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The birds to look out for

Like so many people who enjoy the birds in their gardens, sometimes a bird pops in for a visit that you just can't name. 

But don't worry, we've gathered together a list of some of the most popular birds seen during Big Garden Birdwatch 2015.

It's a great place to start to familiarise yourself with the birds you might see during Birdwatch 2016, which will take place over the weekend of 30-31 January.

Alternatively, you can try our online bird identifier. Simply tell us a bit about what you saw and we'll suggest some possible birds.

Blackbird

The males live up to their name but, confusingly, females are brown often with spots and streaks on their breasts. The bright orange-yellow beak and eye-ring make adult male blackbirds one of the mos... More...

Blackbird

Blue tit

A colourful mix of blue, yellow, white and green makes the blue tit one of our most attractive and most recognisable garden visitors. In winter, family flocks join up with other tits as they search fo... More...

Blue tit

Chaffinch

The chaffinch is the UK's second commonest breeding bird, and is arguably the most colourful of the UK's finches. Its patterned plumage helps it to blend in when feeding on the ground and it becomes ... More...

Chaffinch

Coal tit

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. Its smaller, more slender bill than blue or great tits means it... More...

Coal tit

Collared dove

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. Their monotonous cooing will be a familiar so... More...

Collared dove

Dunnock

A small brown and grey bird. Quiet and unobtrusive, it 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, often flicking... More...

Dunnock

Great tit

The largest UK tit - green and yellow with a striking glossy black head with white cheeks and a distinctive two-syllable song. It is a woodland bird which has readily adapted to man-made habitats to ... More...

Great tit

Greenfinch

Its twittering and wheezing song, and flash of yellow and green as it flies, make this finch a truly colourful character. Nesting in a garden conifer, or feasting on black sunflower seeds, it is a reg... More...

Greenfinch

House sparrow

Noisy and gregarious, these cheerful exploiters of man's rubbish and wastefulness, have managed to colonise most of the world. The ultimate avian opportunist perhaps. Monitoring suggests a severe decl... More...

House sparrow

Magpie

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 its black plumage takes on an altogether more colourful hue ... More...

Magpie

Robin

The UK's favourite bird - with its bright red breast it is familar throughout the year and especially at Christmas! Males and females look identical, and young birds have no red breast and are spotted... More...

Robin

Starling

Smaller than blackbirds, with a short tail, pointed head, triangular wings, starlings look black at a distance but when seen closer they are very glossy with a sheen of purples and greens. Their fligh... More...

Starling

Woodpigeon

The UK's largest and commonest pigeon, it is largely grey with a white neck patch and white wing patches, clearly visible in flight. Although shy in the countryside it can be tame and approachable in ... More...

Woodpigeon

Goldfinch

A highly coloured finch with a bright red face and yellow wing patch. Sociable, often breeding in loose colonies, they have a delightful liquid twittering song and call. Their long fine beaks allow ... More...

Goldfinch

Long-tailed tit

The long-tailed tit is easily recognisable with its distinctive colouring, a tail that is bigger than its body, and undulating flight. Gregarious and noisy residents, long-tailed tits are most usually... More...

Long-tailed tit

In more depth