The Isles of Britain hold a vast array of species of songbirds. Whether in the woodlands or gardens, these birds delight the outdoor visitor with their wide and varied songs. As with many species of birds and other animals, overdevelopment and loss of habitat has placed many of these pied pipers of song on the endangered or threatened species list. From the doves to the finches, each has their own song to sing.
Several of Britain's doves are on the list of endangered animals. One of these is the stock dove. The stock dove is often mistaken for a wood pigeon, but it is smaller. These doves have a pinkish-colored breast and are mainly blue-gray, with a distinctive iridescent green-colored patch on their neck. They are distributed throughout most of Britain. Their song is a repetitive "ooh-ut." The wood pigeon was lifted from the endangered list in the 1960s. Bigger than the stock dove, the wood pigeon is gray with a breast that is pinkish in color, but their neck spot is green, purple and white. They also have bright yellow eyes. They are distributed throughout Britain, and their song encompasses five notes of "ru-hoo ru-hoo." The turtle dove is a smallish bird and is the most threatened of all the species of doves. Since 1970 their population has decreased by almost 80 percent due to loss of food and habitat. These birds are blue-gray and have a white and black dot on their necks. Their breast and throat are a pale pink and their stomachs are white. Their catlike song is considered soothing with a "turr-turr," and is how it received its name.
Changes in the way the land is used and competition from other species of tits have helped put the willow tit on the endangered species list. Closely resembling the marsh tit, the willow tit has a black cap with its upper parts a sand-brown color and its underside buff. The best way to distinguish between the willow and marsh tits is their song. The willow tit's song is a "pee-oo pee-oo" with a buzzing nasal-like call. The small, fluffy long-tailed tit resides throughout the British Isles. It holds the honor of having the longest tail, in proportion to its body, of any other bird in Britain. Its crown is white with marks of black above its red-ringed eyes, with shoulders and under parts in pink. Their song is filled with a high-pitched twittering and trilling, usually "tsee-tsee-tsee"; it will also sing "stirrup."
The goldfinch is abundant throughout Britain. This colorful little bird was once a popular caged bird due to its melodic and rambling song. Its plumage is a mix of white, red and black on the head with a golden body and yellow bars on the wings. Its song is basically a rambling of twitters and twinklings. Britain's most common finch is the chaffinch and is distributed throughout the country. As with most species of birds, the male is more colorful than the female with its breasts and cheeks pink, a blue-gray crown and a chestnut-colored back. The female is olive, gray and brown. The song of the chaffinch is called its "rain" call. Their song is repetitive short trills and then a call of "pink pink."