Birds

Birds are thought to come from a dinosaur lineage, and still retain features of their prehistoric ancestors today. With over 9,000 species, discover how they helped to shape the world’s most significant evolutionary theory, and take a look at British birds of the past, immortalised in the Museum’s collections of paintings. Find out how the fossilised link between dinosaurs and birds has revealed the mysterious origins of flight.

  • Great tit, Parus major
    Identify birds

    Post your photos and ask the experts for help identifying all species of British bird, from coal tits and sparrows in your garden, to birds of prey.

  • Snow geese, Anser caerulescens
    Top tips for birdwatching

    Here are some tips for birdwatching that will help you discover the fascinating world of birds.

  • MacGillivray Art Collection - Birds
    Macgillivray Art Collection - Birds

    Browse William MacGillivray’s spectacular gallery of watercolours – some of the most accomplished bird depictions ever produced.

  • Archaeopteryx brain
    Virtual Archaeopteryx Brain

    Examine a virtual specimen of an Archaeopteryx brain case, in our 3D reconstruction of the earliest known flying bird.

  • The tail of a humpback whale
    Animal migration

    Why do animals migrate, how do they find the way, and how do they survive the journey?

  • Mockingbird, San Cristobal © Zoological Museum of the University of Zurich
    Darwin's mockingbirds knock finches off perch

    Find out how mockingbirds from the Galapagos Islands, not finches, gave Charles Darwin his ideas about evolution. Watch the video.