Above: The RSPB ID Spotlight series focuses on garden, wetland and coastal birds and birds of prey


AN ID SPOTLIGHT series, to help identify and learn more about our most common bird species, has been published by the RSPB.

In each A5 chart, species are grouped by family and helpfully labelled to assist with identification. When opened out, accurate illustrations are shown side by side for quick comparison and easy reference. The reverse of the chart provides information on the habitats, behaviour, life cycles and diets of the featured birds, as well as the conservation issues they are facing and how the RSPB is working to support them.

Written by Marianne Taylor and illustrated by Stephen Message, each chart costs £4.50, and they are available from the RSPB online shop (https://shopping.rspb.org.uk/bird-id-charts).

Garden Birds contains illustrations of 39 of our most widespread and familiar garden birds (see chart above). Practical tips on how to make your own “bird pastry” and put up nest-boxes are also included.

The UK’s wildlife-rich freshwater habitats are home to a diverse collection of wild bird species. Can you tell the difference between a wigeon and a pochard? Wetland Birds can help, with illustrations of 51 of the most widespread and familiar wetland birds. This guide allows you to discover practical tips on the most suitable foods to feed ducks and other waterbirds.

The coastline of the UK provides refuge for an enormous number of seabirds that visit our shores to breed or spend the winter months here. The Coastal Birds chart has illustrations of 44 of our most widespread and familiar species. Advice is offered on the best time of year to visit a seabird colony and practical tips on how to reduce the plastic waste that can end up in our seas.

The UK has just 16 species of raptors and five owls, but among them, says the RSPB, are some of the world’s most spectacular birds. With illustrations of all 21 of the UK’s birds of prey, Birds of Prey also has information on successful UK raptor reintroductions.

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