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Most Common Brown Birds In The UK | Green Feathers

Most Common Brown Birds In The UK | Green Feathers

Most Common Brown Birds In The UK

British brown birds are often overlooked by bird watchers and nature enthusiasts, likely due to their neutral (and perhaps unexciting) tones and commonality. However, common brown birds are often the most frequent visitors in our wildlife-friendly gardens and have distinct personalities and traits that can be fascinating to watch up close. 

If you’re a beginner bird watcher, or just want to be able to spot these frequent fliers who come to visit your bird box cameras, keep reading as we name the most common brown birds in the UK along with their captivating characteristics. 

Tips for bird watching

If you’re hoping to spot a common brown bird, keep in mind these helpful tips that will increase your chances!

Best times to watch birds

The best times to bird-watch are early mornings and late afternoons. Scatter some bird seeds and get yourself (or your wildlife camera) ready to see some brown bird activity in your garden or local greenspace. Explore different ways to attract birds to your garden for the best results. 

Bring the essential gear

Sometimes bird watching isn’t as easy as just looking outside of a window or connecting to your bird feeder camera. If you’re heading out, wear comfortable clothing and bring a pair of binoculars, a field guide, and a notebook and pen (for noting your finds).

Ethical bird watching

Bird watching is all about being mindful of the birds, and there are different ways to watch garden wildlife without disturbing it. To get the best results of seeing a common brown bird, you need to respect the wildlife and keep away at a distance; avoiding disturbing any nests. 

6 most common brown birds in the UK

There are - as of 2022 - 628 species of birds found in the UK, though some may be harder to spot than others. This can often make the common brown bird seem almost unremarkable, though these feathered friends are the most frequent visitors in UK gardens. Recognisable by their distinct feathers, features and patterns, these six common brown birds are, in fact, a significant part of avian diversity in the UK. 

1. House Sparrow

House Sparrow
The House Sparrow, or Passer Domesticus, is described as a small, chunky bird with a mix of brown, grey and black streaks. Found all over the UK in urban areas, gardens and farmlands, you will often see a House Sparrow as part of a sociable flock - chirping away. 

Fun fact: Did you know House Sparrows are one of the most widespread birds in the world?

2. Dunnock

The Dunnock, or Prunella Modularis, is a small, slim bird with brown and grey streaked plumage. Typically seen hiding away in gardens, woodlands and hedgerows, Dunnocks are known to be quiet and inconspicuous birds. 

Fun fact: Dunnocks are also called Hedge Sparrows, due to frequently being seen hopping about under hedges

3. Robin

A very popular bird around winter, the Robin, or Erithacus Rubecula, is a small, round-bodied bird with a reddish-orange breast and brown upper parts. Seen in woodlands, gardens and parks, Robins are often alone and considered to be territorial, but are known for their melodious song. 

Fun fact: Robins are associated with Christmas, as Victorian Brits used to call postmen ‘robins’ due to their red-breasted uniform. The symbol of the Robin at Christmas represents goodwill messages from family and friends. 

4. Wren

Wrens, or Troglodytes Troglodytes, are extremely small birds with tiny tails, brown upperparts and fine barring. With diverse habitats, from woodlands to urban gardens, to moorlands, Wrens are often seen flicking their tails and singing a loud, complex song. 

Fun fact: Wrens, though loud, are one of the smallest birds in the UK. 

5. Song Thrush

The Song Thrush, or Turdus Philomelos, is a medium-sized brown bird with warm brown upperparts and spotted underparts. Found all over the UK in woodlands, gardens and local parks, Song Thrushes have a loud and repetitive song. However, their population is starting to decline in some areas, due to habitat loss. 

Fun fact: A Song Thrush’s favourite food is snails, and you will often find them hunting for them along the ground. 

6. Chaffinch 

Chaffinch, or Fringilla Coelebs, are quite a different coloured brown bird, with a pinkish-brown breast, a blueish cap and striped wings. The Chaffinch prefers open areas of land (especially in the Winter) like woodland, fields, hedgerows and parkland, and are often very tame and tender to approach - especially if they’re expecting food.

Fun fact: The Chaffinch population doubles in Winter, as more birds flock over from other European countries. 

Want to learn more about other common birds in the UK? Check out our blog for the best tips and tricks, or contact us for expert wildlife advice and how our products can help you. 

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