Which Are London's Commonest Birds?

By M@ Last edited 18 months ago
Which Are London's Commonest Birds?

These are the birds most regularly spotted in London's gardens. We've shown them in relative proportion. So, for example, blackbirds (centre-right) are roughly four times as common as jays (bottom-right). Most common of all are the woodpigeons (trooping across the top of the image), closely followed by the plucky house sparrow, whose numbers are nevertheless in decline.

The image is based on the 2015 Big Garden Birdwatch, an annual survey of the nation's avian populations. The survey data is for the whole of Greater London, not just the centre, and is based on thousands of observations by Londoners.

Here they are in order of abundance (roughly top to bottom in the image).

Woodpigeon, house sparrow, starling, blue tit, feral pigeon, common blackbird, ring-necked parakeet, magpie, robin, great tit, goldfinch, carrion crow, collared dove, dunnock, long-tailed tit, common gull, chaffinch, coal tit, jay.

(We've used Creative Commons images of the birds. Click each link for the source.)

We've shown only the most commonly sighted birds. Many others were spotted, including such exotics as treecreepers, waxwings, yellowhammers and buzzards. The full data can be downloaded as a spreadsheet from the Big Garden Birdwatch results page.

And finally, here's our avian host crammed into the outline of Greater London. Just for a lark.

Last Updated 26 October 2016

Greg Tingey

Wood Pigeons appear to be commoner than the so-called Feral Pigeon, I notice.
These latter, of course, merely appear to be birds - in actuality they are mobile bags of disease & parasites.
[ Apart for any communicable diseases they carry, they certainly have fleas, lice, ticks & tapeworms, euw. ]

I suspect that the figures are altered by the large amounts of outer London that are more "open".
I regularly see or hear both Green & Grt Spotted Woodpeckers, for instance.
And it depends on what your local "ecology" is like, too - round here we have Herons, Egrets & Common Terns, because of the River Lea open spaces & the reservoirs .... ( & too many Canada Geese )


There is absolutely no way that the Common Gull is the commonest gull despite its name. The most common gulls in London are Black-Headed Gulls and Herring Gulls.