The Four Birds That Love Nesting Inside Your Home

The United Kingdom is home to a diverse range of bird species, many of which have adapted to urban environments.

Some birds have even taken to nesting in and around human dwellings.

While this can sometimes lead to conflicts, it also provides a unique opportunity to observe and appreciate wildlife up close.

This article focuses on four bird species commonly found in the UK that are known for nesting in or near human homes.

House Sparrow

The house sparrow (Passer domesticus) is one of the most familiar birds in urban and suburban areas across the UK.

These small, sociable birds are easily recognisable by their chunky bodies and stout bills.

They prefer nesting in small cavities and can often be found in gaps under roof tiles, in eaves, and in other nooks and crannies around buildings.

House sparrows are known for their lively chatter and are often seen in groups.

Their decline in numbers in recent years has raised conservation concerns, making their presence in our homes even more significant.


Starlings (Sturnus vulgaris) are another species that readily adapt to urban environments and often nest in buildings.

These birds are particularly noted for their iridescent plumage and their remarkable ability to mimic sounds.

Starlings usually nest in holes and cavities, often using the same spots as sparrows, such as under roof tiles or in gaps in walls.

Their nests are made from grass, twigs, and other materials. In the evening, starlings are known for their spectacular murmuration, creating incredible patterns in the sky.


Swifts (Apus apus) are remarkable birds known for spending most of their lives in the air, only landing to nest.

They return to the UK in the summer to breed, and are commonly seen in urban areas.

Swifts often nest under roof tiles or in specially designed swift boxes attached to buildings.

They have a distinctive screaming call that can often be heard in towns and cities during the summer months.

Swifts are highly dependent on buildings for nesting sites, and their populations have been affected by modern building practices that limit their access to suitable nesting spots.

House Martin

House martins (Delichon urbicum) are small, agile birds with glossy blue-black upperparts and white underparts.

They are known for their distinctive mud nests, which they build under the eaves of houses and other buildings.

House martins are summer visitors to the UK, arriving from their wintering grounds in Africa.

They are often seen darting through the air catching insects and are known for their cheerful twittering song.

The presence of house martin nests is often considered a sign of good fortune.

Coexisting with Our Feathered Neighbours

While having birds nest in your home can sometimes cause minor inconveniences, such as noise or mess, it is important to remember the vital role these birds play in our ecosystems.

They help control insect populations and add to the biodiversity of urban areas. It’s also a privilege to have a front-row seat to witness the breeding and fledging of these remarkable creatures.

If you are lucky enough to have birds nesting in your home, take care not to disturb the nests, especially during the breeding season.

It’s also worth noting that all wild birds, their nests, and eggs are protected under the Wildlife and Countryside Act 1981, making it an offense to intentionally harm or disturb them.

In conclusion, house sparrows, starlings, swifts, and house martins are four birds that you might find nesting in your home in the UK.

Their adaptation to urban life is a testament to their resilience and offers us a wonderful opportunity to connect with nature, even in the heart of our cities.

By respecting and protecting these birds, we can ensure that they continue to thrive alongside us for generations to come.

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