Carrion Crow call

Maxence Fouillade, XC642131. Accessible at

Carrion Crow

The Carrion Crow (Corvus corone) is a bold and intelligent bird from the corvid family and an exciting bird to have around the garden.

The Carrion Crow is often wary of humans, although many have learned to take advantage of garden feeding stations, and they may become regular visitors if left to forage in peace.

Despite their sinister name, these large, all-black birds have a varied diet and will feed on anything from grain to insects and fruit.


Pica pica

Magpie identification

Close up of a perched Magpie

Magpie 1

Magpies are one of the most easily recognisable bird species, by both their plumage and chattering call

Magpie diet

Young Magpie with a grasshopper in its beak

Magpie flying

Close up of a Magpie in flight

Magpie flying 1

Magpie coming in to land

Magpie habitat

Magpies are common in gardens throughout the UK and Europe

Aggressive magpie

Magpie harassing a Golden Eagle

Flying magpie

Magpies in the UK are year-round residents


46cm to 60cm


52cm to 60cm


160g to 250g

Magpie alarm call

Simon Elliott, XC599983. Accessible at


The Magpie (Pica pica) is another clever corvid that will visit UK gardens to forage. These pied birds are instantly recognisable by their long iridescent tails and contrasting black and white plumage.

The Magpie is common in the southern half of the UK but scarce in large parts of Scotland.

Despite their striking looks and fascinating behaviours, Magpies are not always welcome garden visitors because they can be aggressive towards other bird species.

If you do want to attract these birds, provide their favourite meaty meals like suet, dog food, or mealworms.


Emberiza citrinella

Yellowhammer perched

Close up of a perched Yellowhammer

Female yellowhammer

Female Yellowhammer

Yellowhammer diet

Seeds and grains are the most important foods to Yellowhammers

Yellowhammer close up

Close up portrait of a Yellowhammer

Yellowhammer perched on branch

Arable farmland is one of the best places to see Yellowhammers

Yellowhammer singing

Yellowhammers are extremely vocal, and their distinctive song is familiar to many


16cm to 16.5cm


23cm to 29.5cm


25g to 36g

Yellowhammer Song

Samuel Jones, XC568308. Accessible at


The Yellowhammer (Emberiza citrinella) is a brightly coloured bunting species that will visit garden bird feeding tables, particularly in winter when seeds become a more important part of their diet.

Both sexes are boldly marked in yellow plumage with black-streaked rufous upper parts. However, males are certainly the most colourful.

The Yellowhammer has a wide distribution in the United Kingdom, particularly in the Southeast. However, they are absent from many higher-lying areas.

Sadly, the species has suffered significant declines and is on the UK’s conservation red list.


Garrulus glandarius

Jay bird uk

Eurasian Jays are the most colourful member of the Crow family in the UK

Jay close up

Close up of a Eurasian Jay

Jay diet

Perched Jay collecting walnuts in its beak

Jay habitat

Jays are mainly found in, or close to woodland

Jay spread wings

Eurasian Jay with spread wings

Jay drinking water

Close up of a Jay taking a drink of water

Jay in flight

Eurasian Jay in flight

Jay in winter

Jay perched on a tree in the winter


34cm to 35cm


52cm to 58cm


140g to 190g

2 Jays Calling

Simon Elliott, XC602414. Accessible at


The Jay (Garrulus glandarius) is a beautiful woodland bird from the same family as magpies, crows, and ravens.

These colourful corvids are instantly recognisable by their pastel pinkish plumage, bold black moustache stripe, and the bright blue barred feathers on their wings.

Eurasian Jays will visit mature gardens, especially where they can find their favourite food - acorns.

Birdwatchers can also attract these shy birds by providing suet, peanuts, and sunflower seeds.

Great Spotted Woodpecker

Dendrocopos major

Great spotted woodpecker
Great spotted woodpecker in flight

Great Spotted Woodpecker in-flight through the forest

Great spotted woodpecker calling

Great Spotted Woodpecker calling from the top of a tree stump

Great spotted woodpecker feeding young

Great Spotted Woodpecker female feeding its young

Great spotted woodpecker perching on side of tree trunk

Great Spotted Woodpecker clambering on a tree trunk

Great spotted woodpecker at watering hole

Great Spotted Woodpecker drinking from a watering hole in the forest

Great spotted woodpecker at nest site

Great Spotted Woodpecker male at the nest with its young

Great spotted woodpecker resting on tree stump

Great Spotted Woodpecker resting on top of the stump of a tree

Great spotted woodpecker in flight in natural habitat

Great Spotted Woodpecker in-flight


20cm to 24cm


34cm to 39cm


68g to 93g

Great Spotted Woodpecker

The Great Spotted Woodpecker (Dendrocopos major) is a common woodland bird from Wales, England, and southern Scotland.

These black, white, and red birds often visit mature gardens where they will readily feed from bird feeders offering fat balls, peanuts, and sunflower seeds.

The Great Spotted Woodpecker is a truly eye-catching bird as it scrambles along the trunks of trees and moves between perches with its characteristic dipping flight.

One of three woodpecker species in the UK, this species is larger and more common than the Lesser Spotted Woodpecker.

Eurasian Collared Dove

Streptopelia decaocto

Collared dove portrait
Collared dove 2

Collared Dove preening feathers

Collared dove in flight

Collared Dove in flight

Collared dove 1

Collared Dove drinking water

Pair of collared dove

A pair of Collared Doves

Collared dove 4

Collared Dove perched on a branch







Eurasian Collared Dove song

Albert Noorlander, XC646069. Accessible at

Collared Dove

The Collared Dove (Streptopelia decaocto) is a relative newcomer to the United Kingdom, first colonising the country in the mid-1900s.

Today, these common birds are a familiar species in gardens almost everywhere except the Highlands of Scotland.

These soft-grey coloured doves have a distinctive black band that surrounds the back half of their neck.

Collared Doves will forage for seeds and buds together with other ground feeders like Woodpigeons, and they often build their flimsy twig nests in gardens and urban areas.

European Green Woodpecker

Picus viridis

Green woodpecker
European green woodpecker 1

European Green Woodpecker perched on a branch

European green woodpecker looking out of the nest

European Green Woodpecker looking out of the nest in a tree

Female european green woodpecker digging in ants nest

European Green Woodpecker digging in ants nest

European green woodpecker in flight

European Green Woodpecker in flight

European green woodpecker 3

Close up of a European Green Woodpecker


30cm to 34cm


40cm to 42cm


180g to 220g

European Green Woodpecker Call

Mathias Götz, XC665473. Accessible at

Green Woodpecker

The Green Woodpecker (Picus viridis) is a large species with an unmistakable green back and red cap.

These impressive birds are specialist ant-eaters, but that doesn’t mean you can’t enjoy sightings in your very own garden.

European Green Woodpeckers occur across most of Wales and England but are absent from Northern Ireland and most of Scotland.

They are ground feeders that often search for ants on lawns. A healthy lawn in an established garden could certainly attract one of these shy birds.


Corvus monedula

Jackdaw in flight in natural habitat

Jackdaw in-flight in natural habitat

Jackdaw on the ground calling

Jackdaw calling out

Jackdaws on the ground feeding

Pair of Jackdaws feeding on the ground

Jackdaw foraging in open landscape

Jackdaw foraging in open landscape

Pair of jackdaws

Pair of Jackdaws perched together on a branch

Flock of jackdaws

Flock of Jackdaws in-flight and roosting in the trees

Jackdaw in flight blue sky

Jackdaw in-flight




67cm to 74cm


140g to 270g


The Jackdaw (Corvus monedula) is a small crow species with piercing pale blue eyes and a black face. The rest of their body is a dark grey shade.

These adaptable corvids are common in many habitats, including gardens across the United Kingdom.

The Jackdaw will readily visit bird tables, and they are small enough to feed from hanging bird feeders. These fascinating birds also nest in buildings and trees in established gardens.

Jackdaws are resident in the United Kingdom, and you can enjoy sightings throughout the year.


Regulus regulus

Goldcrest 2
Goldcrest 4

Goldcrest from behind

Goldcrest singing

Goldcrest singing

Goldcrest 1


Goldcrest 6

Close up of a Goldcrests face

Goldcrest 8

Goldcrest on a tree branch

Goldcrest with chick

Goldcrest with chick







Goldcrest Song / Call

Marcin Urbański, XC639558. Accessible at


The Goldcrest (Regulus regulus) is the UK's smallest bird and a lovely species to observe in your own garden.

These tiny birds weigh just six grams or less and are named for their black and yellow crowns.

The Goldcrest is a short-lived species, common all over the UK. Attract these birds in the winter by providing small morsels of mild cheese, suet, or mealworms.


Pyrrhula pyrrhula

Juvenile bullfinch

Juvenile Bullfinch


Bullfinches are small birds, slightly larger than Robins

Bullfinch eating berries

Bullfinch eating berries

Bullfinch habitat

Bullfinch searching for a drink of water

Bullfinch in flight

Bullfinch (female) in flight

Bullfinch perched in tree

Male Bullfinch perched in a tree

Bullfinch nest

Bullfinch nest with four eggs inside

Bullfinch pair

Female (left) and male (right) Eurasian Bullfinches perched on a branch

Bullfinch at feeder

Bullfinch at a feeder, eating sunflower seeds


14.5cm to 16cm


22cm to 26cm


21g to 38g

Bullfinch Call

Simon Elliott, XC602105. Accessible at


The Bullfinch (Pyrrhula pyrrhula) is a robust finch species with a heavy bill for crushing seeds.

Males have fiery red bellies and grey backs, while females have brown backs and greyish underparts.

Unfortunately, the Bullfinch is on the UK’s amber list due to declines in the late 1900s.

These beautiful finches are not the commonest of garden birds, but they can be attracted by providing a clean source of water, and a quality bird seed mix.

What are garden birds?

Garden birds do not fall into any scientific classification but rather comprise a collection of generally small to medium-sized species that frequent gardens.

Established gardens with a variety of plants provide wonderful habitats for many bird species, particularly those that are naturally adapted to life in woodlands.

How to attract more garden birds

Birds are naturally attracted to environments where they can find food, water, and shelter. Landscaping your garden to attract birds is an excellent way to create a haven for local birdlife, but you don’t necessarily have to go to extremes.

Simply providing fresh, healthy food sources such as seeds, nuts, fruit, mealworms, and fat balls will attract a great variety of garden bird species. A regularly cleaned birdbath or water feature is another effective way to attract more feathered friends.

Blue tit and Great tit eating peanuts from a bird feeder

Blue tit and Great tit eating peanuts from a bird feeder

Best bird food for garden birds

Different birds prefer different food sources, so it would be difficult to pick the single best food for British and Irish garden birds. If you were to choose just one, a quality wild bird seed mix would be a good choice. Many birds will feed on seeds, including finches, doves, sparrows and tits.

Of course, there are many other great food sources to attract wild birds to your garden. Try the following food types to attract an even greater variety of garden birds:

  • Mealworms
  • Fat balls/suet
  • Fruit

What is the most common garden bird in the UK?

The House Sparrow is the most common garden bird in the UK, with over 1.7 million individuals counted in 2022. Despite their abundance, these birds are in decline, so welcome them to your garden by creating a bird-friendly environment for these familiar birds to enjoy.

House Sparrows are the most common bird spotted in UK gardens

House Sparrows are the most common bird spotted in UK gardens

What is the largest garden bird in the UK?

The Wood Pigeon is the biggest common bird species in most UK gardens. However, larger species such as Carrion Crows, Buzzards, Sparrowhawks, Red Kites, and even Mallards may visit your garden, especially if you live in a rural area and have a large garden with suitable habitat.

The largest, most common garden bird species in the UK, the Woodpigeon

The largest, most common garden bird species in the UK, the Woodpigeon

What is the smallest garden bird in the UK?

The UK's smallest garden bird is the enchanting little Goldcrest. They share the title of Britain’s smallest bird with the similar (but rarer) Firecrest.

The smallest garden bird species in the UK, the Goldcrest

The smallest garden bird species in the UK, the Goldcrest

How many types of garden birds are there in the UK?

Of the over 600 bird species recorded in the UK, twenty to thirty are common in gardens. The diversity of species varies depending on where you live and the quality of the surrounding habitats.

However, watching the skies above your home will reveal many more bird species, particularly in the mornings and evenings, as birds leave and return to their evening roosts.

What garden birds are native to the UK?

Practically all the bird species that regularly visit UK gardens are native to the country.

The only common exceptions are Feral Pigeons, which descend from the wild Rock Dove that is indeed native to Scotland and Ireland, and the Ring-necked Parakeet, which has become feral in the Southeast.

Are garden birds protected in the UK?

All wild bird species in the UK are protected by law (Wildlife and Countryside Act 1981). This protection includes their young, eggs, and even nests. Consider the consequences for garden birds before doing any major work in your garden or renovations on your home.

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