Which Birds Nest in the UK

Which Birds Nest in the UK

The UK is home to a variety of bird species that build their nests in various different habitats. Some will choose to nest in trees and hedges while others will prefer to nest on the ground or in buildings. Find out more about the birds that nest around you!

 Baby birds in nest


Blue Tit (Breeding season takes place between March and July) - Blue tits commonly nest in tree cavities or in nest boxes. They build their nests using moss, hair, feathers and other soft materials and are often located in a tree hollow or a nest box. Blue tits lay around 1 to 10 eggs, which incubate for around two weeks.


Robin (Breeding season takes place between March and July) - Robins often nest in trees, bushes and hedgerows. They use moss, dead leaves and grass to build up their nests. The breeding season begins in March and they will lay 4 to 6 eggs per clutch. Both parents take turn incubating their eggs.


Blackbird (Breeding season takes place between March and September) - Blackbirds will nest in bushes, trees or on the ground in dense vegetation. Their nests are made from twigs, dead leaves and grass, lined with mud and grass. They will lay between 4 and 6 eggs per clutch which hatch after about two weeks.


Dunnock (Breeding season begins in April) - Dunnocks build their nests in dense vegetation close to the ground like shrubs and hedges. Their nests are made from grass and small twigs and lined with feathers or moss. They will lay between 3 to 5 eggs.


Wren (Breeding season takes place between March and August) - Wrens build dome-shaped nests made from moss, held together with cobwebs and lined with feathers. They lay around 5 to 8 eggs per clutch, which take around two weeks to hatch.


House Sparrow (Breeding season takes place between March and August) - It is all in the name... House Sparrows tend to nest in buildings, using holes and crevices in walls and roofs. They build a nest from straw, feathers and grass and lay around 3 to 7 eggs. Both male and female will incubate and eggs hatch after 11 to 14 days. Their nesting season is between April to August.


Sparrow on wildflower


Swift - Swifts are summer migrants and nest in tall buildings and walls. They build a small cup-shaped nest made from twigs and feathers. Swifts will lay around 2 to 3 eggs which incubate for around three weeks. Swifts will pair for life and meet at their previous nesting site each Spring.


These are just some of the birds that commonly nest in the UK. There are many more species that will fly through and nest with their own unique nesting habitats and preferences.


Nests are vital for the survival and population growth of bird species. As such, it is important to protect these habitats.


Nest boxes


Many of our UK birds will also nest in nest boxes where natural nesting sites are not available. Nest boxes are a safe place for birds to lay their eggs. Find out more on which nest box to choose when attracting specific birds to your garden with our nest box guide.