More than half of UK adults can’t identify a sparrow according to our survey for pre-school series, Twirlywoos. In fact, the survey found that people’s knowledge of birds is generally quite poor.

A fifth of respondents was not aware that a red kite was a bird with some people believing it to be a fish. Some even thought it was a villain in Batman! More than a quarter incorrectly identified ‘penne’ as a type of bird rather than a type of pasta.

This lack of knowledge also means that some couldn’t tell whether or not they’d seen some common birds in their garden. For example, more than a quarter couldn’t say for sure if they’d ever seen a blue tit, a quarter wasn’t sure if they’d ever seen a starling and 10% couldn’t confirm ever seeing a blackbird.

But all hope is not lost! 41% of the 2,000 respondents consider themselves to have a good knowledge of our feathered friends. 90% of parents polled said that they wanted their children to learn about birds and British wildlife.  Three-quarters of mums and dads said spending time with their children outside and interacting with nature is a fulfilling way to spend time with them.

The research was part of an integrated project where we worked with our partners 72Point who created a quiz and a video which both test the public’s bird knowledge. Twirlywoos commissioned the project as part of their partnership with the RSPB which aims to encourage people to take part in their Wild Challenge.

The story landed coverage on a range of sites including the Telegraph, the Sunthe Mirror and Yahoo as well as in print in the Daily Mirror, The Sun, Metro and the Daily Record. Click here to view the project and coverage in more detail.

Quiz: Do you know your pigeons from your pheasants?