Upland birds

Upland birds

The North Pennines is a wonderful place for birds. In spring and summer the moors, pastures and woodlands are alive with their songs and displays. Even in the depths of winter, hardy species like the red grouse can still easily be seen. 

The landscape of the North Pennines is composed of an intricate mix of semi-natural habitats, all of which support their own special groups of birds. Many species range over a number of different habitats and are dependent on the presence of different habitats in close proximity. However, groups of species are characteristic of each different habitat type and this can be a useful way of considering them:


Birds are very vulnerable to disturbance, especially during the breeding season. It is all too easy to inadvertently harm a bird or its young while trying to see them. For example, if an adult bird is prevented from returning to its nest, eggs or chicks may quickly chill and die. Straying from a footpath towards a nest site may also leave a scent trail that a predator is later able to follow.

Code of conduct

To ensure that you enjoy watching birds without harming them or their young, please always follow the birdwatchers’ code of conduct.

Reporting raptor sightings and raptor crimes

We’d like to help some of our partners to record sightings of raptors in the uplands. Visit our reporting raptor sightings page for more information on what to do if you spot one of these magnificent birds when you are out and about, or if you want find out about how to report a raptor-related crime.

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