Top 20 Smallest Birds in the UK (Great Britain Birds)

Birds are the most intriguing animals found on Earth. The chirping sound of them makes you want to listen to them more often. This beautiful voice can be a poem or lovely music to your ears if you want to listen to them by heart. 

We always admire the beauty of the garden, but the chirping makes it more admiral. Wherever you walk, you always get a sight of small birds doing their business; this amazing sight can surely make your day. 

These smallest birds in the UK are like a toy with life; their amazing voice and activities are enough to brighten up anyone’s day. 

Moreover, small birds come with a bulk load of responsibilities and care. If you want to pick them up, try to do it gently, as your harsh action might be deadly for them. 

Here in this article, we have highlighted some smallest birds in the UK to make you enlighten with their presence. So without delaying it to some minute, let’s get into this article.

Top 20 Smallest Birds in the UK

20) Little Auk

Scientific Name Alle alle
Size Up to 48 cm
Colour White and black
Location Everywhere in the UK 

Commonly found almost everywhere in the world, little auk is another small species found in the UK. Auk are also passerine birds with a calm and friendly nature. 

They are majorly seen in October and February. Their chirping voice is something that will gradually call you to see them.

19) Magpie

Scientific Name Pica Hudsonia
Size Up to 48 cm
Colour White, blue, and black
Location Everywhere in the UK except Scotland

A symbol of fortune and good luck, the Magpie bird is surely a fortune for you if you see it. This little creature belongs to the Corvidae family.

This little species of bird shows unique body colouration and patterns. Their tail is long and has a sea blue colour with a black head and white abdomen. You will surely be amazed by their beauty.

18) Collared dove

Collared Dove
Collared Dove
Scientific Name Streptopelia Decaocto
Size Up to 30.4 cm
Colour Pinky-brown and grey
Location In woodland areas of the UK

We know the dove is a symbol of love and peace. Doves are mostly found in white colour but collared dove is one such species that shows light brown to grey body colouration evenly distributed all over their body.

This species is commonly found in Asian countries. They come on a slightly bigger side as compared to other birds found in the UK.

17) Starling

Scientific Name Sturnus Vulgaris
Size Up to 21.5 cm
Colour Iridescent green colour, black, and purple
Location Everywhere in the UK except Scottish Highlands

Starling is a small to medium-sized bird found on Earth. Their petite body and unique colour patterns give them a unique look.

European starlings are known for their great vocal mimicry and can learn more than 20 different tones of other animals.

This bird has a pointed beak that can be a little dangerous as it can even harm you if provoked. However, their cute little size is everything you will admire after their unique body colouration.

16) Jay

Scientific Name Cyanocitta Cristata
Size 20-25 cm with a wingspan of 34-43 cm
Colour Blue, Purple, white, and black
Location Everywhere in the UK except Northern Scotland

Jay is a medium-sized bird found in the UK. This species of bird has an excellent body colour. Moreover, this bird is cheerful and will surely catch your attention by its noisy nature. This passerine bird shows a vivacious nature.

15) Eurasian Siskin

Scientific Name Spinus spinus
Size 11-12.5 cm with wingspan of 20-23 cm
Colour Green, yellow, black, and white
Location Southern and Northern England; mostly in Scotland and Wales

You have probably never seen a bird in a yellow contrasting colour. Eurasian Siskin is a yellow-coloured bird with a small size. Usually, this body colour is well known to attract male birds.

They have a yellowish colour tone, not a completely bright yellow colour. Also, you can see patches of black and brown colour on the wings and neck.

14) Little owl

Little Owl
Little Owl
Scientific Name Athene Noctua
Size Up to 20cm
Colour Black and brown
Location England and Wales

Owls are nocturnal birds and are well-known for their intelligence and cold looks. These birds can be haunting to you but they are cute if you see them precisely.

Owls can be easily spotted in a wide range of habitats in every corner of the world. Talking about little owls, this species comes under the umbrella of owls but with a smaller size than usual.

The distinctive white, brown, and black patches all over their body make them unique and quite intriguing too.

13) Goldfinch

Scientific Name Spinus Tristis
Size 19-22 cm
Colour Bright yellow with black and white markings
Location Southern England

Have you ever seen a bird with a unique colour combination showcasing beauty just by its looks? If not, Goldfinch could be a perfect sight for you. This amazing species of bird is one of the smallest birds found in the UK.

They are a native to Europe, North Africa, and nearby places. If we talk about their appearances, you will see a beautiful bright red-coloured face with light brown, pale yellow, and black-coloured feathers on their body.

This handsome bird is a perfect addition to your life if you are looking for a cheerful companion.

12) White wagtail

White Wagtail
White Wagtail
Scientific Name Motacilla Alba
Size 16.5 – 19 cm
Colour Brown, Black, Grey, and White
Location Everywhere in the UK

Another small passerine bird that has made its way to the list. The white wagtail is a commonly found bird from the Motacillidae family. This species of bird is commonly found in Europe and some parts of Asia also.

The body colouration and design of this bird are unique with a long black tail. Usually, this bird can be easily spottable with a black head and neck with a white face. They can be easily identified by their thick body.

11) Greenfinch

Scientific Name Chloris Chloris
Size 15 cm with wingspan of 25.6 cm
Colour Green, blue, white, and yellow
Location In woods and hedges of the UK

As the name gives an idea of how they look. Here is Greenfinch, a species of small birds covered in different shades of green and yellow with distinctive black and grey linings running throughout their body from head to tail.

You will find this bird a little rude because of its deadly looks. Although, this bird is friendly and loves to socialize. So, it will be an amazing addition to your life. The point to be kept in mind is greenfinches are similar to the size of a house sparrow.

10) Chaffinch

Scientific Name Fringilla Coelebs
Size 14.5 cm  with wingspan of 24.5-28.5 cm
Colour Blue-grey, pink, red, and brown
Location In woodlands, hedgerows of the UK

One of the most widespread birds found on earth, Here is the Chaffinch bird. This is one of the most abundant birds found in Britain and Ireland.

This bird is one of the most intriguing birds you can ever witness through your eyes as they are well drowned in red colour with black & white wings.

The unique colouration of this bird makes them stand out among other similarly small birds in the UK. They are commonly found in forested and wooded areas and sometimes in gardens also.

9) House sparrow

House Sparrow
House Sparrow
Scientific Name Passer Domesticus
Size 14-18 cm
Colour Brown, black, white, and grey
Location Everywhere in the UK

House sparrows are commonly found everywhere in the world. These little birds are truly a buster of joy and fun. You will get mesmerized by their melodious chirping and witty activities.

Although, these birds typically grow up to 16 cm with a colour combination of pale brown and white with a little portion of black colour on their bodies. These birds prefer to build nests for laying their eggs. They love to socialize and are extremely lovely.

8) Dunnock

Scientific Name Prunella Modularis
Size 13.5-14 cm
Colour Brown and Grey
Location Any well-vegetated area in the UK

Similar to a sparrow, Dunnocks are another small bird found in the UK. It is a small bird with brown and grey colour and with a small fatty body.

Although, this is one such bird that doesn’t like to get socialize much and is often found creeping on tree branches alone.

They are distinctive little birds with brush-like feathers covered all over their body.

7) Long-tailed tit

Scientific Name Aegithalos Caudatus
Size 13-16 cm
Colour Black and White with Grey and pink
Location Throughout the UK

With a long tail and a chance of staring, Long-tailed tit is one of the most common birds found in the UK. The long-tailed tit shows a unique colouration on its body with magnificent colours that will surely catch your eyes once.

These birds are experts in building domed nests in bushes or tree barks. However, they are not among the long-living birds as their recorded lifespan is of only 2 years.

6) European Robin

European Robin
European Robin
Scientific Name Erithacus Rubecula
Size 12.5-14 cm
Colour Bright red
Location Great Britain

Among the smallest insectivore bird species found in the UK, Robin is not much behind. Robins are well-known for their unique colour combination and pale orange head.

They are one of the favourite garden birds that you surely want to introduce in your yard. Moreover, you have seen this bird on Christmas cards as they become a popular symbol of Christmas.

Usually, British robins migrate from one place to another to protect their territories against any rival.

5) Coal tit

Scientific Name Periparus Ater
Size Up to 12 cm
Colour Grey black with a white patch
Location Coniferous woodland of the UK

Coal tits are another bird making the list of smallest birds found in the UK with a distinctive grey-black body spread in a unique pattern.

This bird shows a unique pattern on its body and the main attraction is its black cap with white patches.

The abdomen part of this bird has a bluish-grey shade with a distinctive pattern. You will easily recognize these birds as they are not a big deal in identification.

4) Blue Tit

Blue Tit
Blue Tit
Scientific Name Cyanistes Caeruleus
Size Up to 12 cm
Colour Mix of blue, yellow, white, and green
Location Whole the UK except some Scottish islands

Blue tits are another bird found in the UK. These little chirping birds are an inhabitant of wooded and forested habitats with a distinctive body design and colouration.

Their small size is something that will surely drag you towards them to touch them. However, you must be careful as they are delicate.

The distinctive blue cap with a white face and dark lines going through their beaks to the back of the head is something that will drag your attention towards them. The pale yellow abdomen is a perfect contrast to the magnificent blue shade.

3) Wren

Scientific Name Troglodytes Aedon
Size Under 10 cm
Colour Brown and Orange
Location Everywhere in the UK

With a unique body design with muddy-brown body colour spread evenly on the body, Wren is one of the smallest birds found in the UK. They come under the passerine bird family that dominates the bird’s genus to a greater extent.

This species of bird has an effervescent voice with a distinctive body design and colouration. Apart from their size and colour, these birds come on the heavier side rather than being slim birds.

2) Old-world flycatchers

Scientific Name Muscicapa Striata
Size 9-22 cm
Colour Black, Brown, Gray, Blue, and Red
Location Mostly in London

An upright posture bird with a sheer elegance that will call your eyes towards it, here are Old World flycatchers to the list. This small bird is wonderful and eye-catching by its amazing looks that you will surely enjoy seeing it.

The amazing body colouration with unique shades of grey, brown, and black to more colourful than this. Old flycatchers are likely to munch on insects and some vertebrates. So, offering such food items to them is a sign of friendship and care.

1) Goldcrest

Scientific Name Regulus Regulus
Size 8.5-9.5 cm
Colour Dull Greyish-green
Location breed in Britain

Goldcrest is in first place in the list of the smallest birds in the UK. You can not spot this bird easily as they are small in size with a dull greyish-green colour.

They can be easily distinguished by their small size and pale belly with black and yellow stripes on their heads. These birds are well-known for munching on small insects pierced out from the tree branches.


After going through the variety of birds of small sizes, we are concluding this informative and interesting article with a deep understanding of the diversity of different birds found in nature. The difference usually revolves around the design, pattern, size, and colour. 

One should be careful around these birds as nobody knows which bird is potentially harmful or weaker. It is better to make prior research before making any move to assist yourself with the birds. 

In this article, we have specifically talked about the smallest birds in the UK and their body shades. We hope that you like this article. We will back with another interesting article. Till then, keep supporting.


  • Wikipedia
  • Small Birds in the UK: What are the smallest British Birds?
  • Youtube

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