Friday, 3 April 2020

Big Garden Birdwatch 2020
Nick Carey

Big Garden Birdwatch 2020

Back in January, nearly half a million people counted almost eight million birds, making this year's Birdwatch one of the biggest ever! But what do the results mean for our garden birds?

The Birdwatch 2020 top ten

The UK top ten

1. House sparrow
2. Starling
3. Blue tit
4. Woodpigeon
5. Blackbird
6. Goldfinch
7. Great tit
8. Robin
9. Long-tailed tit
10. Magpie

A look at the leader board

This year's top ten for the UK is little changed from 2019, with the top three birds unchanged from last year. Once again, top spot is taken by the house sparrow, making it first for the seventeenth year running. There's a little bit of shuffling at fourth and fifth, with the woodpigeon moving into fourth and, last year's number four, the blackbird, dropping one spot to fifth.

There is one new entry to the top ten, with long-tailed tits flying into ninth position. The chaffinch meanwhile has dropped from number nine last year to number 11.

Trouble at the top

While house sparrows and starlings may be the UK's most sighted birds, a closer look at Big Garden Birdwatch data shows that numbers have dropped dramatically since the Birdwatch began in 1979. House sparrows are down 53%, while starlings are down 80%. It's a pattern echoed by two more garden favourites, with blackbirds and robins down 46% and 32% respectively.

The reasons behind these declines are complex and continue to be investigated, but fewer green spaces, pollution and a changing climate are just some of the challenges faced by garden birds.

Do something to make you smile

While there may not be too much change in the top ten, it's clear that our feathered friends continue to entertain and fascinate us. Perhaps you have a feeder on your window and look forward to the blue tits that regularly visit. Or maybe you've got to know a robin that eagerly watches for worms while you're weeding the garden.

There are lots of ways that we can encourage wildlife and let nature bring a smile to our day. From putting out food and putting up nest boxes, to wildlife-friendly gardening, it all helps.

Nature has a special way of lifting our spirits and by giving it a helping hand we can all enjoy a world where wildlife thrives. Together with our supporters, we are protecting special places for nature and working to save our birds and other wildlife. We'd love you to join us.