16/03/2015 06:22 GMT | Updated 16/03/2015 06:59 GMT

The Vote For Britain's National Bird Is Now Open

Patrick Pleul/DPA
Two Atlantic puffins (Fratercula arctica) is pictured on Norwegian island Runde (Goksyr) near Alesund, Norway, 12 July 2014. The Atlantic puffin is about as tall as a domestic pigeon. Photo: Patrick Pleul/dpa

The majestic red-breasted Robin was voted the UK's favourite in the 1960s, but now a famous ornithologist is asking the British public to elect an official national bird.

The European Robin has long been considered a representation of the nation, but has never officially been named our national bird. Potential usurpers to the it's legacy in the upcoming vote include the Mute Swan, the Red Kite and the Puffin.

Members of the public have until 7 May to lodge their vote. Easily remembered, as there's another fairly big election being held on that day which could also impact the country's future.

Here's your full list of options:

Photo gallery Voting Open For Britain's Next National Bird See Gallery

Leading ornithologist David Lindo, aka The Urban Birder, is spearheading the push for a new national bird after the Robin's half-century reign.

The 10 birds on the shortlist were chosen from a group of 60 original contenders last year. If voters choose the Mute Swan, we would share the same national bird as Denmark. Likewise, the common Blackbird is also Sweden's official feathered friend.

Lindo plans to pass the results on to the Queen and the Prime Minister after 7 May, asking them to officially instate the winner as the country's national bird.

David Lindo

"I feel embarrassed as someone who lives in the United Kingdom that we don’t have a national bird," Lindo said.

"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."

One of the bird's on Lindo's list is the Hen Harrier, which preys on grouse. They are often illegally trapped or killed to maximise grouse population for hunting, meaning they face extinction in the UK.

"It would be fantastic if the hen harrier did become the national bird because it would increase its chances of survival," he said.

"It could put more pressure on people to do something, since the campaign against illegally hunting it seems to have had little effect."

Lindo predicts a win for the Robin, but at this stage it could be anyone's race.

Cast your vote at


Photo gallery National Birds Across The World See Gallery