Fewer wild birds visiting gardens in the UK

According to the RSPB, fewer wild birds are visiting gardens in the UK. The species that is declining the most are greenfinches, starlings, and sparrows. It coincides with the world’s largest wildlife citizen science project, the Big Garden Birdwatch, which is an annual event of the conservation charity. The species, which was once widely distributed, is becoming far less common than it was 45 years ago when the survey was started. However, there are also winners. Woodpigeons, parakeets, and goldfinches are all doing well.

A recent examination of the survey data reveals that the well-established decline in sightings of wild birds is still present. Compared to two decades ago, people who watched for an hour in their gardens for the survey saw four fewer objects on average. They used to see an average of 28 birds per day, but these days they only see an average of 24. The BBC was informed by Beccy Speight, the chief executive of the RSPB, that “sadly, this snapshot is a reminder of how many of our most loved birds are at the forefront of the nature and climate emergency.”

Because it is upsetting the seasonal cycle, climate change is having an impact on bird populations. For example, early spring causes birds to reproduce earlier than usual, which can result in abrupt temperature fluctuations or a scarcity of food for the young birds. Since 1979, the last weekend in January has been the date of the charity’s Big Garden Birdwatch (BGBW) survey. Every year, up to 500,000 people participate, spending an hour observing birds in local parks, on their balconies, or in their gardens.

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