Finding Out About… Magpies

Image by Natural England, CC BY-NC-ND 2.0 Latin name – pica pica This is the most interesting, and at the same time the most controversial, British bird that I have yet covered in this “Finding Out” series on our native birds. The beautiful magpie is woven into our culture and folklore going back almost a… Read More

Finding Out About… Greylag Geese

“The bird that came back” Latin name – anser anser The Greylag Goose, the former “Grey Goose” of the Fenlands, is the ancestor of our domestic farmyard goose.  Before the widespread drainage of the East Anglian Fens, it had nested as far south as Cambridgeshire, but by the beginning of the 19th century, its breeding… Read More

Finding Out About… Wrens

Latin name: Troglodytes troglodytes, which means “cave dweller” in English Image by This familiar species is listed by the BTO as the UK’s commonest breeding bird, with c11 million breeding pairs, and was known to my mother as Jenny Wren.  The wren has had a very wide range of regional and folk names – at… Read More

Finding Out About… Goldfinches

Image by Natural England, CC BY-NC-ND 2.0 Fact File Latin name: Carduelis Carduelis UK breeding population: 1.65 million pairs 16th most numerous breeding bird in the UK Most goldfinch noted on a collection of garden feeders in Little Paxton: 28 together.  Can you beat that? Status: common summer resident, with c80% of the UK population… Read More