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Big Garden Birdwatch Results Revealed!

This year more than half a million people across the UK took part in the RSPB’s Big Garden Birdwatch. This survey gives an indication of how each species of bird is faring and so the results are always eagerly anticipated by nature lovers. The RSPB have now published this year’s results and they deliver good news for some of our favourite garden birds. However, there are several species whose numbers still appear to be in decline.

There were regional variations but the most common birds sighted across the country were as follows:

  1. House sparrow
  1. Starling
  1. Blackbird
  1. Blue tit
  1. Woodpigeon
  1. Goldfinch
  1. Robin
  1. Great tit
  1. Chaffinch
  1. Long-tailed tit

Overall more birds were spotted compared to 2016. The number of starlings seen rose 25% which is encouraging. However, their numbers are still 79% lower than reported in the first ever Big Garden Birdwatch in 1979.

A Bad year for Tits

Many of the species in the top 10 were seen in a greater number of gardens this year. Unfortunately, this good news was tempered by the fact that far fewer blue tits, great tits and coal tits were spotted. This is probably because the breeding season was afflicted by a prolonged spell of wet weather which reduced the quantity of food which was available. These small birds are highly vulnerable and so are always seriously impacted by poor weather during the breeding season. Greenfinches sightings were also less common that in 2016. The number of these birds seen was 59% lower than in 1979.

Good News for Robins and Waxwings

The number of robins recorded in 2017 was the highest for more than 20 years. It was certainly also a bumper year for waxwings as many of these birds migrated to the UK in search of food as there was a shortage of berries in their native Scandinavia.

The increase in sightings of pied wagtails was also notable. These birds are often seen in urban areas when they run across pavements and car parks in search of food.

Keep Your Bird Feeders Well-Stocked!

Whilst the Big Garden Birdwatch continues to raise concerns over some species, this years’ survey offers good news overall. There were more birds seen in gardens across the country and the RSPB are urging people to continue offering food in their feeders to help all of the wonderful species to prosper.


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