5 mins

Quiz: How well do you know the birds of the world?

Birdwatchers and wildlife lovers – this quiz is for you. To make it extra tricky, we've recruited Bradt author James Lowen to help you find out how well you really know the world's birds...

Andean cock-of-the-rock (James Lowen)

Test your knowledge of the world’s birds with the ultimate quiz for birdwatchers. For this one, we've enlisted award-winning wildlife writer James Lowen, author of Bradt's A Summer of British Wildlife and 52 European Wildlife Weekends. He's provided these ultra tricky questions and all of the photographs (except for photos 10 and 13).

Start with 11 questions to gauge your bird-identification skills, followed by a few to test your knowledge of outstanding travellers of the avian world. Good luck...

1. Can you name this common bird, often found in UK gardens?


Song thrush



2. This long-legged shorebird is the emblem of conservation charity the Royal Society for the Protection of Birds (RSPB). What is it?



Black-winged stilt


3. This familiar British gull is definitely misnamed. What's it called?

Mediterranean gull

Yellow-legged gull

Black-headed gull

Little gull

4. The world’s second largest penguin breeds in huge colonies on the subantarctic island of South Georgia. What is it?

Emperor penguin

Gentoo penguin

King penguin

Royal penguin

5. The Brazilian Pantanal holds most of the world population of this rare parrot. What is it?

Military macaw

Glaucous macaw

Red-and-green macaw

Hyacinth macaw

6. This elegant dancer is Japan’s national bird. What is it?

Red-crowned crane

White-bellied heron

Common crane

Sarus crane

7. This flightless creature is South America’s tallest bird. Do you know its name?


Greater rhea


Lesser rhea

8. This seed-eating bird occurs only on the Canaries, Europe’s answer to the Galápagos. Name that bird

Tenerife blue tit

Atlantic canary

Tenerife blue chaffinch

Canary Islands chat

9. Males of this colourful bird display in noisy groups in the cloud forests of Ecuador and Peru. Which bird is it?

Scarlet macaw

Andean cock-of-the-rock

Scarlet-and-white tanager

Red-crested finch

10. Morocco holds the core population of this globally endangered bird. Do you know it's name?

Northern bald ibis


Glossy ibis

Southern bald ibis

11. This is thought to be the most numerous seabird in the world. Do you recognise it?

Manx shearwater

Southern fulmar

Little auk

Wilson’s storm petrel

12. Which seabird has the longest annual migration between breeding grounds and non-wintering quarters?

Wandering albatross

Arctic tern

Northern gannet

Antarctic tern

13. Which wildfowl species regularly migrates at dizzying altitudes of around 7,300m, in the Himalayas?

Whooper swan

Tufted duck

Bar-headed goose

Snow goose

14. Which species of shorebird has been recorded flying 11,000km without stopping, on its journey between New Zealand and Alaska?

Red knot

Bar-tailed godwit

Far Eastern curlew

Spoon-billed sandpiper

15. Which bird species performs the longest migration without flying – a circular migration averaging 13,000km a year?

Little penguin


Emperor penguin

Adélie penguin

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