This year the RSPB’s Big Garden Birdwatch takes place on the weekend of 30th/31st January, it began in 1979 and is now one of the world’s largest wildlife surveys, last year 585,000 people took part and counted 8,546,845 birds. Each year the results are collated and are used to compare trends, monitor species, understand how birds are doing and take steps to put things right.
Here are last year’s (2015) top 10 birds
- House Sparrow
- Blue Tit
- Great Tit
- Gold Finch
- Collared Dove
In 2014 the House Sparrow also came top, and the same bird species were in the top 10 although some in a different position. Each year there are mixed results here are some winners and losers from 2015’s survey.
- The Blackbird was the most widely spotted bird in your gardens, they were spotted in more than 90 per cent of your gardens in 2015.
- Robins have climbed three places to the number seven spot, in 2014 they were number 10, but just over 85 per cent of you saw them in 2015.
- Twice as many people saw Wrens in their garden in 2015 than in 2014, they were spotted by 35 per cent of you, the highest number since 2006.
- Song Thrush sightings have declined again, an all-time low, they are currently in 22nd place, and like many of our favourite garden birds they remain on the red list.
- Greenfinches dropped dramatically to 25th place, the drop is likely due to Trichomonosis disease. You can help to fight this disease by giving your feeders, bird tables and bird baths a regular clean.
- Starling numbers have plummeted by 80% since the first RSPB Birdwatch in 1979, another red-listed species, the RSPB is urgently researching the reasons for their decline.
There are many birds on the red list which are familiar to us; it is hard to believe that they are in decline and in trouble here are some of them:
- Black Grouse
- Hen Harrier
- Herring Gull
- Turtle Dove
- Willow Tit
- Marsh Tit
- Song Thrush
- House Sparrow
- Mistle Thrush
- Tree Sparrow
There is one bird mentioned above that you might think is listed by mistake, its the House Sparrow although it was top of the RSPB Birdwatch list for the last two years its numbers are still in decline, between 1977 and 2008 the House Sparrow population dramatically dropped by 71%.
All the birds that you spot this year are very important, and just as important are the birds that you don’t spot.
Take part in this year’s RSPB’s Big Garden Birdwatch – it’s lots of fun, educational and a great family activity. Schools can get involved too and take part in the RSPB Big Schools’ Birdwatch any day/time this term until 12th February for more details and to sign up visit the RSPB’s website.
If you want more information on Feeding Garden Birds click here to have a look at our guide.
Have a fabulous Bird Watching Weekend.