Blue tit (l), Great tit (m) and Coal tit (r) | The RSPB

How to tell tricky bird species apart

Stuck trying to ID a couple of our feathered friends?

Even our most familiar birds can be tricky to tell apart. These hints and tips will help you identify some of our most often confused species.

What's that bird of prey?

Blink and you’ll miss it! Sparrowhawks, peregrine falcons and goshawks are all very fast-moving birds, so identifying them can be a challenge.

Graphic illustration of sparrowhawk female (l) and male (r), Peregrine (flying) and goshawk female (far left) and male (far right) | The RSPB

When is a green finch not a greenfinch?

Meet two brightly coloured finches that can be difficult to tell apart, siskins and greenfinches.

Greenfinch | The RSPB

Bustling with bramblings or chock-full of chaffinches?

Winter can see birds flocking in huge numbers. One winter visitor that loves a crowd is the brambling - but can you tell them apart from the chaffinches they often are with?

Brambling illustration | The RSPB

Birds to crow about

Most crows may not have the brightest plumage in the world, but when it comes to brain power, they’re some of the smartest animals on the planet.

So, you think you know your sparrows?

They’re often dismissed as ‘little brown jobs’ but they’re far from boring, with smart plumage and fascinating social lives.

House sparrow | The RSPB

The great tit confusion

This article is about tits. Yes, have a giggle, get it out your system, because we’re going to be using the word a lot...

Blue tit | The RSPB

Thrashing out different thrushes

There are dozens of species of thrush found all over the world, and six that can be seen in the UK.

Song thrush | The RSPB

Meet the ancestors

Get to know two very similar water birds. Two birds that betray an evolutionary link to dinosaurs more obviously than other birds are cormorants and shags.

How to tell your coo from a cuckoo

In the hullabaloo of spring birdsong, it’s surprisingly easy to mix up that distant cuck-coo with the cooing call of two much more common and familiar birds: the woodpigeon and the collared dove.

Swift, swallow or martin?

Swirling high in the blue skies, screeching wildly. Dark-winged creatures darting low over fields. Others chirruping softly as they flutter to and fro on the warm breeze. But which bird is it?

Terns and smaller gulls in summer

Visit the coast or an inland lake during the warmer months and you may well be rewarded by the sight of some of our more elegant seabirds.

Similar summer visitors

Our spring dawn chorus gets a tuneful boost each year from migrant warblers, but while their songs are unique, some of them look frustratingly similar.

Willow warbler illustration