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Which is the most common bird in the world and the most common in the UK?

Sent in by Phil Greenwood, Birstall, West Yorkshire

Technically, the most common bird in the world is the domestic chicken, with around 50 billion birds. However, the most common wild bird is thought to be the red-billed quelea. They are sparrow-sized birds with brown bodies and the males have a red bill with variable face markings.

This species is found in sub-Saharan Africa. They are members of the weaver family and there are thought to be about 1.5 billion breeding birds. They are very social and some flocks can be in the millions. They feed on seed and, because of their numbers, can damage crops.

The most common bird in the UK is the wren. There are thought to be around 8.5 million breeding territories in the UK. This may surprise some people because they are not as regularly seen as woodpigeons or house sparrows, for example.

However, wrens are very widespread throughout the UK and inhabit a wide range of habitats. They like to stay close to cover so don't often come onto feeders but can easily be heard as they have a very loud song for a small bird.

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