Top 20 of birds around British schools


This is a video of a European robin singing.

From the Royal Society for the Protection of Birds in Britain:

Here is a list of the top 20 birds seen during the Big Schools’ Birdwatch

1. Starling
At number one, each school saw an average of 5.05 starlings. These noisy characters are usually seen foraging in small flocks. At a distance, starlings look black, but close up you can see they have green and purple, glossy feathers, covered in white and buff spots.

2. Black-headed gull
On average, 4.65 black-headed gulls were seen per school. A small white gull with a light grey back, red beak and legs, and in winter a white head with a black spot behind the eye. It only gets its black head in summer.

3. Blackbird
Each school had an average of 4.29 blackbirds. The male blackbird is black with a bright yellow bill, while the female is brown. Blackbirds have a long tail and often hop along the ground with their tail up. In winter, migrant blackbirds from northern Europe join our resident birds.

4. Woodpigeon
An average of 3.72 woodpigeons were seen per school. Woodpigeons are the largest of the pigeon family. They have a small, round, grey head, greyish back, tail and wings with a pink breast and white neck patch.

5. House sparrow
There were on average 3.25 house sparrows per school. These are often seen in small flocks. Males have a grey crown, black bib, reddish-brown back streaked with black, and grey breast and belly, while females have brown, streaky backs and are buff below.

6. Carrion crow
On average, 3.06 all-black carrion crows were seen per school. Carrion crows will come to school grounds for food and although often cautious initially, they soon learn when it is safe, and will return repeatedly to take advantage of whatever is on offer.

7. Blue tit
Schools recorded an average of 2.58 blue tits. An agile bird, the blue tit is most often seen flitting onto bird feeders. It is a small, sky blue and yellow bird with white cheeks and a dark eye stripe. In winter, family flocks of blue tits are joined by great tits, long-tailed tits and other woodland species, as they search for food.

8. Magpie
An average of 2.34 magpies were seen per school. From a distance the magpie appears black and white, although close up a subtle blue and green sheen can be seen. In winter, this large, black and white bird with a long tail is often seen in small groups.

9. Chaffinch
There were an average of 2.12 chaffinches per school. Both male and female chaffinches have black and white wings, and a green rump. The male has a pinky face and breast and a blue-grey crown, while the female is a sandy brown.

10. Robin
Schools counted an average of 1.88 robins. With its bright, orange-red breast, brown back and dumpy shape, the robin is a familiar garden bird. Robins are the only garden birds to sing throughout the winter, with both males and females holding winter territories.

11. Collared dove
There was an average of 1.20 collared doves per school. These birds originally came from southern Asia and spread naturally from there. They were first recorded in Britain in 1953 and since have become a common UK garden bird.

12. Great tit
Each school saw an average of 1.15 great tits. Bigger than the blue tit, the great tit has a black and white head, bright yellow breast with a bold, black stripe running down it, and a green back. The black breast stripe is wider on the male.

13. Jackdaw
On average, 1.08 jackdaws were seen per school. Jackdaws are quite acrobatic fliers and flocks will often chase and tumble together in flight.

14. Greenfinch
On average, 0.81 greenfinches were seen by each school. The male is a green bird with yellow patches on the wings, a forked tail and a stout beak. The female is browner and may look like a female house sparrow until she flies and shows off the yellow in her tail and wings.

15. Pied wagtail
An average of 0.79 pied wagtails were seen per school. When not standing and frantically wagging its tail up and down it can be seen dashing about over lawns or car parks in search of food.

16. Song thrush
An average of 0.55 song thrushes were seen per school. The song thrush has a brown head, back and tail, with pale under parts and dark brown, streaky spots. Although it is still a common bird, its numbers are declining at an alarming rate.

17. Coal tit
Schools recorded an average of 0.54 coal tits. An active and very agile bird. Its head is black with white cheeks and a white stripe on the back of its head.

18. Dunnock
There were on average 0.46 dunnocks per school. A small, easily overlooked bird, dunnocks creep around under bushes in a mouse-like way.

19. Common gull
Schools saw an average of 0.46 common gulls. It looks like a small, gentler version of the herring gull, with greenish legs and a yellow bill. Despite its name, it is not at all common in some inland areas, though often abundant on the coast and in some eastern counties. They are now seen more often in towns and on housing estates in winter.

20. Wren
There were an average of 0.45 wrens per school. Tiny, dumpy and energetic, wrens are one of our smallest birds. They are most often seen flicking and cocking their tail as they search for food under cover of hedges and vegetation.

Garden bird species of Britain: here. And here.

Selling off school playing fields in Britain: here.

2 thoughts on “Top 20 of birds around British schools

  1. Pingback: Two bird species, new to Gambia | Dear Kitty. Some blog

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