Identifying winter Auks

Summer Auks, in breeding plumage, at the shore or near to their colonies are relatively easy to identify. But in autumn and winter we tend to see them flying rapidly past, far offshore, or bobbing around in heavy seas offering poor views. When you add to this that their distinctive breeding plumage and colouring is lost, winter Auks can be a serious challenge to identify and separate.

If you value the video guides that BTO produces, consider donating to help us continue our work.

Browse videos by species

Recent Bird ID videos

Ruff. Photograph by Ed Drewitt
By learning how to recognise Ruff in their various guises through this video, you’ll be able to pick them out with confidence.
Herring Gull. Photograph by Edmund Fellowes
Build up your gull ID skills by learning to recognise two ideal reference species: Common Gull and Herring Gull.
Corn Bunting. Photograph by John Harding
Yellowhammer, Cirl and Corn Bunting all breed in farmland in the UK, and can all present identification challenges.