Voting for Britain’s national bird is now open and, with help from the Springwatch Flickr group, we are celebrating each of the 10 nominated species until the closing date on midnight on 7th May

The US has the mighty bald eagle, Austria has the brilliant barn swallow and Guatemala has the resplendent quetzal.

Britain has no national bird, except for the robin, which we unofficially adopted in the 1960s.

Now ornithologist David Lindo, who is also known as the Urban Birder, is hoping to change that.

He is encouraging us to vote for the species that we think deserves the title of Britain’s national bird from a shortlist of 10 that were chosen by online voters from an original list of 60.

Until the closing date of midnight on May 7th we will be showcasing each of the 10 nominated birds in turn, using contributions from the Springwatch Flickr group.

You have plenty of time to cast your vote on the website; Mr Lindo is then asking the new government to officially appoint the winner as our national bird.

This time it's the turn of the hen harrier (Circus cyaneus) by Chas Moonie


Hen harriers are almost owl-like in their facial appearance, which distinguishes them from other hawks. The shape of the face helps them to detect small mammals and birds concealed in vegetation; they rely on sound, as well as sight, to pinpoint prey.

During the breeding season, male hen harriers perform a spectacular sky dance, with a series of steep climbs, twists and rolls. They exhibit a degree of polygyny, nesting in loose colonies, with males simultaneously raising several broods with as many as seven females.

The other birds on the shortlist for Britain's national bird are: barn owl, blackbird, kingfisher, blue tit, mute swan, puffin, red kite, robin and the wren.