Birds in Europe – Discovering the Common Birds of Europe

Discover the Birds of Europe
Discover the Birds of Europe

Birdwatching in Europe is an exciting activity for nature lovers of all ages. The continent is home to a diverse range of bird species that are fascinating to observe and learn about. In this article, I’ll introduce some of the most common birds you can find in Europe, along with their unique features and habits. Let’s explore these feathered friends together.

Common Birds in Europe

Blackbird

The blackbird is a familiar sight in gardens and parks across Europe. With its striking black plumage and bright yellow beak, it’s easy to recognize. These birds are known for their melodic songs, which they use to establish their territory and attract mates. Blackbirds are versatile in their diet, feeding on insects, worms, and berries.

Sparrow

Sparrows are small, lively birds that are widespread across Europe. They are often seen in urban areas, hopping around looking for food. These birds have brown and gray feathers with distinctive markings on their heads. Sparrows are highly adaptable and can thrive in various environments, from city centers to countryside fields.

Woodpecker

Woodpeckers are fascinating birds known for their ability to peck at tree trunks. The great spotted woodpecker is a common species in Europe, recognizable by its black and white plumage with a splash of red on its belly. These birds have strong beaks and specialized skulls to withstand the impact of pecking. They feed on insects found under the bark of trees.

Tit

The tit family includes several small bird species that are common in Europe. The great tit, with its bright yellow breast and black head, is one of the most recognizable. These birds are active and often seen flitting around trees and bushes. They have a varied diet, including insects, seeds, and nuts.

European Robin

The European robin is a beloved bird known for its bright red breast. These birds are often associated with winter and Christmas. Robins are friendly and curious, often approaching humans in gardens. They feed on insects, worms, and fruits, and their song is a cheerful addition to any garden.

Wren

Wrens are small birds with a big voice. Despite their tiny size, they have a loud and distinctive song. Wrens have brown, speckled plumage that helps them blend into their surroundings. They are often found in gardens, woodlands, and hedgerows, searching for insects and spiders to eat.

Nuthatch

Nuthatches are unique in their ability to climb down trees headfirst, unlike most birds that only climb up. The Eurasian nuthatch has blue-gray feathers on its back and a white belly. These birds have strong beaks that they use to break open seeds and nuts. They are often seen in woodlands and forests.

Goldfinch

The European goldfinch is a colorful bird with bright yellow, black, and red markings. These birds are often seen in flocks, feeding on seeds from plants like thistles. Goldfinches are known for their cheerful song and acrobatic flight. They are commonly found in gardens, parks, and farmland.

Migratory Birds

European Starling

European starlings are well-known for their glossy black feathers that shimmer with purple and green hues. These birds are highly social and often seen in large flocks. Starlings are excellent mimics, capable of imitating the sounds of other birds and even human-made noises. They migrate in search of food and suitable breeding grounds.

Warbler

Warblers are small, insect-eating birds that migrate to Europe during the breeding season. The Eurasian reed warbler, for example, is often found in reed beds and wetlands. These birds have a distinctive song that they use to communicate and attract mates. Warblers play a crucial role in controlling insect populations.

Finch

Finches are a diverse group of birds that include species like the chaffinch and greenfinch. The chaffinch has a colorful plumage with a blue-gray cap and a pinkish-brown breast. Greenfinches have olive-green feathers and a yellow wing stripe. These birds are often seen in gardens, woodlands, and parks, feeding on seeds and insects.

Bird Watching Tips

Birdwatching can be a rewarding hobby that connects you with nature. Here are some tips to help you get started:

  1. Binoculars: Invest in a good pair of binoculars to get a closer look at the birds without disturbing them.
  2. Field Guide: Carry a field guide to help you identify different species and learn more about their habits.
  3. Quiet Observation: Approach birds quietly and patiently to avoid scaring them away.
  4. Record Keeping: Keep a journal of your sightings, noting the date, location, and any interesting behaviors.
  5. Respect Nature: Always respect the natural habitats of birds and avoid disturbing nests or feeding sites.

Common Birds Table

Here’s a quick reference table for some of the common birds in Europe:

Bird SpeciesDistinctive FeaturesHabitatDiet
BlackbirdBlack plumage, yellow beakGardens, parksInsects, worms, berries
SparrowBrown and gray feathers, head markingsUrban areas, fieldsSeeds, insects
Great Spotted WoodpeckerBlack and white plumage, red bellyWoodlands, forestsInsects, nuts
Great TitYellow breast, black headTrees, bushesInsects, seeds, nuts
European RobinRed breastGardens, woodlandsInsects, worms, fruits
WrenBrown speckled plumageGardens, hedgerowsInsects, spiders
Eurasian NuthatchBlue-gray back, white bellyWoodlands, forestsSeeds, nuts
European GoldfinchYellow, black, and red markingsGardens, parks, farmlandSeeds
European StarlingGlossy black feathers, mimic soundsUrban areas, farmlandsInsects, seeds
Eurasian Reed WarblerInsect-eating, distinctive songReed beds, wetlandsInsects
ChaffinchBlue-gray cap, pinkish-brown breastGardens, woodlandsSeeds, insects
European GreenfinchOlive-green feathers, yellow wing stripeGardens, parksSeeds, insects

Bird Watching Tips

Want to see more birds? Here are some tips:

  • Be quiet and move slowly
  • Look in trees, bushes, and on the ground
  • Listen for bird calls and songs
  • Bring binoculars if you have them
  • Keep a list of the birds you see

The best times to watch birds are early morning and evening. Different birds are active at different times of year too. Spring is great for seeing migrating birds and hearing songs.

You can put out bird feeders to attract birds to your yard. Different types of food will bring different birds. Seeds, suet, and fruit are good choices.

Helping Birds

Many European birds are in trouble. Their numbers are going down. Here’s how you can help:

  • Plant native trees and flowers for birds to use
  • Keep cats indoors
  • Put stickers on windows to prevent bird crashes
  • Don’t use pesticides in your yard
  • Support groups that protect bird habitats

Even small actions can make a big difference for birds!

Bird Trends in Europe

Scientists keep track of how many birds there are. They’ve found some worrying trends:

  • Farmland birds have gone down by 36% since 1990
  • Forest birds have gone down by 5% since 1990
  • Overall, common birds have decreased by 12%

Birds that live on farms are having the hardest time. Changes in farming have made it harder for them to find food and nesting spots.

But there’s hope! When we protect habitats and change how we do things, bird numbers can go back up.

Europe has so many amazing birds to discover. From tiny Long-tailed Tits to majestic Mute Swans, there’s always something new to see

Birdwatching in Europe offers a chance to see a wide variety of species, each with its own unique behaviors and characteristics. By learning about these common birds, you can appreciate the rich avian diversity that the continent has to offer. Whether you’re in a bustling city or a quiet countryside, keep an eye out for these wonderful creatures and enjoy the beauty of nature. Happy birdwatching!

List of 100 Common Birds in Europe:

No.Bird SpeciesDistinctive FeaturesHabitatDiet
1Alpine AccentorBrown and grey plumage, orange-brown flanksHigh mountainsInsects, seeds
2Alpine ChoughBlack plumage, yellow bill, red legsHigh mountainsInsects, berries
3Azores BullfinchStocky, with a short, thick billAzores archipelagoSeeds, fruits
4Balearic ShearwaterDark brown upperparts, pale underpartsBalearic IslandsFish, squid
5Balearic WarblerGreyish-brown with a reddish eye-ringBalearic IslandsInsects, small invertebrates
6Barn SwallowBlue-black upperparts, red throat, long tailOpen countryside, farmsInsects
7Bearded ReedlingBrown and grey plumage, long tailReedbedsInsects, seeds
8Bearded VultureLarge, dark with a white head, long tailPyrenees, AlpsBones, carrion
9Black RedstartBlack and red plumage, orange-red tailUrban areas, rocky cliffsInsects, berries
10Black-winged StiltLong red legs, black and white plumageWetlandsInsects, small aquatic animals
11Bonelli’s EaglePale underparts, dark upperpartsSouthern EuropeSmall mammals, birds
12Canary Islands ChiffchaffOlive-brown plumage, white eye-ringCanary IslandsInsects, small fruits
13Caucasian GrouseBlack plumage with a greenish sheenCaucasus MountainsInsects, plant material
14Common ChiffchaffOlive-brown plumage, distinctive callWoodlands, gardensInsects, spiders
15Common CraneTall, grey body, black neck, red crownWetlands, grasslandsPlants, insects
16Common CrossbillRed or green plumage, crossed billConiferous forestsConifer seeds
17Common KingfisherBright blue and orange plumageRivers, lakesFish, aquatic insects
18Common LinnetBrown and grey plumage, red breast in malesFarmlands, heathlandsSeeds, insects
19Common RavenLarge, black plumage, robust billMountains, forestsCarrion, insects, small animals
20Common RedshankRed legs, brown and white plumageWetlands, coastsInsects, small invertebrates
21Common RedstartRed tail, black face, grey upperpartsWoodlands, gardensInsects, berries
22Common TernGrey and white plumage, black capCoastal areas, inland water bodiesFish, insects
23Common Wood PigeonGrey with white neck patches, pinkish breastWoodlands, urban areasSeeds, grains, berries
24Corsican NuthatchBlue-grey upperparts, white underpartsCorsica, SardiniaInsects, seeds
25Cyprus WarblerBlack and grey plumage, red eye-ringCyprusInsects, small invertebrates
26Dalmatian PelicanLarge, with curly nape feathers, silvery plumageWetlands in southeastern EuropeFish
27Eleonora’s FalconDark plumage, long wingsCoastal cliffs, islandsInsects, small birds
28Eurasian BitternCamouflaged brown plumageReedbeds, wetlandsFish, amphibians, insects
29Eurasian BlackbirdBlack plumage, yellow billGardens, woodlandsInsects, worms, berries
30Eurasian BlackcapGrey body, black or brown capWoodlands, gardensInsects, berries
31Eurasian BullfinchBright red underparts, black headWoodlands, gardensSeeds, buds
32Eurasian Collared DoveGreyish-brown plumage, black neck ringUrban areas, farmlandsSeeds, grains
33Eurasian CurlewLong, curved bill, mottled brown plumageWetlands, coastsInsects, small invertebrates
34Eurasian Eagle-OwlLarge, ear tufts, orange eyesForests, mountainsSmall mammals, birds
35Eurasian JackdawBlack and grey plumage, pale eyesUrban areas, woodlandsInsects, seeds, small animals
36Eurasian JayPinkish-brown plumage, blue wing patchesWoodlands, parksInsects, seeds, small animals
37Eurasian MagpieBlack and white plumage, iridescent wingsUrban areas, farmlandsInsects, seeds, small animals
38Eurasian NuthatchBlue-grey upperparts, white underpartsWoodlands, parksInsects, seeds
39Eurasian OystercatcherBlack and white plumage, long orange billCoastal areas, estuariesShellfish, invertebrates
40Eurasian Reed WarblerBrown plumage, long billReedbeds, wetlandsInsects
41Eurasian SiskinGreen and yellow plumage, black capWoodlands, gardensSeeds, insects
42Eurasian SkylarkBrown and white plumage, distinctive songGrasslands, farmlandsSeeds, insects
43Eurasian Three-toed WoodpeckerBlack and white barred back, yellow crownBoreal forests in EuropeInsects, larvae
44Eurasian TreecreeperBrown and white streaked plumage, curved billWoodlands, parksInsects, spiders
45European Bee-eaterBrightly colored, slender bodyOpen countryside, riverbanksInsects
46European Golden OrioleBright yellow and black plumageWoodlands, orchardsInsects, fruits
47European GoldfinchRed face, black and white head, yellow wing barGardens, farmlandsSeeds, insects
48European Green WoodpeckerGreen plumage, red crownWoodlands, parksInsects, larvae
49European GreenfinchGreen and yellow plumage, stout billGardens, woodlandsSeeds, fruits
50European Herring GullGrey back, white body, yellow billCoastal areas, inland water bodiesFish, invertebrates
51European Pied FlycatcherBlack and white plumageWoodlands, gardensInsects
52European RobinOrange-red breast, brown upperpartsGardens, woodlandsInsects, worms, berries
53European RollerBright blue and brown plumageOpen countrysideInsects, small vertebrates
54European ShagBlack plumage, greenish sheenCoastal cliffs, islandsFish, crustaceans
55European StarlingBlack plumage with iridescent spotsUrban areas, farmlandsInsects, fruits, seeds
56European StonechatBrown and orange plumage, black headHeathlands, grasslandsInsects
57FieldfareGrey head, brown back, speckled underpartsWoodlands, farmlandsInsects, berries
58Gran Canaria Blue ChaffinchBlue plumage, especially in malesGran Canaria, Canary IslandsSeeds, small invertebrates
59Great BustardLarge, brown and white plumageOpen plains, farmlandPlants, insects
60Great White PelicanLarge, white plumage, pink billWetlands, lakesFish
61HawfinchLarge, with a thick bill, brown plumageWoodlands, parksSeeds, fruits
62Hooded CrowGrey and black plumageUrban areas, farmlandsInsects, seeds, small animals
63House MartinBlack and white plumage, forked tailUrban areas, cliffsInsects
64Iberian MagpieBlack and white plumage with a long tailIberian PeninsulaInsects, fruits, seeds
65Lesser Spotted WoodpeckerBlack and white barred back, red capWoodlandsInsects, larvae
66Little BustardBrown and white plumage, black and white neckSteppe, dry grasslandsPlants, insects
67Little TernSmall, grey and white plumage, yellow billCoastal areas, estuariesFish, invertebrates
68Madeira FirecrestSmall, with an orange crownMadeiraInsects, spiders
69Marsh WarblerOlive-brown plumage, pale underpartsWetlands, marshesInsects
70Mistle ThrushGreyish-brown plumage, white underpartsWoodlands, parksInsects, berries
71Monk ParakeetGreen plumage, grey faceUrban areas, woodlandsFruits, seeds
72Northern RavenLarge, black plumage, robust billMountains, forestsCarrion, insects, small animals
73Northern WheatearGrey and white plumage, black maskOpen countrysideInsects
74Pied AvocetBlack and white plumage, upturned billCoastal wetlandsInsects, small aquatic animals
75Red-billed ChoughBlack plumage, red bill, red legsCoastal cliffs, mountainsInsects, berries
76Red-footed FalconGrey body, red legs, small falconOpen country, farmlandInsects, small birds
77Red-legged PartridgeRed legs and beak, white face with black bandsIberian PeninsulaSeeds, insects
78RedwingBrown and white streaked plumage, red flanksWoodlands, farmlandsInsects, berries
79Ring OuzelBlack with a white crescent on the chestMountains, upland areasInsects, berries
80Rock PigeonVariable plumage, often grey with two black barsUrban areas, cliffsSeeds, grains
81Rock PtarmiganWhite in winter, brown in summerArctic and alpine tundraPlant material, insects
82Rock SparrowBrown and grey plumage, streaked backRocky areas, farmlandsSeeds, insects
83Rose-ringed ParakeetGreen plumage, red bill, ring around neckUrban areas, woodlandsFruits, seeds
84Sardinian WarblerGrey body, black head, white throatSardiniaInsects, small fruits
85Scottish CrossbillDistinctive crossed billScottish HighlandsConifer seeds
86Sedge WarblerBrown and white streaked plumage, pale superciliumWetlands, reedbedsInsects
87Short-toed TreecreeperBrown and white streaked plumage, curved billWoodlands, parksInsects, spiders
88Snow BuntingWhite and brown plumage, black wingsArctic tundra, mountainsSeeds, insects
89Song ThrushBrown and speckled plumageWoodlands, gardensInsects, worms, berries
90Spanish Imperial EagleDark brown with white shouldersIberian PeninsulaRabbits, small mammals
91St. Kilda WrenBrown with darker streaks, robust billSt. Kilda archipelagoInsects, spiders
92Stock DoveBlue-grey plumage, green neck patchWoodlands, farmlandsSeeds, grains
93Tenerife GoldcrestYellow and black crown, very small sizeTenerife, Canary IslandsInsects, spiders
94Turtle DoveBrown and black plumage, distinctive cooingWoodlands, farmlandsSeeds, grains
95WallcreeperGrey and red plumage, long billCliffs and rocky areasInsects, spiders
96Western CapercaillieLarge, dark plumage, fan-shaped tailBoreal forestsBerries, shoots, insects
97Western JackdawBlack and grey plumage, blue-grey eyesUrban areas, woodlandsInsects, seeds, small animals
98WhinchatBrown and white plumage, white eye stripeGrasslands, farmlandsInsects
99White-tailed EagleBrown plumage, white tail, large beakCoasts, large lakesFish, birds, small mammals
100Willow WarblerGreenish-brown plumage, pale legsWoodlands, gardensInsects, spiders
Picture of Nathan

Nathan

I absolutely adore birds, especially lovebirds, and I’m passionate about exploring forests for bird watching. I wanted to create a space for fellow bird lovers to connect, learn, and share experiences.