Vote – for your national bird

Robin, sitting pretty at No 1. Photo: Tim Melling
Robin, sitting pretty at No 1. Photo: Tim Melling

We are getting close to the end of the first round of voting in this poll for the National Bird– organised by David Lindo (The Urban Birder).

There have been over 60,000 votes so far – but things are quite tight at the top. You’ve got until the end of the month to influence the vote – the top 6 species at the end of this month will go into a play-off and the winner announced on general election day.

Registered voters will be eligible to be entered into a prize draw to win a week on Shetland courtesy of Shetland Wildlife, a pair of Leica Ultravid binoculars, Bird Watching Magazine subscriptions and Urban Birder Tee-shirts. Also, each voter (past, present and future) will be able to claim a free Bird Watching Magazine download.

I think the Robin is going to romp home – and good for it! But it would be quite a thing if a bird that most normal people have never heard of, now sitting at #14, were to pop into the top 6 for the final round.

Here is the current top 20 – but your vote counts, so vote here:

  1. Robin
  2. Kingfisher
  3. Barn Owl
  4. Blue Tit
  5. Wren
  6. Blackbird
  7. Puffin
  8. Mute Swan
  9. Red Kite
  10. Kestrel
  11. House Sparrow
  12. Peregrine
  13. Goldfinch
  14. Hen Harrier
  15. Tawny Owl
  16. Mallard
  17. Song Thrush
  18. Swallow
  19. Buzzard
  20. Golden Eagle
Kingfisher flies into No 2. Photo: Tim Melling
Kingfisher flies into #2. Photo: Tim Melling
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13 Replies to “Vote – for your national bird”

  1. Hen Harrier is the only one of my choices to make it into the top 20. I am disappointed that the swift hasn't ranked higher.
    The selection of species on the short-list of sixty includes some debatable choices - no geese, pheasant but no grey partridge, black redstart but no redstart, and surely waxwing, nice though it is, shows much too equivocal an attachment to this country to be considered for our national bird!

    1. Jonathan - you are clearly a thoughtful voter. We need more people like you in real politics.

      I imagine the Robin will be the only red to romp home next May.

      1. Hello Mark,
        If the robin is the only thing to romp home home in may and UKIP prosper then will winter "foreign" robins be deported. As for the hen harrier-as a migrant/resident breeder, passage/winter visitor, does it stand a chance?
        I wonder how all those "gun toting, grouse shooting, self-appointed guardians of the rural life" will vote, come the day.
        Another topic that one........

  2. Happy to cast my vote but I was convinced in my own mind that we had already nominated a favourite bird fairly recently. Perhaps it was a different poll for Britain's favourite mammal or whatever!

    Having piqued my curiosity, I discovered an interesting Wikipedia list of national birds (official and unofficial). This shows the Robin as the official UK national bird which is clearly an overstatement, although the RSPB declare it on their species pages as "The UK's favourite bird" .

    I noticed that Scotland too has an official national bird - the Golden Eagle - which is also a premature claim as the Scottish Parliament is still processing and debating a surprisingly controversial petition on the subject.

    This only goes to confirm that (a) you cannot take as fact very much written in Wikipedia, and (b) nothing gets people more exercised than having a bit of fun!

    PS: I hope the html tags work okay; apologies if not.

  3. Six birds of prey and two owls in the top 20 surely says a lot whatever gets in the top 20.
    An unheard of outsider forcing its way into the reckoning. You're not comparing hen harriers to UKIP are you Mark?!

  4. Oh go on then, bunged in a vote for the Circus....

    Also Swift, Swallow, Song Thrush, Kestrel and (just for you Mark), Linnet....

  5. Robin - everyone's favourite bird - robin redbreast - Christmas cards
    Oh heck, why do we have to be so twee. I like robins, but 'national bird'! There are so many more suitable birds.......
    Let's pick a cheeky one, magpie - a strong one, raven - a beautiful special one, yes hen harrier - one back from the brink, red kite -
    OK, we all have our own ideas but to be honest most people don't know their siskin from their greenfinch, but nearly everyone knows the robin - sorry but it's forgone conclusion.

  6. Wren definitely gets my vote - I think it's a great alternative to the Robin. Kingfisher and Barn Owl are two other choices and had to vote for the Red Kite - just love seeing those but have yet to see one in East Sussex. Would be really good to see something less common or one of those currently being persecuted making it in to the final Top 6.

  7. I voted for the beautiful finches that are fairly common but wonderful sight in my garden and had to include the kingfisher in honour of my first sighting of one in nearly 30 years yesterday!


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