Big Garden Birdwatch and Wildlife results
How did you Big Garden Birdwatch? Thanks to the 472,758 of you who took part, we’ve got a good idea on how wildlife in our gardens is faring. Look at the results below.
The Birdwatch results for 2019
Welcome to the Big Garden Birdwatch 2019 results.
Thank you for the past 40 years
Thank you so much for taking part in the 40th Big Garden Birdwatch. So much has happened in those 40 years – it’s become the world’s largest garden wildlife survey – and we’ve got a huge amount of valuable data on common British birds to look back on. This is vital information that will help us on our mission to save nature. Once we know which species are in trouble, we can try to find out why.
We can now reveal 2019’s results. Once again, the house sparrow has hit the top spot. At number two is the starling, closely followed by the blue tit and the blackbird.
The woodpigeon flies in at number five, followed by the goldfinch, great tit, and robin at number 8. The top eight remain the same as last year, so it’s a battle for numbers nine and 10. The chaffinch has seen off the long-tailed tit to be at number 9, and the magpie has crept in at number 10.
Sparrow takes gold
For the 16th successive year, house sparrows came in at first place! It’s hardly surprising really, as they can be found pretty much everywhere, tending to feed and breed near people, from city centres to farmland.
While they are seen in much smaller numbers now compared to when the Birdwatch started – the Big Garden Birdwatch shows a 56% decline – this trend has slowed in the past 10 years. See below for how to help house sparrows in your garden.
How to help house sparrows
Even though they're in the top spot, there are still a few simple things you can do to help house sparrows in your garden. Try planting shrubs such as honeysuckle and hawthorn. They’ll provide cover for the house sparrows as well as insect food. You can also put out extra seeds and clean water so that they can drink and bathe.
Bramblings visit in increasing numbers
Although the top of the list stayed stable, there were more shifts lower down. Bullfinches have climbed the rankings since the early 2000s, regularly reaching the top 25.
Another finch species, the brambling, moved from number 50 in 2018 to number 43. They’re winter visitors and migrate here in large numbers if conditions here are more favourable than on the Continent or, when their favourite food – seeds of beech trees – are in plentiful supply.
Sad news for the song thrush
Sadly, it’s bad news for song thrushes and starlings. Both have declined by around 77% since the Big Garden Birdwatch began in 1979. We think the decline of song thrushes is down to loss of places where they prefer to live and breed.
But there’s also good news: coal tits are up by nearly 245% since 1979, and goldfinches, not even included in the first Birdwatch, have increased by around 70% since the early 2000s!
A good year for wildlife spotters
We also asked Big Garden Birdwatchers about the other wildlife spotted in their garden, and this year, almost 200,000 of you told us what you saw.
Grey squirrels are top of the list, with nine out of ten people who took part having seen one in their garden in the last year. Around three-quarters of you have seen foxes, while two-thirds have spotted a hedgehog. Our amphibian friends have been putting in good appearances too – around three-quarters of you saw a frog and just over half of you saw a toad.
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What did you see?
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