UK Garden Bird Trends - Moving Back In

By taking part in National Nest Box Week 2015, you are making a positive contribution towards the welfare and safety of many local garden birds. If you have taken a look at our recent guide on beginner’s birdwatching, you will know how important it is to familiarise yourself with the birds in your area. This will help you recognise any birds that you see and spot anything unusual that comes into your garden.

So let’s start by taking a look at the top 10 most recorded birds from the Big Bird Watch 2014 survey, conducted by the RSPB.

Top 10 Most Recorded Garden Birds 2014

  • House sparrow
  • Blue tit
  • Blue tit

  • Blackbird
  • Wood pigeon
  • Starling
  • Starling

  • Chaffinch
  • Goldfinch
  • Great tit
  • Collared dove
  • Collared Dove

  • Robin
  • Interestingly, the Great Spotted Woodpecker made it into the top 20 recorded birds for the first time last year, which is great news! The results have not yet been finalised from this year’s Big Birdwatch survey but we will keep you updated. You can also find more information about the recent event on our blog.

    More Birds Move Back In

    According to an article on the BTO website, the cold winter weather we are experiencing is actually giving a boost to the number of birds in our gardens. The winter of 2013/14 saw bird numbers stay low, however the recent frosts and snow from January showed many birds moving back in.

    The increase in this number could be down to the birds’ need for food. The strong winds and frosts have made it harder for birds to find food in the wider countryside and the amount of energy they have to expend to keep warm is greater. Many birds are therefore moving into gardens to find food and keep warm.

    There has been an increase in the number of wrens, robins, great tit, and blackcaps reported in UK gardens from last year. Following on from the high number of wrens seen at the end of 2014, this reflects the higher survival rate seen after the mild weather of 2013/14.

    Which species are declining?

    Sadly there are a number of species that are in fact in significant decline. Species that are in decline include the Grey Partridge, the Skylark, Little Owl, Snipe, and Little Grebe. According to the current report, there are a total of 28 species for which the best long-term trends show statistically major population declines of more than 50% over periods of 35-45 years.

    Making a Difference

    As UK birds move back into our gardens, it is more important than ever to make sure they have enough food and water to keep them going. Take a look at our guide on building a nest box, creating DIY bird feeders, and making bird cakes to see how you can make a difference.


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