List of birds of Great Britain

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The list of British birds comprises all those bird species which have occurred in a wild state in Great Britain. In general the avifauna of Britain is similar to that of Europe, although with fewer breeding species. There are 596 species of birds on the British list as of 5 December 2013, with the latest addition white-winged scoter (Melanitta deglandi).[1] slender-billed curlew (Numenius tenuirostris) has been removed from the list as a review of the only record concluded that the identification was not proven.[1] The species order and scientific names used here follow that of the Official British List, maintained by the British Ornithologists' Union (BOU).[2] Decisions relating to the British List are published by the British Ornithologists' Union Records Committee (BOURC) in its annual reports in Ibis, the journal of the BOU. These reports were formerly geographically based, and included the whole of the British Isles, but records for the Republic of Ireland and Northern Ireland are now published by their own ornithological associations. Records from the Isle of Man, although adjudicated by the Manx Ornithological Society, continue to be published in the BOU reports.[3]

The BOU uses the following categories for British bird species:[3]

  • A: species which have been recorded in an apparently natural state at least once since 1 January 1950.
  • B: species which were recorded in an apparently natural state at least once between 1 January 1800 and 31 December 1949, but have not been recorded subsequently.
  • C: species that, although originally introduced by man, either deliberately or accidentally, have established breeding populations derived from introduced stock, that maintain themselves without necessary recourse to further introduction.

Categories A, B and C constitute the Official British List. Birds can be listed in more than one category, for example the Canada goose has a large introduced population, but there have also been a few naturally occurring vagrants, so it meets the criteria for categories A and C. Two further categories are used for record keeping only

  • D: species that would otherwise appear in Categories A or B except that there is reasonable doubt that they have ever occurred in a natural state.
  • E: species that have been recorded as introductions, transportees or escapees from captivity, and whose breeding populations (if any) are thought not to be self-sustaining.

Birds in Categories D and E are not on the official British List, and are not included here. A sixth category, Category F, is being compiled to include species recorded before 1800 including fossil species.[4]

Species listed as rare here are those for which a full description is required for acceptance of the record by the British Birds Rarities Committee. Other species have an indication of their breeding and wintering status in Great Britain.

Because of its mild winters, Great Britain has a considerable population of wintering species, particularly ducks, geese and swans. There are also a number of species, such as oystercatcher, which are resident in this island, but migrants elsewhere. Also because of its position, Britain receives a number of vagrants from Asia and North America. Some American gulls, ducks and waders are regular enough not to be considered rare. These include ring-billed gull, surf scoter and pectoral sandpiper; 150 of the latter species were found in Britain in the record month of September 2003, with a further 40 in Ireland.


Table of contents

Non-passerines
Ducks, geese and swansGrousePheasants, partridges and quailDiversAlbatrossesShearwaters and petrelsStorm petrelsGannetsCormorantsFrigatebirdsTropicbirds
Bitterns, herons and egretsStorksIbises and spoonbillsGrebesOspreyBuzzards, kites and alliesFalconsRails, crakes and cootsCranesBustardsOystercatchersAvocets and stiltsThick-knees
Pratincoles and coursersPlovers and lapwingsSandpipers and alliesSkuasGullsTernsAuksPigeons and dovesParrotsCuckoosBarn owlsTypical owlsNightjarsSwiftsKingfishersBee-eatersRollersHoopoeWoodpeckers

Passerines
Tyrant flycatchersVireosOld World oriolesShrikesCrows and alliesKingletsPenduline titsTitsBearded TitLarksSwallows and martinsBush warblerLong-tailed titsLeaf warblersTypical warblersGrasshopper warblersReed warblersCisticolasWaxwingsWallcreeperNuthatchesTreecreepersWrensMockingbirds and alliesStarlingsDippersThrushesOld World flycatchers and chatsAccentorsSparrowsWagtails and pipitsFinchesLongspursCardinals and allies
Buntings and American sparrowsIcteridsNew World warblers

   Footnotes       Cited text

Ducks, geese and swans[edit]

Order: Anseriformes. Family: Anatidae

The swans, ducks and geese are medium to large birds that are modified for an aquatic existence with webbed feet and bills which are flattened to a greater or lesser extent. In many ducks the male is colourful while the female is dull brown. The diet consists of a variety of animals and plants. The family is well represented in Britain, especially in winter when large numbers visit from Greenland, Scandinavia and Russia. There are about 160 species worldwide with 55 in Britain.

Common and binomial name Image Status
Mute swan
(Cygnus olor)
Mute swan (cygnus olor).JPG
A & C resident breeding species
Tundra swan or Bewick's swan
(Cygnus columbianus)
Cygnus bewickii 01.jpg
A winter visitor
Whooper swan
(Cygnus cygnus)
Singschwan.jpg
A winter visitor and occasional breeder
Bean goose
(Anser fabalis)
Bean.goose.600pix.jpg
A winter visitor
Pink-footed goose
(Anser brachyrhynchus)
Anser brachyrhynchus.jpg
A winter visitor
Greater white-fronted goose
(Anser albifrons)
White-fronted.goose.750pix.jpg
A winter visitor
Lesser white-fronted goose
(Anser erythropus)
Anser erythropus.jpg
A rare vagrant
Greylag goose
(Anser anser)
Greylag goose swimming (anser anser).jpg
A & C resident wild and feral populations, winter visitor
Snow goose
(Anser caerulescens)
Chen caerulescens 32398.JPG
A & C resident introduced population, some wild vagrants
Greater Canada goose
(Branta canadensis)
Branta canadensis (5).JPG
A & C resident introduced population, some wild vagrants
Barnacle goose
(Branta leucopsis)
Branta leucopsis -standing in a field-8.jpg
A & C winter visitor and resident introduced population
Brent goose
(Branta bernicla)
Brent Goose.jpg
A winter visitor
Red-breasted goose
(Branta ruficollis)
Red-breasted goose arp.jpg
A rare vagrant
Egyptian goose
(Alopochen aegyptiaca)
Alopochen-aegyptiacus.jpg
C resident introduced population
Ruddy shelduck
(Tadorna ferruginea)
Ruddy shelduck arp.jpg
B Records since 1946 are presumed escapes from captivity
Common shelduck
(Tadorna tadorna)
Common Shelduck (Tadorna tadorna) at Sylvan Heights.jpg
A resident breeder and winter visitor
Mandarin duck
(Aix galericulata)
Aix galericulata - Zürich - Hafen Riesbach 2011-01-14 15-58-32.JPG
C resident introduced population
Eurasian wigeon
(Anas penelope)
Anas penelope kuribo cropped.jpg
A resident breeder and winter visitor
American wigeon
(Anas americana)
Anas americana - drake.jpg
A scarce migrant
Gadwall
(Anas strepera)
Anas-strepera-001.jpg
A & C resident breeder and winter visitor
Baikal teal
(Anas formosa)
Anas.formosa.4.jpg
A rare vagrant
Eurasian teal
(Anas crecca)
Common Teal (Anas crecca) near Hodal, Haryana W IMG 6512.jpg
A resident breeder and winter visitor
Green-winged teal
(Anas carolinensis)
Anas carolinensis (Green-winged Teal) male.jpg
A scarce migrant
Mallard
(Anas platyrhynchos)
Anas platyrhynchos male female quadrat.jpg
A & C resident breeder, winter visitor, and naturalised releases
American black duck
(Anas rubripes)
American Black Duck male RWD1.jpg
A rare vagrant
Northern pintail
(Anas acuta)
Northern Pintails (Male & Female) I IMG 0911.jpg
A resident breeder and winter visitor
Garganey
(Anas querquedula)
Garganey (Anas querquedula) RWD3.jpg
A breeding summer visitor
Blue-winged teal
(Anas discors)
Blue-Winged Teal.jpg
A rare vagrant
Northern shoveler
(Anas clypeata)
Northern Shoveler Anas clypeata.jpg
A resident breeder and winter visitor
Red-crested pochard
(Netta rufina)
Netta rufina (Red-crested Pochard) Male, London Wetland Centre - Diliff.jpg
A & C scarce migrant and introduced breeder
Canvasback
(Aythya valisineria)
Canvasback.arp.750pix.jpg
A rare vagrant
Common pochard
(Aythya ferina)
Aythya ferina Sandwell 2.jpg
A resident breeder and winter visitor
Redhead
(Aythya americana)
Redhead duck (Aythya americana, male).jpg
A rare vagrant
Ring-necked duck
(Aythya collaris)
Aythya-collaris-001.jpg
A scarce migrant
Ferruginous duck
(Aythya nyroca)
Ferruginous Duck RWD.jpg
A scarce migrant
Tufted duck
(Aythya fuligula)
Aythya-fuligula Tufted-Duck.jpg
A resident breeder and winter visitor
Greater scaup
(Aythya marila)
Greater-scaup-male2.jpg
A winter visitor and

occasional breeder

Lesser scaup
(Aythya affinis)
Veilchenente Aythya affinis 0505282.jpg
A rare vagrant
Common eider
(Somateria mollissima)
Somateria mollissima male..jpg
A resident breeder and winter visitor
King eider
(Somateria spectabilis)
Somateria spectabilis -Central Park Zoo, New York, USA -male-8a.jpg
A rare vagrant
Steller's eider
(Polysticta stelleri)
Stellersdrake2.jpg
A rare vagrant
Harlequin duck
(Histrionicus histrionicus)
Histrionicus histrionicus drake Barnegat.jpg
A rare vagrant
Long-tailed duck
(Clangula hyemalis)
Long-tailed-duck.jpg
A winter visitor and

occasional breeder

Common scoter
(Melanitta nigra)
Melanitta nigra.jpg
A resident breeder and winter visitor
Black scoter
(Melanitta americana)
BlackScoter23.jpg
A rare vagrant
Surf scoter
(Melanitta perspicillata)
Melanitta perspicillata.jpg
A scarce migrant
Velvet scoter
(Melanitta fusca)
Velvet Scoter, Eyebrook Reservoir, Leics.jpg
A winter visitor
White-winged scoter
(Melanitta deglandi)
Wwscoter12.JPG
A rare vagrant
Bufflehead
(Bucephala albeola)
Bucephala-albeola-007.jpg
A rare vagrant
Barrow's goldeneye
(Bucephala islandica)
Barrows.goldeneye.male.010107.arp.jpg
A rare vagrant
Common goldeneye
(Bucephala clangula)
Common Goldeneye.jpg
A resident breeder and winter visitor
Hooded merganser
(Lophodytes cucullatus)
Hooded Merganser (Lophodytes cucullatus) (1).JPG
A rare vagrant
Smew
(Mergellus albellus)
Smew RWD1.jpg
A winter visitor
Red-breasted merganser
(Mergus serrator)
Mergus serrator -New Jersey -USA -winter-8.jpg
A resident breeder and winter visitor
Goosander
(Mergus merganser)
Mergus-merganser-americanus-001.jpg
A resident breeder and winter visitor
Ruddy duck
(Oxyura jamaicensis)
Ruddy Duck at Whipsnade Zoo.jpg
C: introduced species currently subject to an eradication programme

Grouse[edit]

Order: Galliformes. Family: Tetraonidae

Grouse are sturdy, medium-sized terrestrial birds of the northern Hemisphere. They have feathered feet and nostrils and short, rounded wings. They feed mainly on plant material and lay their eggs in a simple scrape on the ground. They are gamebirds and large numbers were shot in the past in moorland areas. There are about 19 species worldwide, 4 in Britain.

Common and binomial names Image Status
Red grouse
(Lagopus (lagopus) scotica)
Red Grouse (May 2008).jpg
A resident breeding species
Ptarmigan
(Lagopus muta)
Lagopus muta -Iceland-8.jpg
A resident breeding species
Black grouse
(Tetrao tetrix)
Black Grouse Nationalpark Bayerischer Wald.jpg
A resident breeding species
Western capercaillie
(Tetrao urogallus)
Tetrao urogallus Richard Bartz.jpg
C resident reintroduced population

Pheasants, partridges and quail[edit]

Order: Galliformes. Family: Phasianidae

These are terrestrial species, feeding and nesting on the ground. They are variable in size but generally plump, with broad and relatively short wings. There are about 155 species worldwide with 6 in Britain. 4 of these were introduced for hunting or ornamental purposes but one has now apparently died out.

Common and binomial names Image Status
Red-legged partridge
(Alectoris rufa)
Perdrix rouge.jpg
C resident introduced population
Grey partridge
(Perdix perdix)
Perdix perdix (Marek Szczepanek).jpg
A & C resident breeder and introduction
Common quail
(Coturnix coturnix)
Coturnix coturnix (Warsaw zoo)-1.JPG
A breeding summer visitor
Common pheasant
(Phasianus colchicus)
Pheasant cock (phasianus colchicus).jpg
C resident introduced population
Golden pheasant
(Chrysolophus pictus)
Chrysolophus pictus walking.JPG
C resident introduced population
Lady Amherst's pheasant
(Chrysolophus amherstiae)
Chrysolophus amherstiae 18092009.jpg
C introduced population no longer self-sustaining

Divers[edit]

Order: Gaviiformes. Family: Gaviidae

Divers are aquatic birds the size of a large duck, to which they are unrelated. They swim well, and fly adequately but, because their legs are placed towards the rear of the body, are almost hopeless on land. They feed on fish and other aquatic animals. There are 5 species worldwide with 5 in Britain.

Common and binomial names Image Status
Red-throated diver
(Gavia stellata)
Gavia Stellata Ölfusá 20090606.jpg
A resident breeder and winter visitor
Black-throated diver
(Gavia arctica)
Plongeon arctique nid.jpg
A resident breeder and winter visitor
Pacific diver
(Gavia pacifica)
PacificLoon24.jpg
A rare vagrant
Great northern diver
(Gavia immer)
Gavia immer -Minocqua, Wisconsin, USA -swimming-8.jpg
A winter visitor, has bred
White-billed diver
(Gavia adamsii)
Gavia adamsii.jpg
A rare vagrant

Albatrosses[edit]

Order: Procellariiformes. Family: Diomedeidae

The albatrosses are among the largest flying birds with long, narrow wings for gliding. The majority are found in the Southern Hemisphere with only vagrants occurring in the North Atlantic. There are at least 13 species worldwide with 2 in Britain.

Common and binomial names Image Status
Black-browed albatross
(Thalassarche melanophris)
Thalassarche melanophrys - SE Tasmania.jpg
A rare vagrant
Atlantic yellow-nosed albatross
(Thalassarche chlororhynchos)
Thalassarche chlororhynchos.png
A rare vagrant

Shearwaters and petrels[edit]

Order: Procellariiformes. Family: Procellariidae

These are highly pelagic birds with long, narrow wings and tube-shaped nostrils. They feed at sea on fish, squid and other marine life. They come to land to breed in colonies, nesting in burrows or on cliffs. There are about 77 species worldwide, 11 in Britain.

Common and binomial names Image Status
Northern fulmar
(Fulmarus glacialis)
Northern-Fulmar2 cropped.jpg
A resident and migrant breeder, passage migrant
Fea's petrel
(Pterodroma feae)
Zino's petrel sketch.png
A rare vagrant
Capped petrel
(Pterodroma hasitata)
Pterodroma hasitataPCCA20070623-3608B.jpg
B rare vagrant
Bulwer's petrel
(Bulweria bulwerii)
Bulwers petrel.jpg
A rare vagrant
Cory's shearwater
(Calonectris borealis)
CorysShearwaterBottom.jpg
A scarce migrant
Scopoli's shearwater
(Calonectris diomedea)
CorysShearwaterTop.jpg
A rare vagrant
Great shearwater
(Puffinus gravis)
Puffinus gravis - SE Tasmania.jpg
A passage migrant
Sooty shearwater
(Puffinus griseus)
Puffinus griseus in flight - SE Tasmania.jpg
A passage migrant
Manx shearwater
(Puffinus puffinus)
Puffinus puffinus -Iceland -flying-6.jpg
A breeding summer visitor
Balearic shearwater
(Puffinus mauretanicus)
Puffinus mauretanicus.jpg
A passage migrant
Macaronesian shearwater
(Puffinus baroli)
Pétrel de Barau.jpg
A rare vagrant

Storm petrels[edit]

Order: Procellariiformes. Family: Hydrobatidae

The storm-petrels are the smallest of seabirds, feeding on plankton and small fish picked from the surface, typically while hovering. They nest in colonies on the ground, most often in burrows. There are about 20 species worldwide, 5 in Britain.

Common and binomial names Image Status
Wilson's storm petrel
(Oceanites oceanicus)
Wilsons Storm Petrel (Oceanites oceanicus) webbed feet Oct 2011 Karnataka Pelagic Udupi.jpg
A rare vagrant, more regularly seen well offshore
White-faced storm petrel
(Pelagodroma marina)
Pelagodroma marina - SE Tasmania.jpg
B rare vagrant
European storm petrel
(Hydrobates pelagicus)
Hydrobates pelagicus.jpg
A breeding summer visitor
Leach's storm petrel
(Oceanodroma leucorhea)
Lesp1.jpg
A breeding summer visitor
Swinhoe's storm petrel
(Oceanodroma monorhis)
OceanodromaMonorhisSmit.jpg
A rare vagrant

Tropicbirds[edit]

Order: Phaethontiformes. Family: Phaethontidae

One species in Britain, vagrant only

Common and binomial names Image Status
Red-billed tropicbird
(Phaethon aethereus)
Red-billed-Tropicbird-ventral.jpg
A rare vagrant

Gannets[edit]

Order: Suliformes. Family: Sulidae

Gannets are large seabirds that plunge-dive for fish and nest in large colonies. They have a torpedo-shaped body, long, narrow, pointed wings and a fairly long tail. There are about 10 species worldwide with 1 in Britain.

Common and binomial names Image Status
Northern gannet
(Morus bassanus)
Morus bassanus adu.jpg
A breeding summer visitor and passage migrant

Cormorants[edit]

Order: Suliformes. Family: Phalacrocoracidae

Cormorants are medium to large aquatic birds with mainly dark plumage and areas of coloured skin on the face. The bill is long, thin, and sharply hooked for catching fish and aquatic invertebrates. They nest in colonies, usually by the sea. There are about 39 species worldwide, 3 in Britain.

Common and binomial names Image Status
Great cormorant
(Phalacrocorax carbo)
Phalacrocorax carbo Vic.jpg
A resident breeding species
Double-crested cormorant
(Phalacrocorax auritus)
Phalacrocorax-auritus-007.jpg
A rare vagrant
European shag
(Phalacrocorax aristotelis)
Shag Phalacrocorax aristotelis.jpg
A resident breeding species

Frigatebirds[edit]

Order: Suliformes. Family: Fregatidae

2 species in Britain, both rarities.

Common and binomial names Image Status
Magnificent frigatebird
(Fregata magnificens)
Fregata magnificens -Galapagos, Ecuador -male-8 (1).jpg
A rare vagrant
Ascension frigatebird
(Fregata aquila)
Ascension Frigatebird.jpg
A rare vagrant

Bitterns, herons and egrets[edit]

Order: Pelecaniformes. Family: Ardeidae


Herons and egrets are medium to large wading birds with long necks and legs. Bitterns tend to be shorter-necked and more secretive. They all fly with their necks retracted. The sharp bill is used to catch fish, amphibians and other animals. Many species nest in colonies, often in trees. There are about 63 species worldwide, 13 in Britain.

Common and binomial names Image Status
Great bittern
(Botaurus stellaris)
Botaurus stellaris (Marek Szczepanek).jpg
A resident breeding species and winter migrant
American bittern
(Botaurus lentiginosus)
Botaurus lentiginosus 28079.JPG
A rare vagrant
Little bittern
(Ixobrychus minutus)
Ixobrychus minutus -Barcelona, Spain-8.jpg
A scarce migrant, recently bred
Black-crowned night heron
(Nycticorax nycticorax)
Black-crowned Night Heron RWD7.jpg
A scarce migrant, has bred
Green heron
(Butorides virescens)
Butorides virescens2.jpg
A rare vagrant
Squacco heron
(Ardeola ralloides)
Ardeola ralloides -Lake Ravelobe, Ankarafantsika National Park, Madagascar-8.jpg
A rare vagrant
Cattle egret
(Bubulcus ibis)
Cattle Egret Retracted Neck.jpg
A scarce migrant, recently bred
Little egret
(Egretta garzetta)
Little Egret Reflection.jpg
A resident breeding species and passage migrant
Snowy egret
(Egretta thula)
SnowyEgret-Florida.jpg
A rare vagrant
Great egret
(Ardea alba)
Great Egret Fish.jpg
A scarce migrant, first bred 2012
Grey heron
(Ardea cinerea)
Ardea cinerea.jpg
A resident breeding species and winter migrant
Great blue heron
(Ardea herodias)
GBHfish5.jpg
A rare vagrant
Purple heron
(Ardea purpurea)
Ardea purpurea -Lake Baringo, Great Rift Valley, Kenya -adult and chicks-8.jpg
A scarce migrant, recently bred

Ibises and spoonbills[edit]

Order: Pelecaniformes. Family: Threskiornithidae

A family of long-legged, long-necked wading birds. Ibises have long, curved bills. Spoonbils have a flattened bill, wider at the tip. There are about 33 species worldwide with 2 in Britain.

Common and binomial names Image Status
Glossy ibis
(Plegadis falcinellus)
Glossy Ibis (Plegadis falcinellus) at Bharatpur I IMG 5384.jpg
A rare vagrant
Common spoonbill
(Platalea leucorodia)
Eurasian Spoonbill.jpg
A scarce migrant, recently bred

Storks[edit]

Order: Ciconiiformes. Family: Ciconiidae

Storks are large, heavy, long-legged, long-necked wading birds with long stout bills and wide wingspans. They fly with the neck extended. There are about 19 species worldwide with 2 occurring as vagrants in Britain.

Common and binomial names Image Status
Black stork
(Ciconia nigra)
Ciconia nigra -Kruger National Park-8.jpg
A rare vagrant
White stork
(Ciconia ciconia)
Ciconia ciconia -Mscichy, Grajewo County, Poland-8.jpg
A scarce migrant, formerly bred

Grebes[edit]

Order: Podicipediformes. Family: Podicipedidae

Grebes are small to medium-large diving birds with lobed toes and pointed bills. They are seen mainly on lowland waterbodies and coasts. They feed on aquatic animals and nest on a floating platform of vegetation. There are about 19 species worldwide with 6 in Britain.

Common and binomial names Image Status
Pied-billed grebe
(Podilymbus podiceps)
Podilymbus-podiceps-001.jpg
A rare vagrant
Little grebe
(Tachybaptus ruficollis)
Zwergtaucher 060319 3.jpg
A resident breeder and winter visitor
Great crested grebe
(Podiceps cristatus)
Podiceps cristatus 2 - Lake Dulverton.jpg
A resident breeder and winter visitor
Red-necked grebe
(Podiceps grisegena)
Podiceps griseigena 2-4c.jpg
A winter visitor, has bred
Slavonian grebe
(Podiceps auritus)
Horned grebe (2) - (Podiceps auritus).JPG
A resident breeder and winter visitor
Black-necked grebe
(Podiceps nigricollis)
Podiceps nigricollis (Marek Szczepanek)2.jpg
A resident breeder and winter visitor

Buzzards, kites and allies[edit]

Order: Accipitriformes. Family: Accipitridae

A family of birds of prey which includes hawks, buzzards, eagles, kites and harriers. These birds have very large powerful hooked beaks for tearing flesh from their prey, strong legs, powerful talons and keen eyesight. There are about 240 species worldwide, 16 in Britain.

Common and binomial names Image Status
European honey buzzard
(Pernis apivorus)
Wespenbussard European honey buzzard Pernis apivorus.jpg
A breeding summer visitor and passage migrant
Black kite
(Milvus migrans)
2007-black-kite.jpg
A scarce migrant
Red kite
(Milvus milvus)
Milvus milvus R(ThKraft).jpg
A & C resident breeder and widespread introductions
White-tailed eagle
(Haliaeetus albicilla)
Haliaeetus albicilla (Svolvær, 2012).jpg
A & C resident breeder and widespread introductions
Egyptian vulture
(Neophron percnopterus)
Egyptian vulture.jpg
B rare vagrant
Short-toed snake eagle
(Circaetus gallicus)
Short-toed Eagle with rat.jpg
A rare vagrant
Western marsh harrier
(Circus aeruginosus)
Marsh Harrier Male.jpg
A resident breeder and passage migrant
Hen harrier
(Circus cyaneus)
Northern (Hen) Harrier.jpg
A resident breeder, winter visitor and passage migrant
Pallid harrier
(Circus macrourus)
Circus macrourus roosting in little rann of kutch.JPG
A rare vagrant
Montagu's harrier
(Circus pygargus)
Montagu's Harrier- Male.JPG
A breeding summer visitor and passage migrant
Northern goshawk
(Accipiter gentilis)
Northern Goshawk ad M2.jpg
A & C resident breeder and naturalised escapes
Eurasian sparrowhawk
(Accipiter nisus)
Accnis edit.jpg
A resident breeder and passage migrant
Common buzzard
(Buteo buteo)
Buteo buteo -Netherlands-8.jpg
A resident breeder and passage migrant
Rough-legged buzzard
(Buteo lagopus)
Buteo lagopus 29283.JPG
A winter visitor
Greater spotted eagle
(Aquila clanga)
Greater spotted eagle.jpg
B rare vagrant
Golden eagle
(Aquila chrysaetos)
Aquila chrysaetos Flickr.jpg
A resident breeding species

Osprey[edit]

Order: Accipitriformes. Family: Pandionidae

A large fish-eating bird of prey belonging to a family of its own. It is mainly brown above and white below with long, angled wings.

Common and binomial names Image Status
Osprey
(Pandion haliaetus)
2010-kabini-osprey.jpg
A breeding summer visitor

Falcons[edit]

Order: Falconiformes. Family: Falconidae

A family of small to medium-sized, diurnal birds of prey with pointed wings. They do not build their own nests and mainly catch prey in the air. There are about 64 species worldwide, 10 in Britain.

Common and binomial names Image Status
Lesser kestrel
(Falco naumanni)
Male and female Lesser Kestrels.jpg
A rare vagrant
Common kestrel
(Falco tinnunculus)
Common kestrel falco tinnunculus.jpg
A resident breeding species
American kestrel
(Falco sparverius)
AmericanKestrel02.jpg
A rare vagrant
Red-footed falcon
(Falco vespertinus)
Rotfußfalke Falco vespertinus.jpg
A scarce migrant
Amur falcon
(Falco amurensis)
Falco amurensis 1.jpg
A rare vagrant
Merlin
(Falco columbarius)
Merlin prey fencepost Cochrane cropped.jpg
A resident breeding species
(Eurasian) Hobby
(Falco subbuteo)
Falco subbuteo from Kadzidlowo.jpg
A breeding summer visitor
Eleonora's falcon
(Falco eleonorae)
Eleonorenfalke1.jpg
A rare vagrant
Gyr falcon
(Falco rusticolus)
Falco rusticolus white cropped.jpg
A rare vagrant
Peregrine falcon
(Falco peregrinus)
Falco peregrinus -Nova Scotia, Canada -eating-8.jpg
A resident breeding species

Rails, crakes and coots[edit]

Order: Gruiformes. Family: Rallidae

These birds mainly occupy dense vegetation in damp environments near lakes, marshes, or rivers. Many are shy and secretive birds, difficult to observe. Most species have strong legs, and have long toes which are well adapted to soft, uneven surfaces. There are about 135 species worldwide, 11 in Britain.

Common and binomial names Image Status
Water rail
(Rallus aquaticus)
Ralaqu.jpg
A resident breeding species
Spotted crake
(Porzana porzana)
Porzana porzana 3 (Marek Szczepanek).jpg
A scarce breeding summer visitor
Sora
(Porzana carolina)
Sora (Porzana carolina).jpg
A rare vagrant
Little crake
(Porzana parva)
Porzana parva (50).jpg
A rare vagrant
Baillon's crake
(Porzana pusilla)
Baillon's crake.jpg
A rare vagrant, formerly bred
Corn crake
(Crex crex)
Corncrake2.jpg
A breeding summer visitor
Common moorhen
(Gallinula chloropus)
Moorhen (Gallinula chloropus) Wolvercote.jpg
A resident breeding species
Allen's gallinule
(Porphyrio alleni)
Porphyrio alleni Martien Brand.jpg
A rare vagrant
American purple gallinule
(Porphyrio martinicus)
PurpleGallinule.jpg
A rare vagrant
Coot
(Fulica atra)
Eurasian Coot.jpg
A resident breeding species
American coot
(Fulica americana)
American coot - June 2013.jpg
A rare vagrant

Cranes[edit]

Order: Gruiformes. Family: Gruidae

Cranes are large, long-legged and long-necked birds. Unlike the similar-looking but unrelated herons, cranes fly with necks outstretched, not pulled back. Most have elaborate and noisy courting displays or "dances". There are about 15 species worldwide, 2 in Britain.

Common and binomial names Image Status
Common crane
(Grus grus)
Grus grus 1 (Marek Szczepanek).jpg
A resident breeding species and passage migrant
Sandhill crane
(Grus americana)
Sandhill Crane (1).jpg
A rare vagrant

Bustards[edit]

Order: Otidiformes. Family: Otididae

Large, sturdy birds of open plains with long legs and necks and strong feet. There are about 26 species worldwide, 3 in Britain. They are all rarities.

Common and binomial names Image Status
Little bustard
(Tetrax tetrax)
Tetrax male 1.JPG
A rare vagrant
Macqueen's bustard
(Chlamydotis macqueenii)
Houbara035.JPG
B rare vagrant
Great bustard
(Otis tarda)
Beijing solo 026.JPG
A rare vagrant and recently reintroduced breeding resident species

Oystercatchers[edit]

Order: Charadriiformes. Family: Haematopodidae

The oystercatchers are large, obvious and noisy wading birds with strong bills used for smashing or prising open molluscs. There are about 11 species worldwide with 1 in Britain.

Common and binomial names Image Status
Eurasian oystercatcher
(Haematopus ostralegus)
Haematopus ostralegus Norway.jpg
A resident breeding species

Avocets and stilts[edit]

Order: Charadriiformes. Family: Recurvirostridae

A family of fairly large wading birds. The avocets have long legs and long up-curved bills. The stilts have extremely long legs and long, thin, straight bills. There are about 10 species worldwide with 2 in Britain.

Common and binomial names Image Status
Black-winged stilt
(Himantopus himantopus)
Himantopus himantopus - Pak Thale.jpg
A rare vagrant and occasional breeder
Pied avocet
(Recurvirostra avosetta)
Pied Avocet Recurvirostra avosetta.jpg
A resident breeding species

Thick-knees[edit]

Order: Charadriiformes. Family: Burhinidae

A small family of medium to large waders with strong black bills, large yellow eyes and cryptic plumage. There are 9 species worldwide with 1 in Britain.

Common and binomial names Image Status
Stone curlew
(Burhinus oedicnemus)
Burhinus oedicnemus0.jpg
A breeding summer visitor

Pratincoles and coursers[edit]

Order: Charadriiformes. Family: Glareolidae

A family of slender, long-winged wading birds. There are 17 species worldwide, 4 in Britain.

Common and binomial names Image Status
Cream-coloured courser
(Cursorius cursor)
Cream-coloured Courser.jpg
A rare vagrant
Collared pratincole
(Glareola pratincola)
Glareola pratincola in Ambosélie National Park kenya.jpg
A rare vagrant
Oriental pratincole
(Glareola maldivarum)
Glareola maldivarum - Beung Borapet.jpg
A rare vagrant
Black-winged pratincole
(Glareola nordmanni)
Naumann Glareola pratincola Glareola nordmanni.jpg
A rare vagrant

Plovers and lapwings[edit]

Order: Charadriiformes. Family: Charadriidae

Small to medium-sized wading birds with compact bodies, short, thick necks and long, usually pointed, wings. There are about 66 species worldwide, 16 in Britain.

Common and binomial names Image Status
Little ringed plover
(Charadrius dubius)
Charadrius dubius - Laem Pak Bia.jpg
A breeding summer visitor
Ringed plover
(Charadrius hiaticula)
Charadrius hiaticula tundrae Varanger.jpg
A resident breeding species and summer visitor
Semipalmated plover
(Charadrius semipalmatus)
Semipalmated Plover.jpg
A rare vagrant
Killdeer
(Charadrius vociferus)
Killdeer.jpg
A rare vagrant
Kentish plover
(Charadrius alexandrinus)
Snowy Plover srgb.jpg
A scarce migrant, formerly bred
Lesser sand plover
(Charadrius mongolus)
Charadrius mongolus - Laem Phak Bia.jpg
A rare vagrant
Greater sand plover
(Charadrius leschenaultii)
Greater Sand Plover.jpg
A rare vagrant
Caspian plover
(Charadrius asiaticus)
Charadrius asiaticus.jpg
A rare vagrant
Eurasian dotterel
(Charadrius morinellus)
Charadrius morinellus male.jpg
A breeding summer visitor
American golden plover
(Pluvialis dominica)
Pluvialis dominica1.jpg
A scarce migrant
Pacific golden plover
(Pluvialis fulva)
Pluvialis fulva -Bering Land Bridge National Preserve, Alaska, USA-8.jpg
A rare vagrant
European golden plover
(Pluvialis apricaria)
Rohkunborri Pluvialis Apricaria.jpg
A winter visitor and passage migrant, scarce breeder
Grey plover
(Pluvialis squatarola)
Pluvialis squatarola (summer plumage).jpg
A winter visitor and passage migrant
Sociable lapwing
(Vanellus gregarius)
SociablePlover.jpg
A rare vagrant
White-tailed lapwing
(Vanellus leucurus)
White tailed Lapwing I IMG 9928.jpg
A rare vagrant
Lapwing
(Vanellus vanellus)
Northern Lapwing new.jpg
A resident breeding species

Sandpipers and allies[edit]

Order: Charadriiformes. Family: Scolopacidae

A large, diverse family of wading birds. Different lengths of legs and bills enable different species to feed in the same habitat, particularly on the coast, without direct competition for food. There are about 89 species worldwide, 54 in Britain.

Common and binomial names Image Status
Great knot
(Calidris tenuirostris)
Calidris tenuirostris - Laem Phak Bia.jpg
A rare vagrant
Red knot
(Calidris canutus)
Calidris canutus (summer).jpg
A winter visitor and passage migrant
Sanderling
(Calidris alba)
Calidris alba - Laem Phak Bia.jpg
A winter visitor & passage migrant
Semipalmated sandpiper
(Calidris pusilla)
Calidris-pusilla-001.jpg
A rare vagrant
Western sandpiper
(Calidris mauri)
Western Sandpiper.jpg
A rare vagrant
Red-necked stint
(Calidris ruficollis)
Calidris ruficollis - Marion Bay.jpg
A rare vagrant
Little stint
(Calidris minuta)
Little Stint (Calidris minuta) (1).jpg
A winter visitor & passage migrant
Temminck's stint
(Calidris temminckii)
Temmincks Stint.jpg
A winter visitor & passage migrant, occasional breeder
Long-toed stint
(Calidris subminuta)
Calidris subminuta - Pak Thale.jpg
A rare vagrant
Least sandpiper
(Calidris minutilla)
Least Sandpiper Don Edwards WR 1.jpg
A rare vagrant
White-rumped sandpiper
(Calidris fuscicollis)
White-rumped Sandpiper.jpg
A scarce migrant
Baird's sandpiper
(Calidris bairdii)
Calidris bairdii -Gullbringusysla, Iceland-8.jpg
A rare vagrant
Pectoral sandpiper
(Calidris melanotos)
Pectoral-sandpiper-floreana.jpg
A winter visitor & passage migrant
Sharp-tailed sandpiper
(Calidris acuminata)
Calidris acuminata P4278959.jpg
A rare vagrant
Curlew sandpiper
(Calidris ferruginea)
Limicola falcinelluas - Pak Thale.jpg
A winter visitor and passage migrant
Stilt sandpiper
(Calidris himantopus)
Calidris himantopus.jpg
A rare vagrant
Purple sandpiper
(Calidris maritima)
Calidris maritima.jpg
A winter visitor & passage migrant, occasional breeder
Dunlin
(Calidris alpina)
Calidris alpina juv.jpg
A winter visitor and passage migrant, scarce breeder
Broad-billed sandpiper
(Limicola falcinellus)
Limicola falcinellus Taiwan cropped.jpg
A rare vagrant
Buff-breasted sandpiper
(Tryngites subruficollis)
Tryngites subruficollis -USA-8.jpg
A passage migrant
Ruff
(Philomachus pugnax)
Philomachus pugnax -Diergaarde Blijdorp-8c.jpg
A passage migrant and scarce breeding resident
Jack snipe
(Lymnocryptes minimus)
Lymnocryptes minimus (Marek Szczepanek).jpg
A winter visitor & passage migrant
Common snipe
(Gallinago gallinago)
Gallinago gallinago a1.JPG
A resident breeding species and summer visitor
Wilson's snipe
(Gallinago delicata)
Common snipe fencepost.jpg
A rare vagrant
Great snipe
(Gallinago media)
Gallinago media.jpg
A rare vagrant
Short-billed dowitcher
(Limnodromus griseus)
Limnodromus griseus.jpg
A rare vagrant
Long-billed dowitcher
(Limnodromus scolopaceus)
Limnodromus scolopaceus Mike Baird crop.jpg
A rare vagrant
Woodcock
(Scolopax rusticola)
Woodcock earthworm.jpg
A resident breeding species
Black-tailed godwit
(Limosa limosa)
Black-tailed Godwit cropped.jpg
A winter visitor, passage migrant and scarce summer breeding species
Hudsonian godwit
(Limosa haemastica)
Limosa haemastica -Rio Grande, Rio Gande do Sul, Brazil-8.jpg
A rare vagrant
Bar-tailed godwit
(Limosa lapponica)
Bar-tailed Godwit Cairns RWD.jpg
A winter visitor & passage migrant
Little curlew
(Numenius minutus)
Numenius minutus 1.jpg
A rare vagrant
Eskimo curlew
(Numenius borealis)
Live Eskimo Curlew.jpg
B (extinct)
Hudsonian whimbrel
(Numenius hudsonicus)
Ecuador 3159a.jpg
A rare vagrant
Eurasian whimbrel
(Numenius phaeopus)
Whimbrel Numenius phaeopus.jpg
A breeding summer visitor
Curlew
(Numenius arquata)
Eurasian Curlew.jpg
A resident breeding species
Upland sandpiper
(Bartramia longicauda)
UplandSandpiperOntarioCropped.jpg
A rare vagrant
Terek sandpiper
(Xenus cinereus)
Xenus cinereus (Alnus).jpg
A rare vagrant
Common sandpiper
(Actitis hypoleucos)
Actitis hypoleucos - Laem Pak Bia.jpg
A resident breeding species and passage migrant
Spotted sandpiper
(Actitis macularius)
Actitis-macularia-005.jpg
A rare vagrant
Green sandpiper
(Tringa ochropus)
Green Sandpiper (Tringa ochropus)- In Breeding plumage at Bharatpur I IMG 5533.jpg
A winter visitor & passage migrant, occasional breeder
Solitary sandpiper
(Tringa solitaria)
Solitarysandpiper.jpg
A rare vagrant
Grey-tailed tattler
(Tringa brevipes)
Tringa brevipes.jpg
A rare vagrant
Spotted redshank
(Tringa erythropus)
Tringa erythropus - Laem Pak Bia.jpg
A winter visitor and passage migrant
Greater yellowlegs
(Tringa melanoleuca)
Greater Yellowlegs2.jpg
A rare vagrant
Common greenshank
(Tringa nebularia)
Tringa nebularia - Laem Phak Bia.jpg
A resident breeding species and passage migrant
Lesser yellowlegs
(Tringa flavipes)
Lesser Yellowlegs.jpg
A rare vagrant
Marsh sandpiper
(Tringa stagnatilis)
Tringa stagnatilis 2 - Laem Pak Bia.jpg
A rare vagrant
Wood sandpiper
(Tringa glareola)
Wood Sandpiper Photograph By Shantanu Kuveskar.jpg
A passage migrant & rare localised breeder in far North
Common redshank
(Tringa totanus)
Common Redshank Tringa totanus.jpg
A resident breeding species
Turnstone
(Arenaria interpres)
Arenaria interpres (habitus).jpg
A resident breeding species
Wilson's phalarope
(Phalaropus tricolor)
Phalaropus tricolor - breeding female.jpg
A rare vagrant
Red-necked phalarope
(Phalaropus lobatus)
Red-necked Phalarope.jpg
A winter visitor: scarce & localised summer breeding in far North
Grey phalarope
(Phalaropus fulicaria)
Phalaropus fulicarius 10.jpg
A scarce winter visitor

Skuas[edit]

Order: Charadriiformes. Family: Stercorariidae

Medium to large seabirds with mainly grey or brown plumage, sharp claws and a hooked tip to the bill. They chase other seabirds to force them to drop their catches. There are about 7 species worldwide with 4 in Britain.

Common and binomial names Image Status
Pomarine skua
(Stercorarius pomarinus)
Stercorarius pomarinusPCCA20070623-3985B.jpg
A passage migrant
Arctic skua
(Stercorarius parasiticus)
Parasitic Jaeger.jpg
A passage migrant and localised summer breeder
Long-tailed skua
(Stercorarius longicaudus)
Long-tailed Skua (js) 26.jpg
A passage migrant
Great skua
(Stercorarius skua)
Storkjove.1.jpg
A passage migrant and localised summer breeder

Gulls[edit]

Order: Charadriiformes. Family: Laridae Medium to large seabirds with grey, white and black plumage, webbed feet and strong bills. Many are opportunistic and adaptable feeders. There are about 56 species worldwide, 24 in Britain.

Common and binomial names Image Status
Ivory gull
(Pagophila eburnea)
Ivory Gull Portrait.jpg
A rare vagrant
Sabine's gull
(Xema sabini)
Xema sabini -Iceland -swimming-8 (1).jpg
A scarce winter visitor
Black-legged kittiwake
(Rissa tridactyla)
Rissa tridactyla (Vardø, 2012).jpg
A breeding summer visitor and resident species
Slender-billed gull
(Chroicocephalus genei)
Larus genei.jpg
A rare vagrant
Bonaparte's gull
(Chroicocephalus philadelphia)
Larus philadelphia1.jpg
A rare vagrant
Black-headed gull
(Chroicocephalus ridibundus)
Chroicocephalus ridibundus (summer).jpg
A resident breeding species
Little gull
(Hydrocoloeus minutus)
Bird Yyterin lietteet 4.jpg
A winter visitor, occasional breeder
Ross's gull
(Rhodostethia rosea)
Ross's Gull (Rhodostethia rosea).jpg
A rare vagrant
Laughing gull
(Larus atricilla)
Laughing Gull in Mating Plumage.jpg
A rare vagrant
Franklin's gull
(Larus pipixcan)
Franklin's Gull Brisbane98.jpg
A rare vagrant
Mediterranean gull
(Larus melanocephalus)
Larus melanocephalus aka Mediterranean Gull rare guest in Sweden2.jpg
A breeding summer visitor, & resident in south.
Audouin's gull
(Larus audouinii)
Korallenmöve seitlich.jpg
A rare vagrant
Great black-headed gull
(Larus ichthyaetus)
Pallas's Gull (Larus ichthyaetus) W IMG 6665.jpg
B rare vagrant
Common gull
(Larus canus)
Larus canus1.jpg
A resident breeding species, winter visitor & passage migrant
Ring-billed gull
(Larus delawarensis)
Larus delawarensis -San Francisco Bay Area, California, USA-8.jpg
A scarce winter visitor & passage migrant
Lesser black-backed gull
(Larus fuscus)
Larus-fuscus-taxbox.jpg
A resident breeding species and passage migrant
European herring gull
(Larus argentatus)
Larus argentatus01.jpg
A resident breeding species
Yellow-legged gull
(Larus michahellis)
Seagull July 2008-6.jpg
A non-breeding late-summer visitor and passage migrant, has bred
Caspian gull
(Larus cachinnans)
Larus cachinnans 3 (Marek Szczepanek).jpg
A scarce migrant
American herring gull
(Larus smithsonianus)
Larus smithsonianus-USFWS.jpg
A rare vagrant
Iceland gull
(Larus glaucoides)
Larus glaucoides IthacaNY.jpg
A scarce winter visitor
Glaucous-winged gull
(Larus glaucescens)
Glaucous-winged gull.jpg
A rare vagrant
Glaucous gull
(Larus hyperboreus)
Larus hyperboreus-USFWS.jpg
A winter visitor, has bred
Great black-backed gull
(Larus marinus)
Great Black-backed Gull Larus marinus.jpg
A resident breeding species and passage migrant

Terns[edit]

Order: Charadriiformes. Family: Sternidae

Terns are slender seabirds with long, pointed wings, a pointed bill and a tail which is usually forked. There are about 44 species worldwide, 17 in Britain.

Common and binomial names Image Status
Aleutian tern
(Onychoprion aleutica)
Aleutian Tern.jpg
A rare vagrant
Sooty tern
(Onychoprion fuscata)
Sterna fuscata.JPG
A rare vagrant
Bridled tern
(Onychoprion anaethetus)
Bridled Tern LEI Nov06.JPG
A rare vagrant
Little tern
(Sternula albifrons)
Sternula albifrons 2 - Little Swanport.jpg
A breeding summer visitor
Gull-billed tern
(Gelochelidon nilotica)
Gull-billed Tern.jpg
A rare vagrant, has bred
Caspian tern
(Hydroprogne caspia)
Sterna-caspia-010.jpg
A rare vagrant
Whiskered tern
(Chlidonias hybridus)
Chlidonias hybrida 2 (Marek Szczepanek).jpg
A rare vagrant
Black tern
(Chlidonias niger)
Chlidonias niger.jpg
A passage migrant, occasional breeder
White-winged tern
(Chlidonias leucopterus)
Chlidonias leucopterus Mai Po.jpg
A scarce migrant
Cabot's tern
(Sterna acuflavida)
Thalasseus acuflavidus flight.jpg
A rare vagrant
Sandwich tern
(Sterna sandvicensis)
Sterna sandvicensis Brandseeschwalbe.jpg
A breeding summer visitor
Royal tern
(Sterna maximus)
Royal Tern.jpg
A rare vagrant
Lesser crested tern
(Sterna bengalensis)
Lesser-crested Tern bribie oct02.jpg
A rare vagrant
Forster's tern
(Sterna forsteri)
Forster's Tern (Sterna forsteri) RWD1.jpg
A rare vagrant
Common tern
(Sterna hirundo)
Sterna hirundo in Finland.jpg
A breeding summer visitor
Roseate tern
(Sterna dougallii)
Roseate Tern LEI06.JPG
A scarce breeding summer visitor
Arctic tern
(Sterna paradisaea)
Smallarctern.jpg
A breeding summer visitor

Auks[edit]

Order: Charadriiformes. Family: Alcidae

A family of seabirds which are superficially similar to penguins with their black-and-white colours, their upright posture and some of their habits but which are able to fly. There are about 23 species worldwide, 10 in Britain.

Common and binomial names Image Status
Common guillemot
(Uria aalge)
Common Murre Uria aalge.jpg
A breeding summer visitor and resident species
Brunnich's guillemot
(Uria lomvia)
Uria lomvia1.jpg
A rare vagrant
Razorbill
(Alca torda)
Razorbill iceland.JPG
A breeding summer visitor and resident species
Great auk
(Pinguinus impennis)
Great Auk (Pinguinis impennis) specimen, Kelvingrove, Glasgow - geograph.org.uk - 1108249.jpg
B (extinct)
Black guillemot
(Cepphus grylle)
Black Guillemot Cepphus grylle.jpg
A resident localised breeding species
Long-billed murrelet
(Brachyramphus perdix)
Brachyramphus perdix0.jpg
A rare vagrant
Ancient murrelet
(Synthliboramphus antiquus)
Ancient Murrelet.png
A rare vagrant
Little auk
(Alle alle)
AlleAlle 2.jpg
A rare winter visitor
Atlantic puffin
(Fratercula arctica)
Papageitaucher Fratercula arctica.jpg
A breeding summer visitor
Tufted puffin
(Fratercula cirrhata)
Tufted Puffin Alaska (cropped).jpg
A rare vagrant

Sandgrouse[edit]

Order: Pterocliformes. Family: Pteroclididae

Sturdy, medium-sized birds with a small head and long, pointed wings. There are 16 species worldwide. 1 has occurred as a vagrant in Britain.

Common and binomial names Image Status
Pallas's sandgrouse
(Syrrhaptes paradoxus)
Syrrhaptes paradoxus.jpg
A rare vagrant, has bred

Pigeons and doves[edit]

Order: Columbiformes. Family: Columbidae

Pigeons and doves are stout-bodied birds with short necks and short slender bills with a fleshy cere. There are about 308 species worldwide, 7 in Britain.

Common and binomial names Image Status
Rock pigeon or feral pigeon
(Columba livia)
Blue Rock Pigeon (Columba livia) in Kolkata I IMG 9762.jpg
A & C Resident, most birds are of feral origin
Stock dove
(Columba oenas)
Columba oenas1.jpg
A resident breeding species
Wood pigeon
(Columba palumbus)
Columba palumbus -garden post-8.jpg
A resident breeding species
Collared dove
(Streptopelia decaocto)
Streptopelia decaocto -balcony -two-8.jpg
A resident breeding species
Turtle dove
(Streptopelia turtur)
European Turtle Dove (Streptopelia turtur).jpg
A breeding summer visitor
Oriental turtle dove
(Streptopelia orientalis)
Orientalturtledove.JPG
A rare vagrant
Mourning dove
(Zenaida macroura)
Mourning Dove 2006.jpg
A rare vagrant

Parrots[edit]

Order: Psittaciformes. Family: Psittacidae

Parrots are small to large birds with a characteristic curved beak shape. They are found mainly in areas with warm climates. There are about 347 species worldwide with 1 introduced species in Britain.

Common and binomial names Image Status
Ring-necked parakeet
(Psittacula krameri)
Rose-ringed Parakeets (Male & Female)- During Foreplay at Hodal I Picture 0034.jpg
C resident introduced population

Cuckoos[edit]

Order: Cuculiformes. Family: Cuculidae

Birds of variable size with slender bodies and long tails. Some species are known for laying their eggs in the nests of other birds. There are about 141 species worldwide, 4 in Britain.

Common and binomial names Image Status
Great spotted cuckoo
(Clamator glandarius)
Clamator glandarius (juvenile).jpg
A rare vagrant
Common cuckoo
(Cuculus canorus)
Cuculus canorus vogelartinfo chris romeiks CHR0791 cropped.jpg
A breeding summer visitor
Black-billed cuckoo
(Coccyzus erythropthalmus)
Black-billed-cuckoo2.jpg
A rare vagrant
Yellow-billed cuckoo
(Coccyzus americanus)
Coccyzus-americanus-001.jpg
A rare vagrant

Barn owls[edit]

Order: Strigiformes. Family: Tytonidae

Barn owls are medium-sized to large owls with large heads and characteristic heart-shaped faces. They have long strong legs with powerful talons. There are about 16 species worldwide with 1 in Britain .

Common and binomial names Image Status
Barn owl
(Tyto alba)
Tyto alba -British Wildlife Centre, Surrey, England-8a (1).jpg
A resident breeding species

Typical owls[edit]

Order: Strigiformes. Family: Strigidae

Typical owls are small to large solitary nocturnal birds of prey. They have large forward-facing eyes and ears, a hawk-like beak and a conspicuous circle of feathers around each eye called a facial disc. There are about 199 species worldwide, 8 in Britain.

Common and binomial names Image Status
Scops owl
(Otus scops)
Otus scops ab cropped.png
A rare vagrant
Snowy owl
(Bubo scandiacus)
Snowy Owl - Schnee-Eule.jpg
A rare vagrant, has bred Shetland Islands
Northern hawk-owl
(Surnia ulula)
Surnia-ulula-002.jpg
A rare vagrant
Little owl
(Athene noctua)
Mochuelo Común ( Athene noctua )(1).jpg
C resident introduced population
Tawny owl
(Strix aluco)
Tawnyowl03.jpg
A resident breeding species
Long-eared owl
(Asio otus)
Asio otus -Battlefield Falconry Centre, Shrewsbury, Shropshire, England-8a.jpg
A scarce resident breeding species
Short-eared owl
(Asio flammeus)
Asio flammeus -Fazenda Campo de Ouro, Piraju, Sao Paulo, Brasil-8.jpg
A resident breeding species or winter visitor
Tengmalm's owl
(Aegolius funereus)
Aegolius-funereus-001.jpg
A rare vagrant

Nightjars[edit]

Order: Caprimulgiformes. Family: Caprimulgidae

Nightjars are medium-sized nocturnal birds with long wings, short legs and very short bills that usually nest on the ground. Their soft plumage is cryptically coloured to resemble bark or leaves. There are about 91 species worldwide, 4 in Britain.

Common and binomial names Image Status
European nightjar
(Caprimulgus europaeus)
Paukstelis.jpg
A breeding summer visitor
Red-necked nightjar
(Caprimulgus ruficollis)
Caprimulgus ruficollis.jpg
A rare vagrant
Egyptian nightjar
(Caprimulgus aegyptius)
Caprimulgus aegyptius.jpg
A rare vagrant
Common nighthawk
(Chordeiles minor)
Chordeiles minor -British Columbia -Canada-8c.jpg
A rare vagrant

Swifts[edit]

Order: Apodiformes. Family: Apodidae

The swifts are small aerial birds, spending the majority of their lives flying. These birds have very short legs and never settle voluntarily on the ground, perching instead only on vertical surfaces. There are about 100 species worldwide, 7 in Britain.

Common and binomial names Image Status
Chimney swift
(Chaetura pelagica)
Chimney swift overhead.jpg
A rare vagrant
Needle-tailed swift
(Hirundapus caudacutus)
White-throated Needletail 09a.jpg
A rare vagrant
Common swift
(Apus apus)
Apus apus -Barcelona, Spain-8 (1).jpg
A breeding summer visitor
Pallid swift
(Apus pallidus)
Apus pallidus -Greece-8.jpg
A rare vagrant
Pacific swift
(Apus pacificus)
ApusPacificus.jpg
A rare vagrant
Alpine swift
(Apus melba)
Tachymarptis melba -Barcelona, Spain -flying-8.jpg
A scarce migrant
Little swift
(Apus affinis)
House swift I IMG 3260.jpg
A rare vagrant

Kingfishers[edit]

Order: Coraciiformes. Family: Alcedinidae

Kingfishers are medium sized birds with large heads, long pointed bills, short legs, and stubby tails. There are about 93 species worldwide, 2 in Britain.

Common and binomial names Image Status
Common kingfisher
(Alcedo atthis)
Kingfisher eating a tadpole.jpg
A resident breeding species
Belted kingfisher
(Megaceryle alcyon)
Belted Kingfisher.jpg
A rare vagrant

Bee-eaters[edit]

Order: Coraciiformes. Family: Meropidae

A group of near-passerine birds characterised by richly-coloured plumage, slender bodies and usually elongated central tail-feathers. There are about 26 species worldwide, 2 in Britain.

Common and binomial names Image Status
Blue-cheeked bee-eater
(Merops persicus)
Merops persicus.jpg
A rare vagrant
European bee-eater
(Merops apiaster)
Şahlûr.jpg
A scarce summer visitor - occasional breeder

Rollers[edit]

Order: Coraciiformes. Family: Coraciidae

A small family of colourful, medium-sized birds with a crow-like shape that feed mainly on insects. There are about 12 species worldwide with 1 in Britain and Wales.

Common and binomial names Image Status
European roller
(Coracias garrulus)
European roller.jpg
A rare vagrant

Hoopoe[edit]

Order: Bucerotiformes. Family: Upupidae

A distinctive bird in its own family with a long curved bill, a crest and black-and-white striped wings and tail.

Common and binomial names Image Status
Hoopoe
(Upupa epops)
Botbotik.jpg
A scarce summer visitor, occasional breeder

Woodpeckers[edit]

Order: Piciformes. Family: Picidae

Woodpeckers are small to medium-sized birds with chisel-like beaks, short legs, stiff tails and long tongues used for capturing insects. Many woodpeckers have the habit of tapping noisily on tree trunks with their beaks. There are about 219 species worldwide, 5 in Britain.

Common and binomial names Image Status
Eurasian wryneck
(Jynx torquilla)
Jynx torquilla vlaskop cropped.jpg
A rare passage migrant, occasional breeder
European green woodpecker
(Picus viridis)
RO B Carol Park green woodpecker crop.jpg
A resident breeding species
Yellow-bellied sapsucker
(Sphyrapicus varius)
Sphyrapicus varius.jpg
A rare vagrant
Great spotted woodpecker
(Dendrocopos major)
Buntspecht Dendrocopos major-2.jpg
A resident breeding species
Lesser spotted woodpecker
(Dendrocopos minor)
PicoidesMinorBack.jpg
A resident breeding species

Tyrant flycatchers[edit]

Order: Passeriformes. Family: Tyrannidae

A family from the Americas with 1 very rare vagrant recorded in Britain.

Common and binomial names Image Status
Eastern phoebe
(Sayornis phoebe)
Sayornis phoebe -Owen Conservation Park, Madison, Wisconsin, USA-8.jpg
A rare vagrant

Vireos[edit]

Order: Passeriformes. Family: Vireonidae

The vireos are a group of small to medium sized passerine birds restricted to the New World. There are about 52 species worldwide. 3 have occurred as vagrants in Britain.

Common and binomial names Image Status
Yellow-throated vireo
(Vireo flavifrons)
Vireo-flavifrons-001.jpg
A rare vagrant
Philadelphia vireo
(Vireo philadelphicus)
Vireo philadelphicus.jpg
A rare vagrant
Red-eyed vireo
(Vireo olivaceus)
Vireo olivaceus Itamambuca Eco Resort.jpg
A rare vagrant

Old World orioles[edit]

Order: Passeriformes. Family: Oriolidae

The orioles are medium-sized passerines, mostly with bright and showy plumage, the females often duller plumage than the males The beak is long, slightly curved and hooked. Orioles are arboreal and tend to feed in the canopy. There are 27 species worldwide, one of which has been recorded in Great Britain.

Common and binomial names Image Status
Eurasian golden oriole
(Oriolus oriolus)
Oriole 2.jpg
A scarce breeding summer visitor

Shrikes[edit]

Order: Passeriformes. Family: Laniidae

Shrikes are passerine birds known for their habit of catching other birds and small animals and impaling the uneaten portions of their bodies on thorns. A typical shrike's beak is hooked, like a bird of prey. There are about 30 species worldwide, 9 in Britain.

Common and binomial names Image Status
Brown shrike
(Lanius cristatus)
Lanius cristatus - Surin.jpg
A rare vagrant
Isabelline shrike
(Lanius isabellinus)
Lanius collurio -Poland -female-8-4c.jpg
A rare vagrant
Red-backed shrike
(Lanius collurio)
Lanius collurio 5.jpg
A scarce passage migrant, occasional breeder
Long-tailed shrike
(Lanius schach)
Long-tailed Shrike (Lanius schach- erythronotus race) in Delhi W2 Pix 051.jpg
A rare vagrant
Lesser grey shrike
(Lanius minor)
Lesser Grey Shrike by Daniel Bastaja.jpg
A rare vagrant
Great grey shrike
(Lanius excubitor)
Lanius excubitor 1 (Marek Szczepanek).jpg
A scarce winter visitor
Southern grey shrike
(Lanius meridionalis)
Southern grey shrike.jpg
A rare vagrant
Woodchat shrike
(Lanius senator)
Lanius senator01 new.jpg
A scarce migrant
Masked shrike
(Lanius nubicus)
Lanius nubicus.jpg
A rare vagrant

Crows and allies[edit]

Order: Passeriformes. Family: Corvidae

The crows and their relatives are fairly large birds with strong bills and are usually intelligent and adaptable. There are about 119 species worldwide with 9 in Britain.

Common and binomial names Image Status
Red-billed chough
(Pyrrhocorax pyrrhocorax)
Pyrrhocorax pyrrhocorax -standing-8.jpg
A resident breeding species
Eurasian magpie
(Pica pica)
Pica pica - Compans Caffarelli - 2012-03-16.jpg
A resident breeding species
Eurasian jay
(Garrulus glandarius)
Garrulus glandarius 1 Luc Viatour.jpg
A resident breeding species
Spotted nutcracker
(Nucifraga caryocatactes)
Spotted Nutcracker.jpg
A rare vagrant
Jackdaw
(Corvus monedula)
Coloeus monedula -Ham Common, London Borough of Richmond upon Thames, England-8.jpg
A resident breeding species
Rook
(Corvus frugilegus)
Corvus frugilegus -Dartmoor, Devon, England-8.jpg
A resident breeding species
Carrion crow
(Corvus corone)
Corvus corone Rabenkrähe 1.jpg
A resident breeding species
Hooded crow
(Corvus cornix)
Corvus cornix -perching-8.jpg
A resident breeding species
Common raven
(Corvus corax)
Corvus corax (Common Raven), Yosemite NP, CA, US - Diliff.jpg
A resident breeding species

Kinglets[edit]

Order: Passeriformes. Family: Regulidae

A family of very small birds. There are 7 species worldwide with 2 in Britain.

Common and binomial names Image Status
Goldcrest
(Regulus regulus)
Regulus regulus 60North cropped.jpg
A resident breeding species
Common firecrest
(Regulus ignicapillus)
Regulus ignicapilla Arundel.jpg
A scarce resident breeding species and passage migrant

Penduline tits[edit]

Order: Passeriformes. Family: Remizidae

Small birds with finely-pointed bills that build purse-like nests hanging from a branch. There are about 13 species worldwide with 1 in Britain.

Common and binomial names Image Status
Penduline tit
(Remiz pendulinus)
Remiz pendulinus 3 (Martin Mecnarowski).jpg
A rare vagrant

Tits[edit]

Order: Passeriformes. Family: Paridae

Tits are mainly small, stocky, woodland species with short stout bills. They are adaptable birds, with a mixed diet including seeds and insects. There are about 59 species worldwide, 6 in Britain.

Common and binomial names Image Status
Eurasian blue tit
(Cyanistes caeruleus)
Eurasian blue tit (Cyanistes caeruleus).jpg
A resident breeding species
Great tit
(Parus major)
Parus major 2 Luc Viatour.jpg
A resident breeding species
Crested tit
(Lophophanes cristatus)
Lophophanes cristatus -Aviemore, Scotland-8 (2).jpg
A resident breeding species
Coal tit
(Periparus ater)
Coal tit UK09.JPG
A resident breeding species
Willow tit
(Poecile montana)
Poecile montanus kleinschmidti 2.jpg
A resident breeding species
Marsh tit
(Poecile palustris)
Parus palustris02.jpg
A resident breeding species

Bearded Tit[edit]

Order: Passeriformes. Family: Panuridae

A single species formerly placed in the Old World babbler family.

Common and binomial names Image Status
Bearded tit
(Panurus biarmicus)
Panurus biarmicus 2 (Martin Mecnarowski).jpg
A resident breeding species

Larks[edit]

Order: Passeriformes. Family: Alaudidae

Larks are small terrestrial birds with often extravagant songs and display flights. Most larks are fairly dull in appearance. Their food is insects and seeds. There are about 96 species worldwide, 10 in Britain.

Common and binomial names Image Status
Calandra lark
(Melanocorypha calandra)
Bereşe.jpg
A rare vagrant
Bimaculated lark
(Melanocorypha bimaculata)
Melanocorypha mongolica.jpg
A rare vagrant
White-winged lark
(Melanocorypha leucoptera)
Melanocorypha leucoptera2.jpg
A rare vagrant
Black lark
(Melanocorypha yeltoniensis)
Zwarte leeuwerik.jpg
A rare vagrant
Greater short-toed lark
(Calandrella brachydactyla)
Calandrella brachydactyla1.jpg
A scarce migrant
Lesser short-toed lark
(Calandrella rufescens)
Calandrella rufescens -Canary Islands -Spain-8.jpg
A rare vagrant
Crested lark
(Galerida cristata)
Crested Lark (Galerida cristata) at Sultanpur I Picture 118.jpg
A rare vagrant
Woodlark
(Lullula arborea)
Lullula arborea (Ján Svetlík).jpg
A scarce resident breeding species and summer migrant
Eurasian skylark
(Alauda arvensis)
Alauda arvensis 2.jpg
A resident breeding species
Shore lark
(Eremophila alpestris)
Shore Lark.jpg
A scarce winter visitor and passage migrant, occasional breeder

Swallows and martins[edit]

Order: Passeriformes. Family: Hirundinidae

A group of passerines characterized by their adaptation to aerial feeding. Their adaptations include a slender streamlined body, long pointed wings and short bills with wide gape. There are about 83 species worldwide, 8 in Britain.

Common and binomial names Image Status
Sand martin
(Riparia riparia)
Riparia riparia -Markinch, Fife, Scotland -flying-8-4c.jpg
A breeding summer visitor
Tree swallow
(Tachycineta bicolor)
Tachycineta bicolor -Madison, Wisconsin, USA-8 (1).jpg
A rare vagrant
Purple martin
(Progne subis)
PurpleMartin cajay.jpg
A rare vagrant
Crag martin
(Ptyonoprogne rupestris)
Ptyonoprogne rupestris -Europe-8.jpg
A rare vagrant
Barn swallow
(Hirundo rustica)
Landsvale.jpg
A breeding summer visitor
House martin
(Delichon urbicum)
Delichon urbicum -Iceland -flying-8.jpg
A breeding summer visitor
Red-rumped swallow
(Cecropis daurica)
Golondrina dáurica Cecropis daurica 1.jpg
A scarce migrant
American cliff swallow
(Petrochelidon pyrrhonota)
Cliff Swallow Builder.jpg
A rare vagrant

Bush warblers[edit]

Order: Passeriformes. Family: Cettiidae

Common and binomial names Image Status
Cetti's warbler
(Cettia cetti)
37-090505-cettis-warbler-at-Kalloni-east-river.jpg
A resident breeding species

Long-tailed tits[edit]

Order: Passeriformes. Family: Aegithalidae

Small, long-tailed birds that typically live in flocks for much of the year. There are 8 species worldwide with 1 in Britain.

Common and binomial names Image Status
Long-tailed tit
(Aegithalos caudatus)
Aegithalos caudatus side-on.jpg
A resident breeding species

Leaf warblers[edit]

Order: Passeriformes. Family: Phylloscopidae

Common and binomial names Image Status
Eastern crowned warbler
(Phylloscopus coronatus)
Phylloscopus coronatus.jpg
A rare vagrant
Green warbler
(Phylloscopus nitidus)
Phylloscopus trochiloides NAUMANN.jpg
A rare vagrant
Greenish warbler
(Phylloscopus trochiloides)
Greenish Warbler I IMG 0565.jpg
A scarce migrant
Arctic warbler
(Phylloscopus borealis)
Arctic Warbler 4683b.jpg
A scarce migrant
Pallas's warbler
(Phylloscopus proregulus)
20070304贵阳-黄腰柳莺.jpg
A scarce migrant
Yellow-browed warbler
(Phylloscopus inornatus)
Phylloscopus inornatus Meet Again 368583749 crop.png
A scarce migrant
Hume's warbler
(Phylloscopus humei)
Hume's Warbler I2 IMG 3401.jpg
A rare vagrant
Radde's warbler
(Phylloscopus schwarzi)
Radde's Warbler (Phylloscopus schwarzi).jpg
A scarce migrant
Dusky warbler
(Phylloscopus fuscatus)
Dusky Warbler.jpg
A scarce migrant
Western Bonelli's warbler
(Phylloscopus bonelli)
Phybon.jpg
A scarce migrant
Eastern Bonelli's warbler
(Phylloscopus orientalis)
Phylloscopus bonelli in the wild.jpg
A rare vagrant
Wood warbler
(Phylloscopus sibilatrix)
Flickr - Rainbirder - Wood Warbler (Phylloscopus sibilatrix).jpg
A breeding summer visitor
Common chiffchaff
(Phylloscopus collybita)
Chiffchaff - Phylloscopus collybita.jpg
A breeding summer visitor
Iberian chiffchaff
(Phylloscopus ibericus)
Phylloscopus ibericus.jpg
A rare vagrant
Willow warbler
(Phylloscopus trochilus)
Willow Warbler Phylloscopus trochilus.jpg
A breeding summer visitor

Typical warblers[edit]

Order: Passeriformes. Family: Sylviidae

Common and binomial names Image Status
Blackcap
(Sylvia atricapilla)
Sylvia atricapilla male 2.jpg
A resident breeding species & summer visitor
Garden warbler
(Sylvia borin)
Sylvia borin (Örebro County).jpg
A breeding summer visitor
Barred warbler
(Sylvia nisoria)
Sylvia nisoria.jpg
A passage migrant
Lesser whitethroat
(Sylvia curruca)
Sylvia curruca 1 (Martin Mecnarowski).jpg
A breeding summer visitor
Western Orphean warbler
(Sylvia hortensis)
Sylvia hortensis Museum de Genève.JPG
A rare vagrant
Asian desert warbler
(Sylvia nana)
Asian Desert Wrabler.jpg
A rare vagrant
Whitethroat
(Sylvia communis)
Flickr - Rainbirder - Common Whitethroat (Sylvia communis).jpg
A breeding summer visitor
Spectacled warbler
(Sylvia conspicillata)
Sylvia conspicillata Gran Canaria.jpg
A rare vagrant
Dartford warbler
(Sylvia undata)
Dartford Warbler Provencegrasmücke (Sylvia undata) by J. Dietrich.jpg
A resident breeding species
Marmora's warbler
(Sylvia sarda)
Sylvia sarda 1838.jpg
A rare vagrant
Rüppell's warbler
Sylvia rueppelli
Sylvia rueppelli.jpg
A rare vagrant
Subalpine warbler
(Sylvia cantillans)
Western Subalpine Warbler Sylvia inornata, Aiguamolls de l'Empordà.jpg
A scarce migrant
Sardinian warbler
(Sylvia melanocephala)
Sardinian Warbler.jpg
A rare vagrant

Grasshopper warblers[edit]

Order: Passeriformes. Family: Locustellidae

Common and binomial names Image Status
Pallas's grasshopper warbler
(Locustella certhiola)
Rusty-rumped Warbler (Locustella certhiola) I IMG 2750.jpg
A rare vagrant
Lanceolated warbler
(Locustella lanceolata)
Locustella lanceolata.jpg
A rare vagrant
Grasshopper warbler
(Locustella naevia)
Grashoppsangare-070512.jpg
A breeding summer visitor
River warbler
(Locustella fluviatilis)
Flodsangare.jpg
A rare vagrant
Savi's warbler
(Locustella luscinioides)
Locustellaluscinioides.jpg
A rare breeding summer visitor

Reed warblers[edit]

Order: Passeriformes. Family: Acrocephalidae

Common and binomial names Image Status
Thick-billed warbler
(Iduna aedon)
Iduna opaca CDC image.jpg
A rare vagrant
Booted warbler
(Iduna caligata)
Hippolais caligata1.jpg
A rare vagrant
Sykes' warbler
(Iduna rama)
Syke's Warbler (Hippolais rama) on Vilaiti Siris (Samanea saman) in Kolkata W IMG 4659.jpg
A rare vagrant
Eastern olivaceous warbler
(Iduna pallida)
Hippolais pallida Akko Israel 2.jpg
A rare vagrant
Olive-tree warbler
(Hippolais olivetorum)
Hypolais olivetorum.jpg
A rare vagrant
Icterine warbler
(Hippolais icterina)
Hippolais icterina2.jpg
A scarce migrant, occasional breeder
Melodious warbler
(Hippolais polyglotta)
Hippolais polyglotta.jpg
A scarce migrant, occasional breeder
Aquatic warbler
(Acrocephalus paludicola)
Seggenrohrsaenger hand.jpg
A scarce migrant
Sedge warbler
(Acrocephalus schoenobaenus)
Acrocephalus schoenobaenus 1 (Marek Szczepanek)-2.jpg
A breeding summer visitor
Paddyfield warbler
(Acrocephalus agricola)
Paddyfield Warbler (Acrocephalus agricola) in Kolkata Im IMG 0496.jpg
A rare vagrant
Blyth's reed warbler
(Acrocephalus dumetorum)
Blyth's Reed Warbler I2 IMG 9417.jpg
A rare vagrant
Marsh warbler
(Acrocephalus palustris)
Acrocephalus palustris (Marek Szczepanek).jpg
A breeding summer visitor
Eurasian reed warbler
(Acrocephalus scirpaceus)
Acrocephalus scirpaceus Vlaskop cropped.jpg
A breeding summer visitor
Great reed warbler
(Acrocephalus arundinaceus)
Acrocephalus arundinaceus adult NRM.jpg
A rare vagrant, has bred

Cisticolas[edit]

Order: Passeriformes. Family: Cisticolidae

Common and binomial names Image Status
Zitting cisticola
(Cisticola juncidis)
Zitting Cisticola (Breeding plumage) I- Kolkata IMG 5046.jpg
A rare vagrant

Waxwings[edit]

Order: Passeriformes. Family: Bombycillidae

The waxwings are a group of passerine birds characterised by soft, silky plumage and unique red tips to some of the wing feathers. There are 3 species worldwide, 2 in Britain.

Common and binomial names Image Status
Cedar waxwing
(Bombycilla cedrorum)
Cedar Waxwing August 14 2012 Newfoundland PA.jpg
A rare vagrant
Bohemian waxwing
(Bombycilla garrulus)
Bombycilla garrulusII.jpg
A winter visitor in highly varied numbers.

Wallcreeper[edit]

Order: Passeriformes. Family Tichodromadidae

One species, in its own family, a visitor to Britain.

Common and binomial names Image Status
Wallcreeper
(Tichodroma muraria)
Tichodroma muraria02 cropped.jpg
A rare vagrant

Nuthatches[edit]

Order: Passeriformes. Family: Sittidae

Nuthatches are small woodland birds with the unusual ability to climb down trees head-first, unlike other birds which can only go upwards. There are about 24 species worldwide, 2 in Britain.

Common and binomial names Image Status
Red-breasted nuthatch
(Sitta canadensis)
Sitta canadensis CT2.jpg
A rare vagrant
Eurasian nuthatch
(Sitta europaea)
Sitta europaea Luc Viatour.jpg
A resident breeding species

Treecreepers[edit]

Order: Passeriformes. Family: Certhiidae

Treecreepers are small woodland birds, brown above and white below. They have thin, pointed, down-curved bills, which they use to extricate insects from bark. There are 7 species worldwide, 2 in Britain.

Common and binomial names Image Status
Common treecreeper
(Certhia familiaris)
Certhia familiaris 01.jpg
A resident breeding species
Short-toed treecreeper
(Certhia brachydactyla)
Boomkruiper1reversed.jpg
A rare vagrant

Wrens[edit]

Order: Passeriformes. Family: Troglodytidae

Wrens are small and inconspicuous birds, except for their loud songs. They have short wings and a thin down-turned bill. There are about 80 species worldwide with one in Britain.

Common and binomial names Image Status
Wren
(Troglodytes troglodytes)
Eurasian-Wren-Troglodytes-troglodytes.jpg
A resident breeding species

Mockingbirds and allies[edit]

Order: Passeriformes. Family: Mimidae

Medium-sized passerine birds with long tails. Some are notable for their ability to mimic sounds such as other birds' songs. There are about 35 species worldwide. Three have occurred as vagrants in Britain.

Common and binomial names Image Status
Northern mockingbird
(Mimus polyglottos)
Mimus polyglottos -Krendle Woods, Cary, North Carolina, USA-8.jpg
A rare vagrant
Brown thrasher
(Toxostoma rufum)
Toxostoma rufum -Garland, Texas, USA-8.jpg
A rare vagrant one record
Gray catbird
(Dumetella carolinensis)
Dumetella carolinensis -Brendan T. Byrne State Forest, New Jersey, USA-8.jpg
A rare vagrant one record

Starlings[edit]

Order: Passeriformes. Family: Sturnidae

Starlings are small to medium-sized passerine birds with strong feet. Their flight is strong and direct and most are very gregarious.There are about 114 species worldwide with two in Britain.

Common and binomial names Image Status
Common starling
(Sturnus vulgaris)
Colourful starling.jpeg
A resident breeding species and winter visitor
Rosy starling
(Sturnus roseus)
Rosy Starling (Sturnus roseus) near Hyderabad W2 IMG 4837.jpg
A rare vagrant

Dippers[edit]

Order: Passeriformes. Family: Cinclidae

Dark, dumpy, aquatic birds that are able to forage for food on the beds of rivers. There are 5 species worldwide with 1 in Britain.

Common and binomial names Image Status
White-throated dipper
(Cinclus cinclus)
Cinclus cinclus -Kirkcudbright, Scotland-8.jpg
A resident breeding species

Thrushes[edit]

Order: Passeriformes. Family: Muscicapidae. Subfamily: Turdinae

The thrushes are plump, soft-plumaged, small to medium-sized insectivores or sometimes omnivores, often feeding on the ground. Many have attractive songs. There are about 183 species worldwide, 20 in Britain.

Common and binomial names Image Status
White's thrush
(Zoothera dauma)
Zoothera dauma - Ang Khang.jpg
A rare vagrant
Varied thrush
(Ixoreus naevius)
Zoothera naevia 31224.JPG
A one record
Wood thrush
(Hylocichla mustelina)
Hylocichla mustelina (cropped).jpg
A rare vagrant
Hermit thrush
(Catharus guttatus)
Hermit thrush qmnonic.jpg
A rare vagrant
Swainson's thrush
(Catharus ustulatus)
Catharus ustulatus -North Dakota-8a.jpg
A rare vagrant
Gray-cheeked thrush
(Catharus minimus)
Graycheekedthrush36.jpg
A rare vagrant
Veery
(Catharus fuscescens)
Catharus fuscescens CT.jpg
A rare vagrant
Siberian thrush
(Geokichla sibirica)
Zoothera sibirica 431.jpg
A rare vagrant
Ring ouzel
(Turdus torquatus)
Ring Ouzel.jpg
A breeding summer visitor
Blackbird
(Turdus merula)
Common Blackbird.jpg
A resident breeding species
Eyebrowed thrush
(Turdus obscurus)
Eyebrowed Thrush.jpg
A rare vagrant
Dusky thrush
(Turdus eunomus)
Turdus eunomus -Japan-8.jpg
A rare vagrant
Naumann's thrush
(Turdus naumanni)
Bandong.jpg
A rare vagrant
Black-throated thrush
(Turdus atrogularis)
Turdusatro.jpg
A rare vagrant
Red-throated thrush
(Turdus ruficollis)
Dark Throated Thrush in Temple of Heaven.JPG
A rare vagrant
Fieldfare
(Turdus pilaris)
Turdus pilaris2.jpg
A winter visitor, rare breeder
Song thrush
(Turdus philomelos)
Song Thrush Turdus philomelos.jpg
A resident breeding species
Redwing
(Turdus iliacus)
Redwing Turdus iliacus.jpg
A winter visitor, rare breeder
Mistle thrush
(Turdus viscivorus)
Turdus viscivorus in Baikonur-town 001.jpg
A resident breeding species
American robin
(Turdus migratorius)
Turdus-migratorius-002.jpg
A rare vagrant

Old World flycatchers and chats[edit]

Order: Passeriformes. Family: Muscicapidae. Subfamily: Muscicapinae

The flycatchers and chats are small, mainly insectivorous birds. The flycatchers fly out from a perch to catch insects in the air. There are about 297 species worldwide, 30 in Britain.

Common and binomial names Image Status
Rufous bush robin
(Cercotrichas galactotes)
2009-rufous-tailed-scrub-robin.jpg
A rare vagrant
Asian brown flycatcher
(Muscicapa dauurica)
Asian Brown Flycatcher (Muscicapa dauurica) at Periyar National Park.jpg
A rare vagrant
Spotted flycatcher
(Muscicapa striata)
Muscicapa striata 1 (Martin Mecnarowski).jpg
A breeding summer visitor
European robin
(Erithacus rubecula)
European Robin (erithacus rubecula).JPG
A resident breeding species
Siberian blue robin
(Luscinia cyanea)
Luscinia cyane - Khao Yai.jpg
A rare vagrant
Rufous-tailed robin
(Luscinia sibilans)
Luscinia sibilans - Khao Yai.jpg
A rare vagrant
Siberian rubythroat
(Luscinia calliope)
Luscinia calliope - Pak Chong 2.jpg
A rare vagrant
White-throated robin
(Irania gutturalis)
Nightingale yelpin.jpg
A rare vagrant
Red-flanked bluetail
(Tarsiger cyanurus)
Ruribitakif1.JPG
A rare vagrant
Thrush nightingale
(Luscinia luscinia)
Luscinia luscinia -Gugny, Biebrza National Park, Poland-8.jpg
A rare vagrant
Nightingale
(Luscinia megarhynchos)
Nachtigall (Luscinia megarhynchos)-2.jpg
A breeding summer visitor
Bluethroat
(Luscinia svecica)
Luscinia svecica volgae.jpg
A scarce migrant, occasional breeder
Red-breasted flycatcher
(Ficedula parva)
Red-breasted Flycatcher.jpg
A scarce migrant
Taiga flycatcher
(Ficedula albicilla)
Ficedula parva.jpg
A rare vagrant
Collared flycatcher
(Ficedula albicollis)
Muchołówka białoszyja (samiec).jpg
A rare vagrant
Pied flycatcher
(Ficedula hypoleuca)
Ficedula hypoleuca -Wood of Cree Nature Reserve, Scotland -male-8a.jpg
A breeding summer visitor
Black redstart
(Phoenicurus ochruros)
Hausrotschwanz Brutpflege 2006-05-21-05.jpg
A scarce breeding resident, passage migrant & winter visitor
Common redstart
(Phoenicurus phoenicurus)
Gekraagde Roodstaart 20040627.JPG
A breeding summer visitor
Moussier's redstart
(Phoenicurus moussieri)
Phoenicurus moussieri.jpg
A rare vagrant
Rock thrush
(Monticola saxatilis)
Monsax.jpg
A rare vagrant
Blue rock thrush
(Monticola solitarius)
BlueRockTrush LaCanada.jpg
A rare vagrant
Whinchat
(Saxicola rubetra)
Saxicola rubetra -Belgium -male-8.jpg
A breeding summer visitor & passage migrant
Siberian stonechat
(Saxicola maurus)
Siberian Stonechat (Saxicola maura)- Male at Bharatpur I IMG 5768.jpg
A rare vagrant
European stonechat
(Saxicola rubicola)
European Stonechat.jpg
A resident breeding species
Isabelline wheatear
(Oenanthe isabellina)
Isabelline wheatear (Oenanthe isabellina) male, non-breeding.jpg
A rare vagrant
Northern wheatear
(Oenanthe oenanthe)
Northern wheatear male09.JPG
A breeding summer visitor & passage migrant
Pied wheatear
(Oenanthe pleschanka)
Oenanthe pleschanka in Crimea.jpg
A rare vagrant
Black-eared wheatear
(Oenanthe hispanica)
45-090506-black-eared-wheatear-at-Ipsilou-Monastery-.jpg
A rare vagrant
Desert wheatear
(Oenanthe deserti)
Oenanthe deserti LipKee.jpg
A rare vagrant
White-crowned wheatear
(Oenanthe leucopyga)
Oenanthe leucopyga.jpg
A rare vagrant

Accentors[edit]

Order: Passeriformes. Family: Prunellidae

A small family of drab, unobtrusive, insectivorous birds with thin, pointed bills. There are 13 species worldwide with two recorded in Britain.

Common and binomial names Image Status
Dunnock
(Prunella modularis)
Dunnock crop2.jpg
A resident breeding species
Alpine accentor
(Prunella collaris)
Alpine accentor saganta.jpg
A rare vagrant

Sparrows[edit]

Order: Passeriformes. Family: Passeridae

Sparrows tend to be small, plump, brownish or greyish birds with short tails and short, powerful beaks. They are seed-eaters and they also consume small insects. There are about 38 species worldwide, 4 in Britain.

Common and binomial names Image Status
House sparrow
(Passer domesticus)
House sparrow (Passer domesticus).jpg
A resident breeding species
Spanish sparrow
(Passer hispaniolensis)
Passer Hispaniolensis Male.JPG
A rare vagrant
Eurasian tree sparrow
(Passer montanus)
Tree Sparrow Japan Flip.jpg
A resident breeding species
Rock sparrow
(Petronia petronia)
Petronia petronia -Ariege, Midi-Pyrenee, France-8-4c.jpg
A rare vagrant

Wagtails and pipits[edit]

Order: Passeriformes. Family: Motacillidae

The Motacillidae are a family of small passerine birds with medium to long tails. They are slender, ground-feeding insectivores of open country. There are about 66 species worldwide, 15 in Britain.

Common and binomial names Image Status
Western yellow wagtail
(Motacilla flava)
Yellow Wagtail (5811285648).jpg
Seven races including:
  • Blue-headed wagtail M. f. flava (nominate subspecies occurring as a migrant)
  • Yellow wagtail M. f. flavissima (subspecies breeding in Britain)
Citrine wagtail
(Motacilla citreola)
Citrine Wagtail (Motacilla citreola)- Breeding Male of calcarata race at Bharatpur I IMG 5752.jpg
A rare vagrant
Grey wagtail
(Motacilla cinerea)
Grey Wagtail.jpg
A resident breeding species
White wagtail
(Motacilla alba)
Pied Wagtail rear view 700.jpg
A three races
  • M. a. alba (nominate subspecies occurring as a migrant)
  • M. a. leucopsis, Amur wagtail (rare vagrant)
  • M. a. yarrelli, Pied wagtail (subspecies breeding in Britain)
Richard's pipit
(Anthus richardi)
Richard's Pipit I -Haryana IMG 9961.jpg
A scarce migrant
Blyth's pipit
(Anthus godlewskii)
Blyth s Pipit Anthus godlewskii.jpg
A rare vagrant
Tawny pipit
(Anthus campestris)
AnthusCampestris cropped.jpg
A scarce migrant
Olive-backed pipit
(Anthus hodgsoni)
Olive backed Pipit.jpg
A rare vagrant
Tree pipit
(Anthus trivialis)
Anthus triviallis (Marek Szczepanek).jpg
A breeding summer visitor
Pechora pipit
(Anthus gustavi)
Pechora Pipit spring Attu-island Alaska.jpg
A rare vagrant
Meadow pipit
(Anthus pratensis)
Meadowpippit2008 edit.jpg
A resident breeding species
Red-throated pipit
(Anthus cervinus)
Red-throated Pipit.jpg
A scarce migrant
Rock pipit
(Anthus petrosus)
Anthus petrosus3.jpg
A resident breeding species
Water pipit
(Anthus spinoletta)
Anthus spinoletta.jpg
A winter visitor
Buff-bellied pipit
(Anthus rubescens)
Anthus rubescens -Harney County, Oregon, USA-8.jpg
A rare vagrant

Finches[edit]

Order: Passeriformes. Family: Fringillidae

Seed-eating passerine birds that are small to moderately large and have a strong beak, usually conical and in some species very large. There are about 176 species worldwide, 22 in Britain.

Common and binomial names Image Status
Common chaffinch
(Fringilla coelebs)
Chaffinch (Fringilla coelebs).jpg
A resident breeding species
Brambling
(Fringilla montifringilla)
Fringilla montifringilla -Poland -male-8.jpg
A winter visitor, occasional breeder
European serin
(Serinus serinus)
Serinus serinus (Madrid, Spain) 002.jpg
A scarce passage migrant, occasional breeder
European greenfinch
(Chloris chloris)
Greenfinch (carduelis chloris) m.jpg
A resident breeding species
Citril finch
(Carduelis citrinella)
Carduelis citrinella -Plateau de Beille, Ariege, Midi-Pyrenee, France-8 (1).jpg
A rare vagrant
European goldfinch
(Carduelis carduelis)
Carduelis carduelis close up.jpg
A resident breeding species
Eurasian siskin
(Carduelis spinus)
Carduelis spinus male.jpg
A resident breeding species and winter visitor
Eurasian linnet
(Carduelis cannabina)
Carduelis cannabina -England -male-8.jpg
A resident breeding species
Twite
(Carduelis flavirostris)
Carduelis flavirostris.jpg
A resident breeding species
Lesser redpoll
(Carduelis cabaret)
Carduelis cabaret1.jpg
A resident breeding species
Mealy redpoll
(Carduelis flammea)
Carduelis flammea CT6.jpg
A winter visitor and passage migrant, occasional breeder
Arctic redpoll
(Carduelis hornemanni)
Carduelis hornemanni CT3.jpg
A scarce migrant
Two-barred crossbill
(Loxia leucoptera)
Whitewingedcrossbillmale09.jpg
A rare vagrant
Common crossbill
(Loxia curvirostra)
Red Crossbills (Male).jpg
A resident breeding species
Scottish crossbill
(Loxia scotica)
Common Crossbill (Loxia curvirostra) - geograph.org.uk - 419190.jpg
A resident breeding species
Parrot crossbill
(Loxia pytyopsittacus)
Loxia pytyopsittacus071021.jpg
A resident breeding species
Trumpeter finch
(Rhodopechys githaginea)
Bucanetes githagineus -Salinas de Janubio, Lanzarote, Spain-8.jpg
A rare vagrant
Common rosefinch
(Carpodacus erythrinus)
Carpodacus erythrinus 20060623.jpg
A scarce migrant, occasional breeder
Pine grosbeak
(Pinicola enucleator)
Pine grosbeak17g.jpg
A rare vagrant
Eurasian bullfinch
(Pyrrhula pyrrhula)
Pyrrhula pyrrhula -Lochwinnoch, Renfrewshire, Scotland-8.jpg
A resident breeding species
Hawfinch
(Coccothraustes coccothraustes)
Coccothraustes coccothraustes.jpg
A scarce resident breeding species
Evening grosbeak
(Coccothraustes vespertinus)
Hesperiphona vespertina CT3.jpg
A rare vagrant

Longspurs[edit]

Order: Passeriformes. Family: Emberizidae. Tribe: Calcariini

Common and binomial names Image Status
Snow bunting
(Plectrophenax nivalis)
Snow Bunting Cairngorm.jpg
A winter visitor & scarce breeder
Lapland bunting
(Calcarius lapponicus)
Lapland Longspur (Calcarius lapponicus).jpg
A winter visitor, occasional breeder

Cardinals and relatives[edit]

Order: Passeriformes. Family: Emberizidae. Tribe: Cardinalini

Common and binomial names Image Status
Summer tanager
(Piranga rubra)
Summer Tanager male hephzibah.jpg
A rare vagrant
Scarlet tanager
(Piranga olivacea)
Piranga olivacea1.jpg
A rare vagrant
Rose-breasted grosbeak
(Pheucticus ludovicianus)
RosebreastedGrosbeak08.jpg
A rare vagrant
Indigo bunting
(Passerina cyanea)
Indigo Bunting by Dan Pancamo 4.jpg
A rare vagrant

Buntings and American sparrows[edit]

Order: Passeriformes. Family: Emberizidae. Tribe: Emberizini

A large group of seed-eating passerine birds with a distinctively-shaped bill. There are about 179 species worldwide, 23 in Britain.

Common and binomial names Image Status
Rufous-sided towhee
(Pipilo erythrophthalmus)
Pipilo erythrophthalmus -Quabbin Reservoir, Massachusetts, USA -male-8.jpg
A rare vagrant
Lark sparrow
(Chondestes grammacus)
LarkSparrow.jpg
A rare vagrant
Savannah sparrow
(Passerculus sandwichensis)
Passerculus sandwichensis crop.jpg
A rare vagrant
Song sparrow
(Melospiza melodia)
Melospiza-melodia-001.jpg
A rare vagrant
White-crowned sparrow
(Zonotrichia leucophrys)
White-crowned-Sparrow.jpg
A rare vagrant
White-throated sparrow
(Zonotrichia albicollis)
Zonotrichia albicollis CT1.jpg
A rare vagrant
Dark-eyed junco
(junco hyemalis)
Junco hyemalis hyemalis CT2.jpg
A rare vagrant
Black-faced bunting
(Emberiza spodocephala)
Aoji male.JPG
A rare vagrant
Pine bunting
(Emberiza leucocephalos)
Emberiza leucocephalos; Baikonur-town 001.jpg
A rare vagrant
Yellowhammer
(Emberiza citrinella)
Emberiza citrinella -New Zealand -North Island-8.jpg
A resident breeding species
Cirl bunting
(Emberiza cirlus)
Cirl bunting cropped.jpg
A resident breeding species
Rock bunting
(Emberiza cia)
Emberiza cia Martien Brand.jpg
A rare vagrant
Ortolan bunting
(Emberiza hortulana)
Embhor.jpg
A scarce migrant
Cretzschmar's bunting
(Emberiza caesia)
Emberiza caesia.jpg
A rare vagrant
Yellow-browed bunting
(Emberiza chrysophrys)
Yellow-browed bunting (Emberiza chrysophrys) Eocheong Island Korea 2012.jpg
A rare vagrant
Rustic bunting
(Emberiza rustica)
Emberiza rustica2.jpg
A scarce migrant
Chestnut-eared bunting
(Emberiza fucata)
Emberiza fucata.jpg
A rare vagrant
Little bunting
(Emberiza pusilla)
Little Bunting.jpg
A scarce migrant
Yellow-breasted bunting
(Emberiza aureola)
EmberizaAureolaF.jpg
A rare vagrant
Reed bunting
(Emberiza schoeniclus)
Emberiza schoeniclus -England -male-8.jpg
A resident breeding species
Pallas' reed bunting
(Emberiza pallasi)
Emberiza pallasi (10).jpg
A rare vagrant
Black-headed bunting
(Emberiza melanocephala)
28-090504-black-headed-bunting-at-first-layby.jpg
A rare vagrant
Corn bunting
(Emberiza calandra)
Emberiza calandra -Jardin des Plantes, Paris, France-8.jpg
A resident breeding species

Icterids[edit]

Order: Passeriformes. Family: Emberizidae. Tribe: Icterini

Three rare vagrants.

Common and binomial names Image Status
Bobolink
(Dolichonyx oryzivorus)
Bobolink, Mer Bleue.jpg
A rare vagrant
Brown-headed cowbird
(Molothrus ater)
Molothrus ater 2.jpg
A rare vagrant
Baltimore oriole
(Icterus galbula)
Icterus-galbula-002.jpg
A rare vagrant

New World warblers[edit]

Order: Passeriformes. Family: Emberizidae. Tribe: Parulini

A group of small, often colourful passerine birds restricted to the New World. Most are arboreal and insectivorous. There are about 118 species worldwide. 18 have occurred as vagrants in Britain.

Common and binomial names Image Status
Ovenbird
(Seiurus aurocapilla)
Ovenbird RWD2011b.jpg
A rare vagrant
Northern waterthrush
(Parkesia noveboracensis)
Seiurus noveboracensis MP1.jpg
A rare vagrant
Golden-winged warbler
(Vermivora chrysoptera)
Vermivora chrysoptera St Louis Missouri 1.jpg
A rare vagrant
Black-and-white warbler
(Mniotilta varia)
Black-and-white Warbler.jpg
A rare vagrant
Tennessee warbler
(Oreothlypis peregrina)
Tennessee Warbler 2.jpg
A rare vagrant
Common yellowthroat
(Geothlypis trichas)
Commonyellowthroat159.jpg
A rare vagrant
Hooded warbler
(Setophaga citrina)
Wilsonia citrina (Belize).jpg
A rare vagrant
American redstart
(Setophaga ruticilla)
Setophaga ruticilla -Chiquimula, Guatemala -male-8-4c.jpg
A rare vagrant
Cape May warbler
(Setophaga tigrina)
Dendroica tigrina FWS.jpg
A rare vagrant
Northern parula
(Setophaga americana)
Northern Parula in High Island by Dan Pancamo 1.jpg
A rare vagrant
Magnolia warbler
(Setophaga magnolia)
Dendroica magnolia MN.jpg
A rare vagrant
Bay-breasted warbler
(Setophaga castanea)
Dendroica-castanea-001.jpg
A rare vagrant
Blackburnian warbler
(Setophaga fusca)
Dendroica-fusca-001.jpg
A rare vagrant
Yellow warbler
(Setophaga petechia)
Dendroica-petechia-001.jpg
A rare vagrant
Chestnut-sided warbler
(Setophaga pensylvanica)
Dendroica-pensylvanica-003.jpg
A rare vagrant
Blackpoll warbler
(Setophaga striata)
BlackpollWarbler23.jpg
A rare vagrant
Yellow-rumped warbler
(Setophaga coronata)
Yellow-rump-capisic-spring-2012.jpg
A rare vagrant
Wilson's warbler
(Cardellina pusilla)
Wilsonia pusilla.jpg
A rare vagrant

The links above lead to family accounts and individual species. Taxonomy is very fluid in the age of DNA analysis, so other arrangements may be found, as in Sibley-Ahlquist taxonomy.

Species awaiting acceptance[edit]

The following species have been recorded recently and the British Ornithologists' Union Records Committee has not yet made a decision on whether to accept them onto the British List.[5]

Common and binomial names Image Status
Elegant tern
(Sterna elegans)
Elegant Tern Bolsa Chica.jpg
Alder flycatcher
(Empidonax alnorum)
Empidonax alnorum CT2.jpg

See also[edit]

Footnotes[edit]

  1. ^ a b BOU (2013). "Changes to the British List". Retrieved 5 December 2013. 
  2. ^ British Ornithologists’ Union (2013). "The British List". Ibis 155: 635–676. doi:10.1111/ibi.12069. 
  3. ^ a b Dudley, Steve P; Gee, Mike; Kehoe, Chris; Melling, Tim M; The British Ornithologists' Union Records Committee (BOURC) (2006). "The British List:A Checklist of Birds of Britain (7th edition)". Ibis 148: 526–563. doi:10.1111/j.1474-919X.2006.00603.x. 
  4. ^ BOURC. "Species categories". Retrieved 9 December 2012. 
  5. ^ British Ornithologists' Union 37th report (October 2008) Ibis, 151 (1): 224-230.

External references[edit]