About BirdFacts

BirdFacts provides information for more than 600 bird species. See our species coverage section for an explanation of which species are included.

Each BirdFacts species page is broken down into the following sections; click on any of these to see explanations of the meaning and sources of information presented in these sections.

In general, BirdFacts provides information for the whole of the UK, and most trend statistics concern the longest time period for which we can produce trends. For readers interested in information for the constituent countries of the UK, or for different time periods, we provide an accompanying tool called the Trends Explorer.

Wherever you see the orange Trends Explorer button this indicates that you can view additional data on trends in population size and/or demographic rates for that species, with the option to download graphs and data if required.

  • If you spot any errors, missing information, or have a picture we could use for a species that does not have one already, please email us: birdfacts [at] bto.org.

Species coverage

BirdFacts includes an entry for all species on the official British List as maintained by the British Ornithologists’ Union. These are the 630 bird species that have occurred naturally in a wild state or which have been introduced but maintain self-sustaining feral populations in Britain. 

BirdFacts also covers some additional species, mostly common escapes that are not judged to have self-sustaining populations, but which may be regularly encountered in the UK. 

Detailed accounts with supporting data are provided for over 300 regularly occurring species; shorter accounts are given for a further 300+ species, encompassing scarce migrants, very rare vagrants and a few species that are now extinct. For more details on the British List see the latest (10th) BOU Checklist.


The general information contained in these pages has been gradually collated over many years, initially by Raymond O'Connor and subsequently maintained by Rob Robinson.

Overview species texts were written (* and edited) by Charlotte Conner, Andy Clements, Mike Haigh, John Marchant, Rob Robinson, Viola Ross-Smith*, Paul Stancliffe and Mike Toms*. Audio clips were sourced from Xeno-canto by Kat Eudo-Mitchell and Simon Gillings. Distribution and Distribution Change texts are based on Bird Atlas 2007–11.

Seasonality texts were written by Simon Gillings. Causes of change and conservation actions were written by Ian Woodward. We are grateful to the many photographers who provided headline images; they are credited on the relevant species page.

Thanks to William Skellorn, Daniel Higgins, Miriam Lord and Lee Carnihan for website development. We are grateful to our partners, particular RSPB and JNCC with whom many of our surveys and schemes are run in partnership. We are indebted to the thousands of BTO volunteers who have gathered the data on which much of this summary information is based.

Citing BirdFacts

If citing species information within BirdFacts you should cite the original sources which are usually given next to the information. If you wish to cite BirdFacts itself, please use the following citation:

BTO (2023) BirdFacts: profiles of birds occurring in the United Kingdom. BTO, Thetford (https://www.bto.org/birdfacts, accessed on xx/xx/xxxx).

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