UK Birds Beginning With D

In the UK, there are around 628 species of birds and a handful of those bird species begin with the letter D, and although each of these birds may have the first letter of their name in common, they all boast a range of individual characteristics that set them apart from each other.

We'll be introducing you to some birds beginning with D that live in the UK - read on to find out more about each interesting bird species and what makes them unique.



The Dunnock is one of the UK's most popular birds that start with D, with an estimated two million birds calling it home. You may know this bird as a 'Hedge Sparrow' a name they gained due to their similar appearance to a sparrow and them often being seen perched in hedges. The Dunnock is a are sedentary bird - so you'll be seeing them all year round.

This small, dark brown and dark grey bird is quiet and shy, and they are usually seen on their own. Their dark plumage helps them blend into their surroundings and provides them with camouflage from predators.

Interestingly, Dunnocks can mimic the calls of other birds!



These birds are small and plump, they have dark brown plumage on their upper body and white plumage on their under parts and this striking contrast makes them easily recognisable. The Dipper's legs are short but powerful and they have short tails and wings.

When perched beside water, you'll see them bobbing up and down - hence the name dipper.

All these birds are excellent swimmers and divers and their thick layer of waterproof feathers and dense bones help them swim underwater.

Dartford Warbler

Dartford Warbler

Named after where it was first noted as a breeding bird, Dartford, the Dartford Warbler has a long thin tail and a thin pointed beak.

An adult male Dartford Warbler can be spotted by its grey and brown upperparts and its reddish brown below. The centre of this birds belly has a white patch.

This small bird has a rattling song and will be seen perched on top of bushes singing.



Around the seaside in their natural habitats, these birds are one of the most common waders. It has a curved bill and its breeding plumage is a black belly patch.

In the winter, this coastal bird can be seen in thousands as they hang out in their flocks. When the tide is high, they roost on salt marshes and shorelines.


This bird can be found in the highest Scottish mountains and has tame characteristics. These are migratory birds who migrate from Europe and Africa to breed in the mountains.

This preference to breed in the mountain habitats has meant that their populations have halved in the last 30 years, this is mainly due to climate change.

Before they head up to the mountains, you can spot these birds in fields in the east of England. These trips give the Dotterel time to feed before heading off to start their breeding season in the mountains.



In the UK, Ducks are a brightly coloured bird that are adored throughout the UK, quite simply, because they are cute and feeding the Ducks is a wholesome activity on a weekend!

The most common breed of the Duck in the UK is the Mallard and it is a large Duck that is mainly spotted on lakes or other bodies of water.

Around the World

Dark eyed Junco (a rare visitor to the UK)

The Dark Eyes Junco is a rare visitor to the UK and are residents in the United States and are known as 'snowbirds' across many states across central and south america and retreat back to the northern states in the Spring.

This American bird is a media sized member of the Sparrow family. They have a long tail and a round head. They are dark brown with a pink bill.

You'll often spot these birds hopping around the bottom of trees and they sometimes venture out into gardens to find seeds.

Downy Woodpecker

The Downy Woodpecker is native to North America and is the smallest species in the region. They are mainly round in forests but can be found in the deserts in the south west.

Even though they are not closely related, the Downy Woodpecker is often mistaken for the Hairy Woodpecker.

Dalmatian Pelican

Dalmatian Pelicans were bred in Britain up until medieval times. This big bird is now a really rare visitor and is primarily found in South East Europe.

This bird is the largest member of the Pelican family and may even be the world largest water bird. These elegant birds have a wingspan to rival the great albatross.

Desert Owl

The Desert Owl is a bird that is found in the Middle East and it is a nocturnal predator perfectly adapted to its surroundings.

Desert Owls are closely related to Tawny Owl.

Dusky Pigeon

A resident of South America, the Dusky Pigeon is a bird that is grey and purplish in colour. It's shoulders are olive grey/brown and this birds eyes are red.


In South Asia you'll find a Darter, also known as a Snakebird, is a water bird. This species has a very long neck and can be seen swimming with just its neck above the water!