Six birds to spot from your window

Recently, we have become more aware of the birdsong around our towns and cities. We have been offered the opportunity to work from home and are increasingly heading towards more rural areas. This brings a great opportunity to become more attuned to the wildlife outside our windows.

Here we offer six birds you might spot as you wash up at the sink or daydream from your sofa.

House Sparrow

The most common bird you might spot is the house sparrow. It is a sociable bird and loves a good singsong. It would have once been a constant visitor to British gardens, though its numbers have plummeted in recent years. While it is still relatively easy to see flocks of sparrows around a town or city, it is not as common as it once was. From 1977 to 2008, the population has fallen by 71%.

Check for the distinctive black beak and chest if you want to spot a male sparrow. In contrast, the female is all brown. To attract these to your garden, include a garden pond where they can splash around and put out a tube feeder with small seeds. As well as enjoying their company, you will be doing your bit to sustain their numbers.

Starling

There is nothing more beautiful than a murmuration. Visit lowland areas, where there are large grass areas for nesting, and you will see the dance of the flock of birds as they descend to roost for a night. Thousands of birds perform in synchronisation, and the sight is spectacular. The gushing sound as the birds come together to the ground is also breathtaking.

While you are unlikely to spot the flock from your window, you might get sight of them in your garden. On the surface, you might think they are a little drab. However, catch this bird in the right light; the plumage is an iridescent purple or green with white flecks. Also, take time to study its distinctive shape; the silhouette of this bird is a favourite among artists.

Bluetit

A popular garden bird, the blue tit is a small and dainty bird that punches above its weight because of its distinctive plumage. It is a colourful mixture of blue, yellow, white, and green. If you are not sure if you are looking at a great tit or a blue tit, you can tell from the size that it is a great tit and will not have a distinctive blue crest.

If you want to see a bluetit in your garden, you should put out peanuts, a favourite food. They also like to eat sunflower seeds; as the days get colder, they benefit from suet blocks and fat balls. Hang your feeder from a tree or bush for the best chance of getting a glimpse of these little cuties. However, it’s important to keep your feeder over 30 feet away from any windows to avoid them flying into it.

Wood pigeon

You will probably appreciate the distinctive cooing of the wood pigeon. It might not be the most attractive bird, being a bit dumpy and grey, but its call is soothing. It is also worth watching our most common pigeon in flight. It is a fast and powerful flyer.

Robin

Probably the most popular bird in the UK, the robin is distinctive because of its bright red breast. Most linked-to Christmas, the robin doesn’t disappear the rest of the year but tends to lose its red plumage. It becomes a dower little brown bird that might not catch your eye.

You might think this little bird is cute and its song is beautiful, but it is a punchy street fighter. A robin will peck a rival to death if they stray into their territory, which might not make as cute a card to give to a family member in December.

Magpie

Another distinctive plumage and so easy to spot, magpies are a common UK bird to view from your window. It appears black and white, but when you look closely, it has a purple sheen, and the tail has a green hue. There are stories that the magpie was the only member of the crow family not to lose all colour from its plumage to mourn the death of Christ, and so is an outsider in this family. Some rhymes link seeing a magpie to misery, joy, and treasures.

The magpie is a member of the crow family and is considered a highly intelligent bird. They are also predator birds and are one of the main threats to garden birds, second only to cats.

Love Belfast
Love Belfast
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