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Golden Eagle

Background The Golden Eagle is a large majestic bird known for being one of the world’s most efficient avian predators. They have excellent eyesight and is able to fly at approximately 150 mph, making it one of the fastest animals in the world. Habitat The Golden Eagle can be found across the northern hemisphere, however […]

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Atlantic Puffin

Background It is not hard to see why these birds are sometimes referred to as the “parrot of the sea”, the shocking orange and black bill of this species is one of the clearest identifications within the animal kingdom. The Atlantic Puffin can dive up to 60 meters in order to capture prey. Habitat Puffins […]

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Manx Shearwater

Background The Manx Shearwater is a medium sized bird with long straight wings and small hidden legs that allow it to live most of its life in the air. Related to the Wandering Albatross, it is known for its extensive migrations that span thousands of miles. Habitat The bird spends the majority of its time […]

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House Martin

Background The House Martin can be identified by its obscure steel blue colouring on its back and head with a white undercarriage. They are small birds and both male and female sexes look very much alike. Habitat House Martins love the open country with a water source. However, they can also be seen nesting in […]

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Barn Swallow

Background The most distinguishable part of the Barn Swallow is their tail, known as a “swallow tail” as it is forked. They can also be identified by their steel blue colouring on top and red colouring elsewhere. Habitat The clue is in the name, Barn Swallows find barns and other open structures a great place […]

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Pied Flycatcher

Background A small fly catching species the Pied Flycatcher shows something called sexual dimorphism. This is where their appearance differs between males and females. The males of the species are dark brown with a white breast plumage and a white spot on the head. The females are a lighter brown. The Collared Flycatcher is very similar […]

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Buzzard

Background The most common bird of prey within Britain, the Buzzard is a medium to large sized bird with rounded wings. These birds vary in colour between individuals, however adults can be identified via the darkish brown plumage above, and the white patterns below. The voice of these birds is far carrying and shares similarities […]

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Sparrowhawk

Background The sparrowhawk has short rounded wings and a long slender tail to help with quick acceleration and excellent maneuverability whilst in flight. These birds are prey are distinguishable by their brown barred pattern on the underpart of the body. Habitat Found Europe wide, preferring forest and woodland habitats. Diet The diet of male sparrowhawk […]

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Jackdaw

Background The Jackdaw is a member of the smallest member of the crow family. This species is black with a distinctive sheen of grey at the rear of the head and at the base of the wings. They also possess striking white eyes. Habitat The jackdaw inhabits open woodlands, farmland, urban areas and interestingly old […]

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Rook

Background A crow with a black glossy plumage, the rook has loose feathers at the upper thigh, which helps distinguish this particular species from other crows. In addition to this the beak, in atleast some parts appear a whitish-grey colour. They are sociable birds often found with jackdaws when feeding. Habitat Abundant across Europe, apart […]

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Tufted Duck

Background The Tufted Duck is a compact diving bird which presents a tuft on the rear of its head, hence its name. The males of this species are black with a purple sheen, and the females are a dark brown. The colouration of the female is used for camouflage in their environment. Habitat Abundant near […]

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Red-Legged Partridge

Background Like most Partridges, the Red-Legged Partridge is a medium sized game bird with a plump figure. The adults are a grey brown, with a chesnut, black and white barring on the breast. As the name suggests, the legs of this species are red, alongside the beak and eyes. Habitat The Red Legged Partridge lives […]

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English Partridge

Background The English partridge, also known as the grey partridge is a small game bird. Distinguishable features of this animal include the brown plumage accompanied by a brown horse-shoe pattern located on the breast. Flight takes place low to the ground, and is as direct as possible. Habitat The English partridge can be found Europe […]

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Pheasant

Background The male pheasant is an unmistakable bird with a bronze body with black and white marks. The head is blue-green in colour with red facial patches surrounding the eyes. Female pheasants are a lot less colourful, being light brown, with dark brown and white patches. Habitat Pheasants are primarily found within farmlands, open woodlands […]

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Lapwing

Background As a wading bird the Lapwing belongs to the plover family, meaning that the species are plump-breasted shorebirds. Their primary identifying characteristic is the upturned crest. Habitat British and Western European species, they are common on salt marshes, mud flats and within other open water systems. Diet Mainly feeding on earthworms, insects (including larvae) […]

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Wigeon

Background Like most birds, the Wigeon shows a variation in colouration between sexes. The male notable for the chestnut brown head, grey and white body with the black wing tips. However, the female of this species is both smaller and has a brown body throughout. Habitat During the winter their geographical distribution ranges across most […]

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Brent Goose

Background Whilst there are three subspecies of Brent Goose, all are easily distinguishable from each other, and from other species of birds. Identifying features include their relatively short neck with a white strand just below the head. Habitat A migratory bird, they appear in the UK between October and March, found in estuaries, marshes and sheltered […]

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White-Fronted Goose

Background The White-Fronted Goose is named as such due to the white patch that surrounds the bill. Whilst predation on this species is quite high from humans and other predators they are not considered vulnerable to extinction due to their wide geographic range. They have an incredible distribution of more than 20,000 km² around the […]

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Meadow Pipit

Background The Meadow Pipit is a streaky bird primarily consisting of different shades of brown, with black and white patches. Their numbers saw a decline in the 1970’s during a shift in agricultural practices, and their numbers haven’t fully recovered yet. They are therefore placed in the “Near Threatened” category. Habitat This species can be […]

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Oystercatcher

Background An incredibly distinctive wading bird, the Oystercatcher has a long and thin red/orange bill, a white breast and black back. Due to their diet they are often left vulnerable in areas that have a depleted mussel or oyster bed. Habitat The Oystercatcher is primarily found on the coast of most European waters. They are […]

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Common Sandpiper

Background Primarily a river dwelling bird, the Common Sandpiper is a camouflaged species with a brown and white colouration, allowing them to easily blend in with their surroundings. If this does fail however, they are adapted to diving in order to get away from predators. Habitat This species is common throughout Europe, and whilst only […]

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Water Rail

Background The Water Rail is easily recognisable with grey on both the underparts and head, with a brown spotted top half of the body. This species is quite reclusive and only comes out from the protection of reeds when foraging/hunting. Habitat Distributed across most of Europe (with the exclusion of Northern Scotland and Scandinavia) and […]

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Common Kingfisher

Background Whilst only a small bird, approximately 15 cm in length, the Common Kingfisher is an unmistakable bird. The adults of this species are a vibrant blue with patches of green, black and chestnut, which appears at the cheeks and underneath the body. The bill is relatively long helping it catch fish as its prey. […]

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Teal

Background Within the Teal, males and females show a different colouration in the body. The males with grey flanks and a spotted chest, and the females showing a mottled pattern. The heads of these species both show a green patch surrounding the eye, making these ducks easily recognisable. Habitat Teals are migratory birds and therefore […]

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Pink-Footed Goose

Background The name of the Pink-Footed Goose is quite deceptive, as it is not the only goose that is pink footed. The Greylag Goose also shares this feature. The proportions of this bird are one of the easier ways that this species can be identified. This bird has a proportionally small head, beak and legs […]

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Osprey

Background This fast, sleek, streamlined Osprey is well adapted to hunting its prey. With razor sharp talons and excellent eye sight, this species can see its prey from approximately 40m away and travel up to 44 mph (70km/h). The Osprey, whilst adapted to catching fish, rarely dives more than 1 m below the surface. Habitat […]

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Sandwich Tern

Background A medium sized tern that displays grey wings, a white body and a shaggy black crest. The Sandwich Tern is not an aggressive species and prefers to nest near other bird species that will protect their eggs. Habitat Extant populations exist between North and South America to the west of Asia. The sandwich tern […]

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Arctic Tern

Background The Arctic Tern has one of the longest migrations of any avian species only to be rivaled by the sooty shearwater. In addition to this amazing migration, they are also one of the only birds that are able to hover. Common Terns and Arctic Terns are often confused with one another. The way to […]

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Little Tern

Background The Little Tern is the smallest of the Tern family. The terns look all very similar to each other and identification can sometimes be difficult. This species of tern however has a dark grey back with a black band from the crest to the bill. Habitat As a seabird this species prefers to live […]

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Coot

Background The Coot is a dull velvet black colour throughout the body with one of the only distinctive features being the white forehead and beak. They fly close to the water revealing white trailing edges at the underneath tips of the wings. Habitat Found commonly throughout Europe in fresh and brackish waters such as reservoirs, […]

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Mandarin Duck

Background Males of the Mandarin Duck possess a beautiful colouration across the body, displaying greens, reds and oranges. The females however are alot less colourful and generally is brown with a grey head. Mandarin Ducks originated from the far east of Asia, however they were introduced to Britain in captivity. Some individuals did however escape, […]

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Greenfinch

Background The Greenfinch  is a common garden bird, that is easily recognisable by its distinctive green and yellow colouration. They are a sexually dimorphic species, which means that there are differences between the two sexes, the males appear more vibrant in their plumage, whereas the females’ consists of paler greens and yellows. A fabulous bird […]

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Song Thrush

Background There are three recognised subspecies of the Song Thrush. Despite this all of these subspecies have similar colouration with a brown body and a mottled brown and white/cream on the breast. Habitat Whilst a migratory species, Britain is host to populations all year round. They can be found in woodlands, parks, farmland and even […]

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Blue Tit

Background The Blue Tit presents a magnificent colouration of green, blue and yellow. The blue is found both within the wings and at the crest, giving this bird its name. Blue tits are often found in groups of up to 5, and like to gather around bird feeders in parks or in your garden. Habitat […]

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Coal Tit

Background Whilst there are many different sub species of Coal Tit (primarily defined by their geographical distribution) all Coal Tits have a glossy black head with a grey plumage on the wings and upper body. Habitat The Coal Tit is distributed across Europe and central latitudes of Asia found commonly in gardens and woodlands of […]

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Robin

Background The adult Robin is one of the most distinctive birds found in Britain. A small bird, the robin is easily identifiable by the brightly coloured orange/brown breast. Distinguishing between the sexes of these birds is difficult as both the males and females share the same colouration and patterns. Habitat This species is commonly found […]

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Mute Swan

Background The Mute Swan is a large and unmistakable species with a brilliant white plumage and an orange beak. Their neck is held in an “S” shape. Before the bill, they have a distinctive knob on the forehead. Habitat The Mute Swan is found throughout Europe, with the primary exception of Spain and Portugal, and […]

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Greylag Goose

Background Adults of the Greylag Goose present a series of brown and grey patches across the top of the body, with more faint colouration below. Both the head and neck are a dark brown. The beak displays geographical variation with eastern populations having a pink beak, and western populations an orange. Habitat These geese have […]

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Canada Goose

Background The descendants of introduced individuals, this goose species has now become a resident to the UK and northern Europe. The Canada Goose is the largest of the “black goose” species. Adults of this species have a long black neck with white patches on the face, and a dark brown body, which is usually paler […]

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Grey Heron

Background Herons are long legged piscivores/fish-eaters. A patient hunter, the Heron is commonly found standing still in or at the side of shallow water bodies, waiting to ambush their prey. The Grey Heron, is distinguished from other herons by their grey flanks, and black and white patterning along the neck, head and breast of the body. […]

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Shag

Background The Shag is very similar to a comorant, both in colouration and morphology. Despite this, Shags tend to be slimmer and a clear distinguishing feature between the two is the raised plumage on their heads. Habitat A coastal species found across Britain (except the south east) and Europe, the Shag prefers to live on […]

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Kittiwake

Background The Kittiwake is a medium sized species of gull that presents a brilliant white colour. The wings can appear grey and are tipped with a black at the wings. The legs are also relatively small and a distinctive black. Habitat They are found across the northern hemisphere on the coasts during the summer, however […]

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Fulmar

Background Described as a pelagic bird, meaning this species is very rarely found close to shore and instead is at sea. Generally having a white body with darker grey-black wings, the fulmar is a streamlined gliding bird, showing few wing beats during flight. Habitat This sea bird is found off the coasts of northern European […]

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Red-Billed Chough

Background The Red-Billed Chough is a medium sized black crow with a curved red bill. These birds can be found performing excellent acrobatic displays during flight, diving and swooping in their air, trying to attract the attention of females. Habitat This species of chough has a year round presence in Wales, western Ireland, Spain and […]

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Gannet

Background The Gannet or Northern Gannet is a large white seabird with a yellow cap, and black wings. This species often has a blue ring surrounding the eye. With brilliant eyesight they can locate prey from upto 45m above the surface of water. Habitat Their geographic distribution of this species ranges across the Atlantic ocean. […]

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Common Kestrel

Background An excellent hunter with outstanding visual senses, the Common Kestrel can see subtle movements of long grasses and small insects. This bird is usually diurnal, meaning that they hunt during the day, however they have occasionally been observed searching for prey during moonlight. Habitat Residing throughout southern and the most northern tips of Africa, […]

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Peregrine Falcon

Background The majestic Peregrine Falcon is the world’s fastest bird reaching speeds of upto 200 mph. In fact this falcon is thought to be the fastest organism within the animal kingdom. These beautiful killing machines can migrate upto 1,000 miles in winter, moving to warmer climates. Habitat There are actually very few places that Peregrine […]

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Guillemot

Background The colour of the Guillemot changes from geographic location, appearing chocolate brown in southern areas, and a black colour in more northern reaches of their distribution. Habitat These birds are found throughout the northern hemisphere with very few exceptions, however most notably the southern parts of the north Atlantic ocean. They are primarily found […]

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Razorbill

Background This species is often confused with the Common Guillemot, however one of the distinguishing features between these two species is the bill. The bill of the Razorbill is broader and generally contains a white stripe. Habitat A northern Atlantic species, the razorbill is commonly found within coastal environments due to it’s diet. Diet Feeding […]

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Yellow Hammer

Background Despite the suggestion of the name, it is only the males of this species that appear a ellow colour. The females and immature individuals appear mainly brown. The Yellowhammer shows a change in behaviour between different seasons, found solitary during summer, and in flocks during the winter. Habitat An all year round resident within […]

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Corn Bunting

Background The Corn Bunting is the largest of the bunting birds, and is somewhat nondescript when compared to birds of the group. A primary characteristic of this bird is that whilst it calls during flight they will dangle their legs leisurely. Habitat The preferred habitat of the Corn Bunting is that of open farmlands, moors […]

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Skylark

Background This small brown bird is a streaky brown. The crest on the top of the head, can be raised when the animal is alarmed or excited. The Skylark produces it’s song whilst performing exquisite displays of flight in the air. Habitat The primary habitat of the Skylark is open farmland, marshes and heaths. All […]

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