London is not only home to over eight million human residents, but also a wild population of animals. Talk about an urban jungle! London’s many green areas and parks play hosts to lots species of birds including pelicans, peacocks and parakeets—and that’s just the start. From stealth urban foxes to majestic stags, here’s where to spy some amazing wildlife in London.
Discover Wildlife In London
One of West London’s prettiest parks is the under-the-radar Holland Park. It doesn’t have the same global recognition as nearby Kensington Gardens or Hyde Park. But that just means it’s a favorite with local Londoners. In fact, the gorgeous two-bedroom Gladstone is right near the park, so you too can live like a local and call this your neighborhood park.
To say Holland Park is beautiful is an understatement. It’s a treasure trove of flowers, greenery and delightful architectural touches like tinkling fountains and manicured lawns. It is also the home to a muster of peacocks. (And yes, a group of peacocks really is known as “a muster of peacocks” or even “an ostentation of peacocks.” Take your pick.)
The peacocks and peahens (female peacocks) of Holland Park are technically wild. However, you can usually find them inside or around the perimeter of Holland Park’s Japanese-inspired Kyoto Garden. If you arrive around dusk, check the trees. The peacocks could be nesting right above your head!
Pelicans were first introduced into St. James’s Park by the Russian Ambassador in 1664 as a gift to King Charles II. And over 300 years later, you can still find pelicans residing in this park. When visiting, keep your eye out for Louis, Vaclav and Gargi. The famous fowl tend to hang out by Duck Island Cottage since that’s where their feedings occur. Stop by between 2.30 p.m. and 3:00 p.m. each day if you want to watch these fine feathered friends chow down on some mackerel, herring and whiting. And if you’re staying nearby at the charming three-bedroom Belgravia apartment, you should certainly stop by and meet your neighbors.
St. James’s Park also plays hosts to plenty more wildlife in London. Keep your eyes out for robins, blackbirds, wrens, great spotted woodpeckers and tawny owls—all of which can be found in St. James’s Park.
London is home to thousands—yes, thousands—of bright green, squawking parakeets. You can find them zooming through the streets of West London in flocks or more commonly in Kensington Gardens and Hyde Park. (Chances are you will hear them before you see them because these birdies are loud!) There’s a cluster of trees near the Peter Pan statue in Kensington Gardens that the parakeets seem especially fond of. Sometimes, tourists even try to feed them. (Apparently, they’re a fan of fruit.)
No one knows how these exotic birds got to London, but animal-lovers and birdwatchers alike are happy that they’re here. If you rent a London Perfect apartment with outdoor space, you may even be lucky enough to see these guys in your own backyard.
Most tourists have no idea that foxes are some of the most commonly seen wildlife in London. A recent count put the number of London’s urban foxes at around 10,000. The foxes usually come out at night, and if you want to spy one, you’ll have to keep your eyes peeled. These vulpine visitors are silent and stealthy—though when they fight, they can be noisy. Though sometimes dubbed a menace, foxes are largely harmless and most consider them to be a beautiful, ethereal additional to London’s nocturnal scenery. If you’re fortunate enough to stay in one of our beautiful mews properties, you may have some better luck spying these lovely creatures, as they like the quiet.
Some of the most famous wildlife in London is Richmond Park’s deer. Two species of deer, red and fallow, can be found in the majestic parkland that’s so wide and expansive it’s hard to believe it’s even in London. Deer are born in the spring, so be sure you don’t get too close at this time, as the herd is protective of the newborns. In the autumn, it’s rutting season. This is when males clash antlers in brilliant displays of dominance. (It’s also when the park is cloaked in the most brilliant fall foliage, making it a wonderful time to visit.) But really, any time is a good time to visit these brilliant creatures. For some incredible photography, try to go early in the morning. The park is less crowded and wrapped in London fog, which will make for dramatic images.
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