Tweet of the Day

by BBC · · · · 25 subscribers

Discover birds through their songs and calls. Each Tweet of the Day begins with a call or song, followed by a story of fascinating ornithology inspired by the sound.

totd: Kestrel July 29, 2013
The kestrel is widely distributed throughout the UK and when hovering is our most recognisable bird of prey. Their chestnut back and wings, and habit of holding themselves stationary in mid-air are a unique combination;mall wonder that an old name for...
totd: Whinchat July 26, 2013
Whinchats are perky little summer visitors, about the size of a robin and migrate to the UK in spring from their wintering grounds south of the Sahara. They're birds of open country, preferring moors, heaths and rough ground and are often found where...
Although they're residents of the Antarctic seas , black-browed albatrosses have turned up in the UK many times. For a while, Albert-or Albert Ross as he was christened by birdwatchers- was one of the most well-known birds in the British Isles. He was...
Red-necked phalaropes are among our rarest waders, small and colourful with needle-like bills and they breed in very limited numbers on the edges of our islands. There are probably only around 20 pairs of these birds in summer in the Outer Hebrides or...
These smart gulls are charcoal grey on top and white beneath. Like herring gulls, their close relatives LBBs have moved into urban areas and now breed on flat roofs in the centre of cities. It seems almost any flat surface will do. In just three...
totd: Dotterel July 22, 2013
Dotterels are waders, rather like small plovers with a broad white-eye stripe. In the UK, they're almost confined as breeding birds to the Scottish Highlands. They don't tend to fly away when approached which led our ancestors to believe that they are...
totd: Sparrowhawk July 19, 2013
A garden visit from a sparrowhawk can be an exciting affair. They're smash-and grab raiders, using bushes, hedgerows and fences as cover to take their victims by surprise. Males are blue-grey above, with a striking rusty-orange chest and are smaller...
totd: Spotted Flycatcher July 18, 2013
Spotted flycatchers may be rather plain-looking but they're full of character and they often nest in our gardens. The first sign that one's about may be a pale shape darting out from a tree to pluck a fly in mid-air with an audible snap of its...
totd: Cirl Bunting July 17, 2013
Cirl buntings are related to yellowhammers and look rather like them, but the male cirl bunting has a black throat and a greenish chest-band. Their rattling song may evoke memories of warm dry hillsides in France or Italy. Cirl buntings are...
totd: Kingfisher July 16, 2013
The Ancient Greeks knew the kingfisher as Halcyon and believed that the female built her nest on the waves calming the seas while she brooded her eggs: hence the expression, Halcyon days which we use now for periods of tranquillity. Kingfishers can...
totd: Herring Gull July 15, 2013
Herring gulls now regularly breed inland and that's because of the way we deal with our refuse. Since the Clean Air Acts of 1956 banned the burning of refuse at rubbish tips, the birds have been able to cash in on the food that we reject: And our...
totd: Tree Pipit July 12, 2013
Tree pipits are small brown birds without any bright colours or distinctive features; but you can identify one from a distance when it is singing, because it has a very obvious display flight. The male bird sings from April to the end of July,...
totd: Coal Tit July 11, 2013
Coal tits often visit our bird-tables but don't hang around. They dart off with food to hide it in crevices and crannies. What the bird is doing is hiding or cache-ing food to be eaten later. Coal tits are smaller than their relatives and have lower...
totd: House Martin July 10, 2013
House martins are often confused with swallows , but look shorter-tailed and lack the rusty throats. They're compact birds which build their with pellets of mud under our eaves and although they're so familiar to us in summer, we still can't be...
totd: Corncrake July 9, 2013
Correction to factual error in the broadcast programme: Subsequent to the broadcast of this programme, we would like to correct a factual error: the poet John Clare summed up this birds' elusive omnipresence in the early 19th Century, not the 18th...
totd: Osprey July 8, 2013
Ospreys are fish-eaters and the sight of one of these majestic birds plunging feet first to catch its prey is a sight to cherish. The return of the ospreys is one of the great UK conservation stories. After extinction through egg- collecting and...
totd: Buzzard July 5, 2013
Common buzzards are stocky birds of prey which often soar on upturned wings. In Scotland they're sometimes called the tourists' eagle because of many golden eagles claimed by hopeful visitors. Common buzzards are increasing their range and numbers and...
totd: Sandwich Tern July 4, 2013
Sandwich terns are the UK's largest breeding terns and have shaggy black crests and a black bill with a yellow tip. They live in colonies on shingle or sandy beaches and were first described from birds seen in Sandwich in the 1780s by William Boys, a...
totd: Turtle Dove July 3, 2013
The soft purring song of the turtle Doves are mentioned in the Song of Solomon in the Bible: " The voice of the turtle is heard in our land". They are migrants from sub-Saharan Africa and are now a treat to see here in the UK where they breed in...
totd: Yellowhammer July 2, 2013
The yellowhammer is a member of the bunting family and its name comes from "ammer" the German for bunting. It's one of the few British birds to have its song transcribed into words and seems to be saying ..a little bit of bread and no cheese". Written...