The Wren: Britains Most Common Wild BirdKeith
The Wren: Now that’s a surprise isn’t it?
Ask the person in the street to name Britain’s most common bird and they’ll probably pick the Pigeon. This is understandable, as for most people, the flocks of pigeons that inhabit the UK’s towns and cities are the birds they see all the time.
According to the RSPB and the British Trust for Ornithology (BTO), there are just over 500,000 breeding pairs of Feral Pigeons in the UK. The organisations’ research is not conclusive and whether the number of pigeons living in urban areas has been accurately calculated isn’t too clear, but with 11 other species reported to have a UK population that numbers one million or more, it seems the Feral Pigeon is someway down the list of Britain’s most common birds.
The million or more club
So, if not the Feral Pigeon, what are the most abundant species in the UK? Three members of the Corvid (crow) family – the Carrion Crow, Rook and Jackdaw – all have numbers roughly between one and 1.4 million. For Pheasants, the population is recorded as 2.3 million females, with no figure available for males. Considering the species is polygynous – one male breeds with a harem of females – it’s likely the overall population may be closer to three million.
Also among the country’s most common birds are the Great Tit and Blue Tit. Put some nuts out in almost any garden and you will see this attractive garden visitors, these species have populations of roughly 2.3 million and 3.6 million breeding pairs respectively.
Britain’s most common bird is one of its smallest: the Wren. Because of its diminutive size, the typical Wren is just two per cent the weight of a Wood Pigeon, and tends to stick to cover, the species isn’t seen as regularly as its large population would suggest. Increase your chances of catching sight of the delightful little birds by installing a Wren nest box.