House sparrow male amongst garden flowers, feeding

Where have all the birds gone?

Have the birds disappeared from your garden?

Swallows failed to return this year? No blue tits on your peanuts? Where are all the starlings? We've got the answers - and some advice.

Why birds disappear

It's understandable to be worried when it seems that birds have gradually or suddenly disappeared from your garden, or local area.

Often, there are natural reasons for this though and there is nothing sinister at work. All sorts of factors, including what season it is, changes in the weather and the abundance of nuts and seeds in the countryside can all have a big effect on what birds are coming to your garden.

In these pages, we describe and explain many of the real and apparent reasons why birds ‘disappear’ at various times of the year.

 Starling, Sturnus vulgaris, perched on lichen covered branch in garden in Durham.

Where have all the starlings gone?

Starling, London

You might see big flocks of starlings in your garden at some times of year, but only a few at other times. Ever wondered why?