Marsh tit perched on blossom

How to identify birds

You don't need to know anything about birds to enjoy watching them. These pages provide useful tips to help get you started.

Whether you're watching small birds at your bird table, or birds of prey soaring hundreds of feet above your head, birds are everywhere. The most important thing to remember is to enjoy watching and listening.

Learning about birds

It's a natural progression to go from enjoying watching a bird going about its business to asking yourself 'what kind of bird is it?' If you flip through the pages of a bird book or browse our A-Z pages, you'll see there are many different species in Britain (and more than 10,000 worldwide!).

Contrary to popular belief, you don't need expensive equipment or expert knowledge. The most important 'tools' are your eyes, ears and brain! All the other things are optional. 

By following simple guidelines and principles, you can learn to identify any bird you come across. Every bird you see is different in some way and, if you want to, you can spend a lifetime learning about them. 


Hummingbird hawk moth

Frequently asked questions about how to identify birds.