Britain's national bird is...

More than 70,000 people vote to find national bird - here's the shortlist


Is this Britain's national bird?

What bird do you think should represent Britain? The chirpy blue tit? The regal robin? Or perhaps the magestic red kite? One twitcher wants your opinion, as he is hoping to set the nation's hearts aflutter with a campaign to find Britain's national bird.

David Lindo, who is also known as The Urban Birder, decided to promote his passion for the conservation of birds after discovering that Britain is one of the few countries in the world not to have its own national bird.

While America has the bald eagle, Sweden the common blackbird, Japan the green pheasant, France the Gallic rooster and India the peacock, the author and broadcaster said it was hard to believe that as a nation of animal lovers Britain does not have a bird to call its own. Words: PA.

He said: "I want to encourage the great British public to vote for the bird that best represents all that is great about this nation."

More than 70,000 people voted in the first round to whittle it down to a shortlist of 10 and members of the public now have six weeks to choose which British bird they would like to see represent the country, the expert said.

The 10 most popular birds which have been voted for the by the public are the robin, kingfisher, barn owl, blue tit, wren, blackbird, puffin, mute swan, red kite and hen harrier.

Mr Lindo said: "Along with the expected contenders - the friendly robin, charismatic puffin and elegant swan - there is one major surprise, the hen harrier, one of England's rarest breeding birds.

"Down to just one breeding pair a couple of years ago, it may already be extinct.

"Could the majestic hen harrier knock the hot favourite robin off its perch?"

Although Mr Lindo says he is supposed to remain impartial he claims his vote would go to the blackbird whose birdsong reminds him of growing up and "lazy, hazy sunny days".

He is also hoping to get more children interested in British wildlife by launching a drawing and poetry competition in schools alongside the campaign.

He said: "It's all about education, education and a little more education.

"Getting kids to engage with nature through art and literature is a great way to start."

The final round of voting for Britain's National Bird Campaign closes on May 7, the day of the general election.

Mr Lindo said he will be speaking to the Government once the public has voted to see if the winner can officially be made Britain's national bird.

Votes can be cast at or by paper ballot at selected nature reserves across the UK.

Here's the shortlist:

Britain's favourite bird

Britain's favourite bird

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