symbolic british birds

Symbolic British Birds

Want to know a bit more about some of the UK's most iconic birds? There are plenty of birds to choose from, but these are probably some of the best known birds that are symbolic in Britain. You are probably aware of some of these birds but do you know much about them and what they stand for? It's interesting to learn about these impressive creatures and their significance to the British people. Here are 6 symbolic British birds.


Swans are a protected species here in the UK, all unmarked swans technically belong to the queen and should not be touched. They are probably one of the most recognisable birds in the UK. Swans are graceful, elegant creatures that can be found all across the UK in marshes, sheltered coasts, shallow lakes and slow rivers. Although swans appear quite relaxed and calm, if their young are threatened they can be extremely aggressive. There are three types of swan in the UK, the Mute Swan, the Berwick's Swan and the Whooper swan. The most well known is probably the Mute swan. Swans are sometimes seen as a symbol of fidelity and love because they often mate for life and have close relationships. They can also symbolise a transformation and growth because of the 'Ugly Duckling' story.


The Robin is a wonderful little bird that touches the hearts of British people because of it's connections with Christmas. It's also a very common garden bird, robins are actually quite tame. Although they are very territorial birds with each other and will defend their territory fearlessly. The Robin can be easily identified by its distinctive red breast and brown feathers. As well as in our gardens, Robins can also be seen in headlands, woodlands and parks. You can spot Robins all year round, their favourite thing to do is forage and dig for worms.


Ravens are a symbolic bird but they tend to represent evil in films and literature. They can be quite aggressive if they feel intimidated and their large size and black feathers make them seem quite daunting. They have a wingspan of nearly a metre and can reach up to 60 centimetres in length. Ravens have also been known as 'the vultures of the sheep country' as they are always scavenging and looking to pick up dying animals. Legend has it that Ravens have lived in the Tower of London since the times of Henry the 8th and should they ever leave the British Kingdom will fall.


Owls have been symbolic birds for many years, developing a range of different symbolic meanings throughout history. They are probably best known as being wise because of the well known saying 'wise old owl'. Most owls are nocturnal birds, making them iconic creatures of the night. There are several different types of owl in Britain, the Barn Owl, Little Owl, Long-eared Owl, Short-eared Owl and the Tawny Owl.

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