how many bird species in the uk

Seeing birds lifts our spirits and makes us smile – see more in 2021. Our friends at Birdwatching Magazine are again encouraging their readers to try the “200 Challenge” and get out more to enjoy watching birds. What a wonderful idea if you have not seen Birdwatching Magazine we highly recommend you subscribe to this monthly publication – worth it to read Ruth’s regular column alone! The magazine is packed with great advice on how to enjoy your birdwatching even more and lots of amazing photographs to inspire you to see more birds here and abroad.

The redwing, a winter thrush native to Scandinavia, is a common sight in parks, fields, and forests. It can be identified by the distinct white line above its eye.

Eurasian Wigeon: These birds are widely distributed and the majority of those sighted in the UK during the winter months migrate here. Look for them near lakes, reservoirs, marshes, and the coast.

The Great Spotted Woodpecker is a common bird to watch and listen for in gardens and woodland areas. When the trees are leafless and they are beginning to “drum” on dead branches, they are easier to spot.

Our smallest bird, the goldcrest, is once more more visible when the bushes and trees are bare. In the winter, they occasionally travel with flocks of tits, so if you come across a feeding flock, carefully examine each bird. Keep an eye out for these small jewels in parks, forests, bushes, and expansive gardens.

Lesser Redpoll: This little finch is harder to locate and somewhat smaller. Lesser Redpolls are common in the UK during the winter, and they occasionally feed in mixed flocks with Siskins, so there’s a chance to see two excellent birds. They adore alder trees and are frequently found in moist areas, such as by rivers, streams, and damp areas of forests.

Lapwing: These stunning waders can be found on open fields, marshes, and along the coast. In the winter, they gather in large flocks. These birds are a prime example of a “look up” species because they frequently move about in search of open ground to feed during periods of snow or prolonged icy weather. Large flocks of them can be seen flying over any region of the United Kingdom. If you do come across a flock of lapwings, be sure to thoroughly inspect them for Golden Plovers, as they share similar winter habitats and frequently form mixed flocks. The main takeaway from the 200 in 2021 challenge is to get outside and enjoy more bird watching! Birds are wonderful creatures that can take us to amazing places and allow us to share our love of them with others. It’s amazing how most people will have a bird “story” to tell if you bring up birds in a conversation. Get outside and enjoy more birds whenever you can because they are a happy and uplifted species! To learn more about Birdwatching Magazine’s “My 200 Bird Year” challenge, go to…

BTO uses and supports the taxonomic listing that the British Ornithologists’ Union (BOU) recommends in its British List for our work. We also use that list to build our own bird species table so that users can easily access important sections of the British List and our own BirdFacts information.

The table lists the common and scientific names, as well as the BTO two- and five-letter codes and its status in Britain. The breeding season population size is provided (unless it is very small or the species is confined to the winter, in which case the winter or, if applicable, passage population is provided). With the exception of those that indicate the total number of records (since 1950), all estimates are per year.


What is the most numerous bird in the UK?

The Wren is the UK’s most common breeding bird and likes to feed on insects and spiders so try not to be too tidy in your garden and leave some areas where insects and spiders can make a home.

What birds are only found in the UK?

The Scottish Crossbill is a thick-set finch with a large head and bill. It’s very difficult to distinguish from the other members of the crossbill family. It’s the UK’s only endemic bird species (one found nowhere else in the world).

How many bird species are there in Australia?

And with around 850 species of birds in Australia – 45% of them found nowhere else – what better place to get your avian kicks? So if you think Eckies are specky, finches take your fancy, or Rock Parrots rock your world, allow us to share with you our top 10 favourite Aussie birds!