Male Mandarin Duck, Aix galericulata, at Martin Mere waterbird habitat / wetlands at Burscough, Lancashire, England

A comprehensive list compiled by the British Ornithologists Union reveals that 574 species of birds call Britain home for at least part of each year. Some haven’t been sighted for more than 70 years while others are foreign species, such as Ring-necked Parakeets, that have escaped from captivity and that are now thriving in self-sustaining populations. Then there are numerous species of migratory birds that visit Britain to breed, to escape from colder climates, or that are simply passing through on their way to somewhere warmer to spend the winter months.

With time, patience, and a little luck it’s not hard to see a wide range of our feathered friends in their natural habitats, and on this site you’ll be introduced not only to some of the most common British birds but also to several of the most beautiful species.

The birds shown here, the majority of which were photographed in the wild, include owls and other birds of prey, waterbirds, migratory and introduced species, and birds that are familiar urban residents.

To view a list of the birds that are featured in this photo gallery   

  • Arctic Tern, Sterna paradisaea
  • Barn Owl, Tyto alba
  • Blackbird, Turdus merula
  • Black-headed Gull, Chroicocephalus ridibundus
  • Canada Goose, Branta canadensis
  • Chaffinch, Fringilla coelebs
  • Dusky Moorhen, Gallinula chloropus
  • Eagle Owl, Bubo bubo
  • Eider Duck, Somateria mollissima
  • Emperor Goose, Chen canigica
  • Falcated Duck, Mareca falcata,
  • Gadwall Duck, Mareca strepera
  • Grey Heron, Ardea cinerea
  • Garganey Duck, Anas querquedula
  • Gannet, Morus bassanus
  • Herring Gull, Larus argentatus
  • Mandarin Duck, Aix galericulata
  • Peregrine Falcon, Falco peregrinus
  • Pheasant, Phasianus colchicus
  • Pied Oystercatcher, Haematopus ostralegus
  • Puffin, Fratercula arctica
  • Red-breasted Goose, Branta ruficollis
  • Robin Redbreast, Erithacus rubecula
  • Tawny Owl, Strix aluco
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