RSPB Reveal Big Garden Birdwatch Results For the Midlands

The Big Garden Birdwatch is the world’s largest wildlife survey which gives RSPB scientists insights into how our garden birds are faring.

Now in its 43rd year, RSPB’s Big Garden Birdwatch is a chance for people of all ages to count the number of birds that visit their garden helping the RSPB get a snapshot of how they are doing. This year almost 700 thousand people across the UK took part, counting more than 11 million birds.

In the Midlands, the house sparrow took the top spot, followed closely by woodpigeon and blackbird. This year, over 6 thousand people across the county took part in the Big Garden Birdwatch.

In the UK, jay moved up nine places to number 23, an increase of 73% compared to 2021 numbers. Each autumn, jays, a colourful member of the crow family, can often be seen flying back and forth finding and hiding acorns to help see them through the winter. These are then hidden in the cracks and crevices of trees, but also in leaf litter on the ground. An individual jay can store around 8,000 acorns each year and many remain buried to grow into oak trees.

Big Garden Birdwatch results also found a small increase in greenfinch compared to 2021. This gives scientists a glimmer of hope that this might be the first signs of a population recovery, but only time will tell. In recent years the greenfinch has suffered a population crash (62% since 1993) caused by a severe outbreak of the disease trichomonosis and as a consequence the species was added to the UK Red List last year.

The house sparrow remained at the top of the Big Garden Birdwatch rankings as the most commonly seen garden bird with more than 1.7 million recorded sightings throughout the weekend. Blue tit and starling remained in the number two and three positions respectively.

Over its four decades, Big Garden Birdwatch has highlighted the winners and losers in the garden bird world. It was first to alert the RSPB to the decline in song thrush numbers, which are still down 81% compared to the first Big Garden Birdwatch in 1979.  This species was a firm fixture in the top ten in 1979. By 2009, its numbers were less than half those recorded in 1979, it came in at 20 in the rankings this year, seen in just 8% of gardens.

Throughout the first half of the spring term the nation’s school children took part in the RSPB’s Big Schools Birdwatch. The UK-wide survey of birds in school grounds saw almost 60,000 school children and their teachers spend an hour in nature counting the birds. Woodpigeon was the most numerous species seen with an average of eight per school; and was seen in 83% of all schools that took part. Blackbird was a close second with an average of seven per school.

The RSPB will be hosting special Dawn Chorus event on its nature reserves. Find out more at
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