Upland birds

Our uplands echo with the sound of waders and are home to many birds of prey, plus rare breeding species.

Scotland’s extensive areas of uplands and moorlands support hen harrier, merlin and even the iconic golden eagle.

Parts of Scotland’s uplands are also of international importance for their concentrations of breeding waders, including golden plover and greenshank.

Our highest mountains are home to rare breeding species such as dotterel and snow bunting.

Snow Bunting sitting in a pile of snow.
Snow Bunting.

Various common and widely distributed species are found across our uplands and moorlands. These include:

  • meadow pipit
  • skylark
  • northern wheatear
  • stonechat
  • twite
Male Stonechat sitting on some barbed wire.
Male Stonechat (Saxicola torquata).
Meadow pipit sitting on some rocks in the sunshine.
Meadow pipit.

Find out more

Read our guidance for planners and developers on protected animals.

Hen harrier chapter – Species Action Framework Handbook

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