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British Birds - Buntings, Sparrows and Starlings
What is the name of this bird?

British Birds - Buntings, Sparrows and Starlings

The buntings of Europe, Asia and Africa are related to American sparrows. Most have simple, unmusical but distinctive songs. Starlings look black at a distance but when seen closer they are very glossy with a sheen of purples and greens. Test your knowledge in the following Natural History quiz on buntings, sparrows and starlings.

To see a larger image, click on the picture.
1.
What is the name of this bird?
Photograph courtesy of Alan Vernon
Yellowhammer
Common Starling
Lapland Bunting
House Sparrow
  • Group: Buntings and American Sparrows
  • Binomial: Emberiza citrinella
  • Order: Passeriformes
  • Family: Emberizidae
  • Status: Resident Breeding Species
  • Common in all sorts of open areas.
  • Often seen perched on top of a hedge or bush, singing its high-pitched song.
  • The familiar song of the male is often described as 'A little bit of bread and no cheese'.
2.
What is the name of this bird?
Photograph courtesy of Emberiza Schoeniclus
Common Starling
House Sparrow
Dunnock
Reed Bunting
  • Group: Buntings and American Sparrows
  • Binomial: Emberiza schoeniclus
  • Order: Passeriformes
  • Family: Emberizidae
  • Status: Resident Breeding Species
  • Usually delivers its song from a perch at the top of a tree or bush.
  • The nest is a cup of grass and moss built on the ground.
  • Fine grasses and hair are used to line the cup.
3.
What is the name of this bird?
Photograph courtesy of Lip Kee
Cirl Bunting
Reed Bunting
House Sparrow
Yellowhammer
  • Group: Sparrows
  • Binomial: Passer domesticus
  • Order: Passeriformes
  • Family: Passeridae
  • Status: Resident Breeding Species
  • Once common throughout the UK but now in decline in many areas
  • The size of the black bib determines the bird's dominance within its community
  • It is normally found wherever there is a concentration of people
4.
What is the name of this bird?
Photograph courtesy of Paul Lomax
Yellowhammer
Common Starling
Reed Bunting
Dunnock
  • Group: Starlings
  • Binomial: Sturnus vulgaris
  • Order: Passeriformes
  • Family: Sturnidae
  • Status: Resident Breeding Species And Winter Visitor
  • The base of their bills are blue for boys and pink for girls!
  • In the autumn massive flocks congregate in what are known as "murmurations"
5.
What is the name of this bird?
Photograph courtesy of http://www.laitche.com/
House Sparrow
Common Starling
Eurasian Tree Sparrow
Lapland Bunting
  • Group: Sparrows
  • Binomial: Passer montanus
  • Order: Passeriformes
  • Family: Passeridae
  • Status: Resident Breeding Species
  • The UK population has suffered a severe decline, estimated at 93 per cent between 1970 and 2008.
  • Untidy nest usually built in a natural cavity.
  • Shy and not associated with man.
6.
What is the name of this bird?
Photograph courtesy of Paco Gomez
Lapland Bunting
Reed Bunting
Cirl Bunting
House Sparrow
  • Group: Buntings and American Sparrows
  • Binomial: Emberiza cirlus
  • Order: Passeriformes
  • Family: Emberizidae
  • Status: Resident Breeding Species
  • Best looked for in fields and hedges of south Devon.
  • Through the efforts of conservation organisations and landowners, the population has increased from 118 pairs in 1989 to 700 pairs in 2003.
7.
What is the name of this bird?
Photograph courtesy of Smalljim
Dunnock
Snow Bunting
Lapland Bunting
Common Starling
  • Group: Accentors
  • Binomial: Prunella modularis
  • Order: Passeriformes
  • Family: Prunellidae
  • Status: Resident Breeding Species
  • Also known as Hedge Sparrow
  • Intricate light and dark brown markings
  • Adults have some grey on their heads but this is absent in young birds
  • Its movements are altogether more agitated than house sparrows
8.
What is the name of this bird?
Photograph courtesy of Matthieu Gauvain
Snow Bunting
Corn Bunting
Dunnock
Eurasian Tree Sparrow
  • Group: Buntings and American Sparrows
  • Binomial: Miliaria calandra
  • Order: Passeriformes
  • Family: Emberizidae
  • Status: Resident Breeding Species
  • The song of the male is a repetitive metallic sound, usually likened to jangling keys.
  • Males play only a small role in parental care; they only feed the chicks when they are over half grown.
9.
What is the name of this bird?
Photograph courtesy of http://www.fws.gov/
Reed Bunting
Eurasian Tree Sparrow
Lapland Bunting
Dunnock
  • Group: Buntings and American Sparrows
  • Binomial: Calcarius lapponicus
  • Order: Passeriformes
  • Family: Emberizidae
  • Status: Winter Visitor
  • Spends most of its time on the ground and often seen in small flocks.
  • Wintering birds are mainly found along the east coast of the UK.
  • Yorkshire, Lincolnshire and North Norfolk coasts usually hold the most birds.
10.
What is the name of this bird?
Photograph courtesy of http://www.fws.gov/
Eurasian Tree Sparrow
Common Starling
House Sparrow
Snow Bunting
  • Group: Buntings and American Sparrows
  • Binomial: Plectrophenax nivalis
  • Order: Passeriformes
  • Family: Emberizidae
  • Status: Winter Visitor
  • Globally breed around the arctic from Scandinavia to Alaska, Canada and Greenland and migrate south in winter.
  • During the last ice age, it was widespread throughout continental Europe.

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