LivingTravelWhere to see birds and animals in London

Where to see birds and animals in London

You may think that a city as big and busy as London wouldn’t have many unusual birds and animals, but there are many surprises to be found. Some city gardens have more foxes and squirrels than the English countryside and the average backyard bird feeder attracts some interesting varieties of birds (hint: try the RSPB bird identifier to find out which species frequent your garden).

Sure, we have London Zoo which is one of the oldest zoos in the world and we also have urban farms and children’s zoos scattered all over the city (visit Golders Hill Park Zoo and Hackney City Farm, both free), but we also have many animals and poultry that you might not expect.

Holland Park Peacocks

This peaceful west London park has peacocks roaming around. The birds live in the park, so they can be seen there every day. You can also see peacocks at Maryon Wilson Park in Charlton.

Kensington Roof Gardens Flamingos

This roof garden is on top of a former department store on Kensington High Street. As busy shoppers walk at street level on the roof there is a wonderland that includes flamingos. The gardens are often used for private events, but are open to the public for free at any other time.

Richmond Park Deer

There are 630 red and fallow wild deer in Richmond Park. They have been here since 1529 and it is okay to walk through the park to see them, although you should give them more space in the fall / fall (September and October) as it is mating season and the males are competing for female attention and you don’t want to get in the way in that.

If you prefer your deer in an enclosure, East London’s Clissold Park is worth a visit, where there are also animals, an aviary and a butterfly dome.

St James Park Pelicans

There are six pelicans in this royal park right in the center of town. They are a popular addition and are often seen walking the trails and foraging for treats. You can see them being fed at 2.30-3pm off Duck Island (near Horse Guards Parade). They are completely free to fly over London, but they always return to the Park as this is their home.

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London crows tower

It is said that if the crows left the Tower of London, the kingdom would fall, but today they are just an additional tradition to watch. There are seven crows. One of the Yeoman Warders is the Ravenmaster and he feeds them every day. To keep them from flying away, the ‘lift feathers’ are removed, but these birds lead a privileged life and enjoy raw meat and blood-soaked biscuits every day. While birds are used to posing for photos, don’t try to touch them as they will bite.


There are fabulous urban myths about parakeets in London that originate from a pair that Jimi Hendrix released to add color to the city, but, as with most urban myths, it has little basis in reality. These bright green birds can be seen in Kensington Gardens and regularly in South and West London as there are now many thousands of these exotic birds calling London home.


Herons eat fish, which is why these long-legged waders can often be seen near water areas in London. They can certainly be seen in Kensington Gardens at Long Water (near the Peter Pan statue) and in Crystal Palace Park alongside concrete dinosaurs.

You can also see them along the Regent’s Canal and they can be seen near Camley Street Nature Park. Turtles can also be seen in the water there.

Hawk and falcons

These birds of prey are used to control pigeons in London. Feeding the pigeons was once an iconic feature of Trafalgar Square, but its clutter is a health hazard and these larger birds are brought in to scare the pigeons away. Many London companies also use them for pest control.

Peregrine falcons are known to nest in central London and are seen around the Tate Modern, St. Paul’s Cathedral, the Barbican, and even further north at Alexandra Palace. This blogger does a good job helping London’s peregrine falcon population.

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London Wetlands Center

For more opportunities to see something special, head to the London Wetland Center in Barnes, West London, which attracts many unusual birds and is a wonderful area to spend the day.

Wildlife study

If you prefer your wildlife in a museum to study, the Natural History Museum, Horniman Museum, and Grant Museum are recommended. And if you want your wildlife to be solid, the Crystal Palace dinosaurs are also worth seeing.

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