Ferswin Gymraeg ar gael yma.

Garden birds are an important part of the lives of many of us. It’s a good experience sitting by the window and looking out at the birds feeding, and it’s easy to lose oneself while watching all types of birds, with their striking feathers and interesting behaviour.

But, have you ever before thought about the origin of the birds’ names?  By taking a moment to think, there are many imaginative names for the birds which are most familiar to us.  Some are highly descriptive, while others are more uncommon and unusual.

This is a quick glance at the names of the birds who may visit your garden during your hour with the Big Garden Birdwatch 2020.

Blue Tit

Seeing this little bird, with its blue and yellow feathers is a common sight for us.  Everyone likes this bird, although they have a habit of making a hole in the tops of milk bottles in order to drink the cream on its surface!


The chaffinach is a common warbler who visits city and rural gardens, as well as parks, hedges and fields.  The Welsh name, ji-binc, is based on its pink/orange breast, which makes it easier to recognise.


While it is obvious how the blackbird’s name was derived, the question frequently asked by many is “there are several types of black birds – why give the name to one bird?”

The reason for this was that during the Tudor period, crows (which are other black birds) had been categorised as ‘fowl’ rather than birds because of their size.  Therefore, in accordance with this rule, there was effectively only one blackbird!  The Welsh name, mwyalchen, is perhaps more appropriate, especially in describing the hen, which is brown!


The fieldfare is a visitor to our gardens during the winter, and as socan eira, the Welsh name for the bird suggests, you are likely to see it dancing in the snow and ice searching for food.

Song Thrush

The song thrush is a bird which sings from the branch and who likes to feed on fruit and worms on the ground, very similar to the blackbird.  The bird’s Welsh name, bronfraith, is very literal – based upon its yellow breast which is speckled with small dark spots!


This colourful bird is more likely to keep to the woodlands and forests, but it is possible to see it in gardens, especially during the winter when it looks for food.  It is more likely that you hear this bird, and as sgrech y coed, the Welsh name for the bird suggests, it has a noisy and raucous cry.


This is another bird which is a little more uncommon to our gardens.  This bird is a member of the linnet family, and it has a powerful beak and a black head.  But what will draw your attention is its pink/red breast – it usually lives in hedges or orchards too – and this explains its Welsh name, coch y berllan!


This is a little bird who keeps itself to itself and goes backwards and forwards in the hedges.  You can see the dunnock eating leftovers which drop to the ground from the feeding areas above.  The element ‘llwyd’ of its Welsh name, llwyd y gwrych, derives from the grey areas on the side of its head and breast.

House Martin

The house martin is a member of the swallow family which nests under the eaves of houses throughout towns and villages.  Perhaps there is a house martin under your eaves – or if you live on a housing estate, it is perfectly possible to see some house martins flitting past in your garden!

Tree Creeper

Many tree creepers nest in Wales’ deciduous trees during the winter – and as the name suggests, this little bird tends to climb and crawl up and down a tree trunk!

Partcipating in the Big Garden Birdwatch weekend is a great opportunity to see some of these birds.  On 25-27 January, people throughout the country will look to their gardens and their parks to count the birds, as part of the largest wildlife garden survey.  Would you like to take part?  For more information, click here.