Monday 16 March 2015
America has the bald eagle, France the Gallic rooster and India the peacock – but when it comes to national birds, Britain is notably lacking.
That looks set to change, however, thanks to a campaign devised by a leading ornithologist. David Lindo, the broadcaster also known as “The Urban Birder”, is asking Britons to pick their favourite bird from a shortlist of 10 – including red kites, kingfishers and, of course, robin redbreasts.
Members of the public have until general election day on 7 May to choose which British bird they would like to see represent the country, with barn owls, blue tits, wrens and blackbirds also in the running.
Mr Lindon says he will pass on the result of the vote to the Queen and the new Prime Minister – and lobby them to instate the winner as the UK’s national bird.
“I feel embarrassed as someone who lives in the United Kingdom that we don’t have a national bird. The US has had one since 1776, while places like Sweden, Latvia, Bhutan, Jamaica, Mexico all have one and we haven’t. We’re supposed to be the national leaders when it comes to being animal lovers. It’s high time we put our money where our mouths are,” he said.