Big Garden Birdwatch results

Thanks to you, in January 2018 we got a snapshot of how our garden birds are faring. Take a look to see the full results for Big Garden Birdwatch 2018.

The Birdwatch results for 2018

Come and hear Tony Whitehead as he brings you the Big Garden Birdwatch highlights.

Welcome to the Big Garden Birdwatch 2018 results.

Play video
Big Garden Birdwatch results 2018

Thank you

Thank you very much for taking part in the Big Garden Birdwatch 2018. It's been running since 1979, so we've now got 39 years of data to look back on. This information is vital, as is shows us the species that need our help, and the ones that are thriving. Then we can put steps in place to put that right.

Thanks to you, we can now reveal the top 10 garden birds in the UK and Northern Ireland. Yet again, the house sparrow was at the top spot. Then we have the starling at number two. In at number three was the blue tit, followed by blackbird, woodpigeon and goldfinch. Number seven was great tit, number eight was robin, and in at nine and ten were long-tailed tit and chaffinch.

Great tits feeding on fatballs at a feeder

Sparrows on top

Once again, house sparrows came top of the Big Garden Birdwatch 2018! These characteristically noisy and gregarious birds have managed to colonise most of the world, as they’re equally happy in urban and suburban areas. However, although they’re still abundant, they have suffered enormous declines. So at the RSPB, we’re doing all we can do help them.

 House sparrow male amongst garden flowers, feeding

We've been hard at work going through a staggering 420,489 Big Garden Birdwatch results!

Siskins rise up the charts

Siskins – small, attractive finches with a distinctive forked tail, were up in numbers, reaching number 24. Brambling numbers were up too. Siskins and bramblings are winter visitors, and their numbers are higher in years when conditions here are more favourable than on the Continent, for example during a mild winter, or when lots of their favourite foods are available.


Small birds, big numbers

Overall, there was an increase in sightings of smaller birds, such as goldfinches, long-tailed tits and coal tits. Recorded sightings of goldfinches rose by 11% from last year, and this sociable, brightly-coloured finch was seen in more than two-thirds of gardens.

Goldfinch Carduelis carduelis, feeding from a garden feeder, Co. Durham,

In total, you’ve seen an incredible 6,764,475 birds!

A good year for greenfinches

It was a good year for greenfinches. We’re pleased to say they had a 5% rise in sightings, a great sign as they’ve decreased by 60% since the Birdwatch began in 1979. It appears this rise is due to good conditions during their breeding season in 2017.


Blackbirds and robins drop in numbers

There was a drop in the recorded sightings of blackbirds (down by 18%) and robins (down by 12%). We think this may be because the mild winter meant there was more food available in the countryside, meaning they didn’t need to rely on gardens for food. Also, unlike smaller birds such as goldfinches and greenfinches, blackbirds and robins didn’t have such a good breeding season.


Frogs and toads need our help

Thanks to everyone who took part in Big Garden Birdwatch. Because of you, we’re learning more and more about the wildlife – feathered and not – that visits the nation’s gardens.

  • Frogs have been seen in more than three-quarters of UK gardens. But that’s 17% fewer regular sightings than in 2014
  • Toads have been seen in just 20% of gardens at least once a month – an alarming 30% down on four years ago
  • Sightings of hedgehogs have increased. They’ve been seen in 65% of gardens during the past year
  • More and more of you are seeing foxes in your garden or outdoor space – 72% in the past 12 months.
Picture of a common frog amongst daisies


PDF, 1.56MB

UK results

PDF, 1.49MB

England results

PDF, 1.59MB

Scotland results

PDF, 1.53MB

Wales results

Excel, 378KB

Full Results