Not always black…
Male blackbirds live up to their name but, confusingly, females are brown often with spots and streaks on their breasts. Sometimes blackbirds even have white feathers – that’s a condition called leucism.
What blackbirds eat
Blackbirds eat a variety of foods, from earthworms to fruits like apples and berries. They also love porridge oats.
Loves seeds, nuts and fat
A colourful mix of blue, yellow, white and green makes the blue tit one of our most attractive and most recognisable garden visitors.
What blue tits eat
Loves hopping on the ground, looking for seeds
Male chaffinches have a subtle pink breast, while females are more brownish. They both have distinctive black and white flashes on their wings.
What chaffinches eat
Chaffinches are not so keen on using bird feeders and generally prefer to shuffle around on the ground, picking up seeds that other birds have dropped.
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Small and cheeky
Not as colourful as some of its relatives, the coal tit has a distinctive grey back, black cap, and white patch at the back of its neck.
What coal tits eat
Look out for coal tits making quick visits to feeders for seeds or suet pellets. They don’t like to hang around, and prefer to dash back to a safe perch in a tree or bush to eat.
“Coo-coo coo, coo-coo coo…”
Collared doves are a pale, pinky-brown grey colour, with a distinctive black neck collar (as the name suggests). They have deep red eyes and reddish feet, and are responsible for repetitive cooing songs and those twiggy nests on your satellite dish.
What collared doves eat
They’re nervous visitors to bird tables if seeds and grains are on offer, but are a bit too big for most bird feeders.
Small and brown – likes lurking in flower beds
A small brown and grey bird. Quiet and unobtrusive, the dunnock is often seen on its own, creeping along the edge of a flower bed or near to a bush, moving with a rather nervous, shuffling gait.
What dunnocks eat
Some dunnocks are bold enough to brave the bird feeder or visit a bird table for any seedy, fatty scraps. But mostly they prefer to hide among shrubs or feed on other birds’ leftovers on the ground.
Brightly-coloured but argumentative!
Everyone’s favourite? A brightly-coloured finch with a red face and yellow wing patch. Sociable, often breeding in loose colonies, goldfinches have a delightful liquid twittering song and call. But don’t be fooled – they can be a bit grumpy!
What goldfinches eat
Goldfinches are seed-eaters. Make sure you stock up, as they often go around in flocks and have large appetites! Sunflower hearts or nyger seeds are their favourites.
Grabs seeds and flies away with them
The largest UK tit is green and yellow with a striking glossy black and white head. It’s a woodland bird which has found that our gardens offer plenty of food and places to nest.
What great tits eat
Like blue and coal tits, great tits make quick visits to bird feeders for seeds and fat. They also eat insects and consume a lot of caterpillars in spring and summer.
Eats lots and lots of seeds…
Its twittering and wheezing song, and flash of yellow and green as it flies, make the greenfinch a truly colourful character. Males can be bright, almost lime-green, but females and younger birds are more dull.
What greenfinches eat
Seeds, and lots of them! Sunflower seeds (with or without the shell) are their favourite food. Greenfinches are sociable birds and might visit you in a small flock – so stock up on seeds!
Common – but not as common as they were
Everyone knows the house sparrow, but its numbers have dropped alarmingly. They’re still common garden visitors in many areas, though. Males have a black chin and ‘bib’; females are dressed in more subtle shades of brown.
What house sparrows eat
Almost anything! Seeds are their favourites, though they’re not too fussy and will try most foods, in feeders or on a bird table.
Small, cute and sociable
The long-tailed tit is easily recognisable with its distinctive colouring, a tail that is longer than its body, and a bouncy flight. These cuties roam around together in family flocks that stay together all year round.
What long-tailed tits eat
Long-tailed tits eat a lot of insects, though they can be attracted by fat like suet cakes or pellets. They’ll often visit you in a big flock, arriving and leaving all together.
With its noisy chattering, black-and-white plumage and long tail, there is nothing else quite like the magpie in the UK. When seen close-up, it’s easy to spot the beautiful iridescent purple, blue and green tones in its feathers.
What magpies eat
The gardener’s friend
The UK’s favourite bird – with its bright red breast the robin is familiar throughout the year and especially at Christmas! Males and females look identical, and they both hold territories during winter.
What robins eat
Robins eat a lot of creepy-crawlies, including worms (which is why they like gardeners turning over the soil). They’ll grab mealworms from a bird table or feeder, or snack on sunflower hearts. Fruit is another favourite.
Glossy, squawky and starry
Smaller than blackbirds, with a short tail, pointy head and wings, starlings look black at a distance but when seen closer they are very glossy with a sheen of purples and greens. In winter they’re covered in pale spots – which gives them their name.
What starlings eat
Starlings aren’t picky and will eat almost anything they can get their beaks into. They can be quarrelsome on the bird table, however.
Now a common garden visitor
The UK’s largest and commonest pigeon, it is largely grey with a white neck patch and white wing patches, clearly visible in flight. Woodpigeons also have beautiful pinkish and turquoise hints to their plumage – can you spot where?
What woodpigeons eat
Seeds and grains, and green shoots when they’re out in the fields.
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This content is sponsored by RSPB
This content is sponsored byTags: RSPB Last modified: December 13, 2021