what is the biggest bird in the uk

Great Britain isn’t known for its large wildlife and many of us might be surprised at some of the majestic birds that can be found around the UK. Many of these birds are natives that breed here, or are found all through the year. There are also a few others that stop by for a short-stay as part of their annual migration. Britain’s largest bird weighs up to 12kg which is the same as 300 sparrows. This list will tell you the 10 biggest birds in Britain and give you clues on how to find them. We will also crown Britain’s overall biggest bird. Our list is ordered by largest mass, but it we will also show length and wingspan which are the other common measurements for birds.

Commonly found by rivers, lakes or stealing coi carp out of your garden pond. Grey Herons are often seen standing upright on their long legs at the side of water and found all across the British Isles throughout the year. They are easily recognised by their white head and black crest.

In Ancient Egypt, they were associated with the god of creation due to their ability to hunt and fish. They often stand motionless at the water’s edge, patiently waiting for their prey, which primarily consists of fish, frogs, insects, and small mammals. When an opportunity arises, they strike swiftly with their sharp beak. These abilities have led to them being depicted in art, folklore, and literature, symbolising patience, wisdom, and a connection to the natural world.

They stand taller than most other birds on this list but their slender build means they are down at number 10.

Cormorants are large waterbirds often found perched on cliffs or trees with wings outstretched. They are most common along the coast but can be seen at some freshwater areas. With a sleek and elongated body, the Common Cormorant is predominantly black, with a glossy plumage that shines brilliantly under the sun. It possesses a long, hooked bill and piercing yellow eyes that give it an intense and focused gaze. Its muscular neck allows for effortless diving and swimming underwater, where it showcases its remarkable fishing skills.

Known for their fondness for fish in large quantities Gannets nest in cliffs around the coast of the UK. Despite the seemingly large population of over 200,000 pairs, which makes up over half the world’s population Gannets are actually on the Amber list for endangered species because the population is limited to a small number of locations.

They are large white birds with black tipped wings and a yellow cap. They are larger than even the biggest seagulls with a longer neck and beak.

The UK’s largest goose has been a familiar site in UK parks and areas of freshwater ever since their introduction by Charles II to St James’s Park in 1665. The population has spread across the country and is now thriving with over 160,000 birds. Look out for the black head and neck with the white chin-strap and listen for the loud honking sounds they produce.

The Capercaillie is a large grouse found in the pine woods of Northern Scotland. They are known for the flamboyant mating displays put on by males during breeding season which are known as ‘lekking’. This involves them fanning their huge tails and making a series of unusual clicking and gurgling noises. The males are black with brown wings, red eyes and a greenish chest. Females are smaller and brown and orange. Capercaillies are an endangered species in the UK and due to their sensitivity and vulnerability birdwatchers are advised not to go looking for Capercaillie

Disqualified on a technicality

Length: Up to 115cm

Wingspan: Up to 270cm

Weight: Up to 18kg

After more than 180 years of extinction, the Great Bustard, a famous and historically significant bird species, has been successfully reintroduced to the UK. This massive conservation project, which started in the early 2000s, was concentrated on Wiltshire’s Salisbury Plain, a sizable expanse of farmland and grassland. Carefully selected Great Bustards were obtained from populations in Russia, where the birds continue to flourish. Following a period of quarantine and acclimatization, the bustards were allowed to return to the wild. Breeding pairs are successfully establishing territories and producing offspring as a result of the project. Great Bustards are an endangered species, but there is hope for their long-term survival as their population in the UK is slowly increasing. In order to ensure the continued success of the reintroduction, efforts to monitor and protect these birds as well as cooperation between conservation organizations and local communities have been essential.

The Dalmatian Pelican is another enormous bird that has been seen in the UK. Due to habitat loss and persecution, Dalmatian Pelicans, who were formerly native to the British Isles, eventually vanished. They were declared extinct in the UK by the late 17th century. But recent sporadic sightings of these magnificent birds have raised hopes for their eventual return. A Dalmatian Pelican unexpectedly appeared in Norfolk in 2005, the first confirmed sighting in more than 150 years. Since then, a few more people have been seen, most of whom are probably from continental Europe. These sightings demonstrate the possibility of recolonization in the event that appropriate habitat and conservation measures are implemented.

Length: 75-88cm

Wingspan: 204-220cm

Weight: Up to 6.6kg (female)

Population: There are 510 breeding pairs in the Scottish highlands.

what is the biggest bird in the uk

Most likely, you’ll spot their recognizable silhouette as they soar over moors, heaths, and mountains with their massive, strong wings. Should you be fortunate enough to witness one up close, you will observe that it has a tawny head and a dark brown body.

The Scottish Highlands and the Isles of Skye, Lewis, and Harris are the best places to see Loch Garten in Abernethy is one of the best reserves to see eagles. Since they frequently return to the same nests each year, it is possible to predict where to find them.

Find out more about Golden Eagles…

The 19th century saw the introduction of this peculiar little owl to Britain. The little owl, which was once only found in the south of England, is now found as far north as Northumberland. This owl is unusual in that it primarily hunts during the day, consuming worms, big insects, and small mammals. During the breeding season, the small owl will even go after small birds. The little owl uses abandoned rabbit burrows as well as holes in walls and trees to make its nests.

The hen harrier was a ground nesting bird that, like many other birds of prey, was persecuted. Habitat loss contributed to the reduction in numbers. A notable distinction between the grey male and the dark brown female During the breeding season, the male is frequently observed feeding the female while she is in flight. Typically found in open, sparsely vegetated areas in Northern England and Scotland, they are more frequently sighted in the South in the winter. The hen harrier consumes ground nesting birds and small mammals for food.

Wintering in Africa, the hobby is practiced throughout the United Kingdom for breeding purposes, particularly in the summer months in the Southern and Eastern counties of England, Southeast Wales, and Southeast Scotland. This tiny, swift falcon will feed on bats, tiny birds, and large insects. Mostly seen at dusk, as the prey becomes active. The pastime uses the abandoned nests of crows, magpies, and even squirrels instead of creating its own nests.

The peregrine falcon endured direct human persecution for a long time. A “shoot to kill” policy was in place during both World Wars because the peregrine was killing a lot of carrier pigeons. Another factor in their demise was the introduction of pesticides into the food chain, which killed the birds that were eating crops. Their numbers have now been restored because of the Falconry Community’s commitment and diligence. The swiftest animal on the planet, capable of exceeding 200 miles per hour Because they nest atop tall buildings and consume city pigeons, peregrines have successfully adapted to life in urban areas. The peregrine falcon, which only eats birds, places its eggs right on ledges made of rock or concrete.

In the British Isles, only the white gyrfalcon, which is native to Greenland and Canada, has been sighted. The gyr is the largest of the falcon family. This formidable bird can take down seabirds and geese. In the tundra, the gyr will nest on rocky ledges.

4. UK’s Largest bird of prey – White-Tailed Eagle

Length: 70-90cm

Wingspan: 200-240cm

Weight: Up to 7kg

Population: 150 breeding pairs.

what is the biggest bird in the uk

Though a small number have been reintroduced to the Isle of Wight and the east coast of Scotland, the west coast of Scotland is the best place to find White-Tailed Eagles.

As it soars and glides high in the sky, keep an eye out for its enormous, broad wings. It can be distinguished from the similar Golden Eagle by its bright white tail.


What is the largest flying bird in the UK?

The World’s heaviest flying bird, The Great Bustard, was reintroduced to the Wiltshire landscape in 2004 after an absence of more than 180 years. The birds can reach 3ft tall and can have a wingspan of more than 8ft.

What is the largest bird of prey in UK?

The White-tailed Eagle is the largest UK bird of prey.

Which is the biggest bird in English?

Ostrich (Struthio camelus) The biggest of all the birds on Earth, both in size and weight, is undoubtedly the ostrich. These behemoth birds grow up to 9 feet (2.7 meters) tall and can weigh up to 287 pounds (130 kilograms), according to San Diego Zoo Wildlife Alliance.

Are there any eagles in the UK?

The white-tailed eagle will also hunt mammals and waterfowl, as well as eating carrion. The majority of the population in Britain is found only in the highlands and islands of the west of Scotland, with a few pairs around Fife and the glens of Angus.