A Pagans Guide to British Birds

Now that we’re out of the snows of Winter, there are plenty of birds singing their little hearts out.  If you’re anything like me, I can tell that it’s birds making the noise, but that’s about it.  So, here’s a quick guide to some of the sights and sounds of common British Birds:

(the sound clips are MP3’s and are taken from the BBC, just click the link to play)

Chaffinch

Chaffinch

Chaffinch

The Chaffinch is our commonest finch in the British Isles, the male finch is pictured above, the female is brown in colour.  Hearing a Chaffinch is one of the first signs of Spring returning Birdsong – Chaffinch.

Robin

Robin

Robin

Distinctive red breasted males (as above) and the brown females both sing.  Birdsong – Robin

House Sparrow

house sparrow

house sparrow

Often heard in hedgerows and descending en-masse on bird feeders and tables.  The male is as above, the female is brown.  Numbers are now in decline, as habitats grow rarer.
RSPB House Sparrow page(with audio clip)

Blue Tit

blue tit

blue tit

The top species for eating aphids, the bane of many gardeners.  Will return to the same nesting box year after year.  Was noted in the 1960’s as the bird which taught other individuals of it’s kind to attack the foil tops of milk bottles to get at the cream.  This has declined with the lessening of doorstep deliveries, and milk being provided in cartons from supermarkets.  Birdsong – Blue Tit

Blackbird

blackbird

blackbird

Will eat insects, earthworms, berries and fruits, The male is black,(as above) and the female brown.  Birdsong – Blackbird

Song Thrush

Song Thrush

Song Thrush

Will mostly eat insects, but also worms, snails and fruit.  May leave snail shell remains around an ‘anvil stone’ which it uses to crack the shells. Birdsong – Song Thrush

Magpie

magpie

magpie

Black, white, long tail.  Persistent, irritating and liable to go for shiny things.  Nuff said.  One of the few species able to recognise itself in a mirror test.  Call sounds like the Chak-chak-chak of a machine gun.  It’s distinctive, but I can’t seem to find a recording of it available online.  RSPB Magpie page (with audio clip)

Wood Pigeon

Common Wood Pigeon

Common Wood Pigeon

The UK’s major agricultural bird pest and one of the most popular species for shooting.  Forms very large flocks and takes off with a large clattering sound.  Birdsong – Wood Pigeon

Great Tit

Great Tit

Great Tit

Will feed on insects and spiders, but may go after Pipistrelle bats in winter when food is scarce.  Like the Blue Tit, this species has been recorded attacking foil milk bottle tops to get at the cream.  Birdsong – Great Tit

Further online resources:

The National Trust Guide to Birdsong

RSPB – Garden Wildlife

BBC – British Birds

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3 thoughts on “A Pagans Guide to British Birds

  1. A couple of years ago I had a pair of robins raise a brood of four chicks in a nest box that I can see from my window. After they had fledged, I rang the RSPB to ask what to do and they told me to clean the box out. BIG MISTAKE. Last spring the pair came back and finding the box empty did not make another nest as I expected. The male has continued to visit me over the year, and particularly for mealworms during this bad winter, but no sign of the pair coming together. I continue to hope they will return. Robins are early nesters so I will watch with interest and if they do nest again, I’ll not be cleaning it out!

  2. Hi
    Very well presented and put together, would it be acceptable for me to use some of this content on our web site and naturally give credit to you?
    best regards
    GT

    • Hi GT,
      You’d be very welcome 🙂 If you don’t mind, I’ll put a link to your site on the recent post about pagan burial options.
      If there’s anything else we can aid you with, let us know 🙂

      Amalasuntha

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