Dartmoor is the largest upland area in southern England, offering many different habitats to a wide variety of breeding birds. Dartmoor’s moorland and woodlands are internationally important, and these wonderful habitats support their own unique bird community.


Our moorland areas are home to a fascinating range of birds, and Dartmoor is a stronghold for species that have declined elsewhere in the UK, such as skylark and snipe. Some birds have now become so rare nationally that visitors come to Dartmoor to see them, such as the ring ouzel and the cuckoo. Familiar Dartmoor birds, such as meadow pipit and stonechat, are present here in internationally important numbers.

Ground Nesting Birds

Many moorland birds build nests on the ground during the season from 1 March to 31 July. Check out maps of ground nesting bird areas.


The relatively mild climate and high rainfall means that our woodlands are classed as temperate rainforests, with mature oak trees covered in mosses, lichens and ferns dominating the scene, often over a carpet of bluebells. This kind of woodland is loved by a number of migrant birds, such as the pied flycatcher, the wood warbler or the common redstart.

Dartmoor National Park works in partnership with Devon Birds, British Trust for Ornithology and RSPB

Discover more of the Dartmoor Story

The RSPB is part of the Moor than meets the eye Landscape Partnership and has been working with us on the Moorland Birds project to celebrate and conserve Dartmoor's special moorland birds.

Find out more about the Moorland Birds project

Learning Resources

The Dartmoor Story Forged by nature; shaped by time and human hands.