Lapwing | The RSPB

Red Alert

  • 1 in 4

    UK birds are now on the Red List of Conservation Concern
  • 67

    Red Listed bird species need help
  • 5 years

    Join our five-year goal to give these birds a future

The dimming of the dawn chorus

If you’re up early you can’t have missed the dawn chorus. Even if you’re a late riser, you’ll still have heard those amazing songs and calls every time you step outside for a walk.

It might sound like there are suddenly more birds around right now, but sadly that isn’t the case. The dawn chorus would have been much, much louder 50 years ago: we’ve lost 40 million of our birds since.

What is the Red List?

The UK Red List for birds keeps track of how different species are doing, and any birds that are rated red are in need of urgent action. Shockingly, one in four of our birds is now on that list, 67 species in total. 

It shows that many of our top singers are in trouble, iconic crooners like nightingales, skylarks and cuckoos. But more familiar garden species are red-listed too, birds like starlings, song thrushes and house sparrows.

But those 67 species are not beyond hope. With your support, we can turn their fortunes around.

Blue wood texture background

Just £3 a month can help reshape the future for our red-listed birds by supporting RSPB projects across the UK. A one-off donation would also help, whatever the amount.

What we'll be doing

The UK Red List is due to be updated in late 2021. Conservation takes time, and while we won’t be able to change the status of all 67 species by then, we hope to have made good progress in getting some of our best-loved birds on track.

Projects across the UK are already helping. But we need funding from nature-loving people to ensure these projects continue, and to make even more possible.

 Male Ring Ouzel, Turdus torquatus. Cairngorms National Park, Scotland

Some of the birds you'll be helping

A donation from you can help us reshape the future of these species.

Song thrush

The song thrush is one of the biggest stars of our garden dawn chorus. With its ever-changing performance, and top-of-the-tree gusto, it’s a voice we’d be devastated to lose. Your donation could help us support struggling song-thrushes.

Wood warbler

You’re unlikely to hear this one in your garden! The spectacular ‘spinning-coin’ song of the wood warbler rings out through upland oak woods. Help us protect these special places to keep wood warblers safe.


All yellowhammers ask for is a ‘little bit of bread and no cheeeese!” But their song is vanishing from our farmland and hedgerows, and their population fell by 54 per cent between 1970 and 1998. Your donation will help our work with farmers and land managers.


We know what they sound like, but so few of us will ever hear one now. We’ve lost over three quarters of our cuckoos since the 1980s. Help us understand what is driving their decline, so that we can help their ‘cuckoo’ call ring out again.

Song thrush
Wood warbler
Spotlight on cuckoos

See the Impact of your gift

So you can see the huge impact of your regular gift will make to help endangered species, we’ll send you the RSPB’s Impact newsletter twice a year, either by post or email.