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Good News!

for UK's garden birds

Good news for garden birds…

2014 was a good year for garden birds, though maybe not for garden birdwatchers! Thanks to decent weather and plenty of resources, gardens were not inundated with our common garden birds according to the British Trust for Ornithology (BTO) Garden BirdWatch. This year could be very different, however, so we need your help.

By collecting weekly records of garden birds the BTO Garden BirdWatch can tell if anything out of the ordinary is occurring, as birds veer away from their seasonal trends. With the lack of birds in gardens at the beginning of 2014, alarm bells might have been rung, but overall the 2014 results were very ordinary for all of our common garden birds, and that is no bad thing.

Other BTO surveys show that 2014 was a good year for garden bird species. Preliminary bird ringing results show that Wren numbers and survival rate in 2014 were significantly higher than the five-year average, thanks to the mild weather during winter 2013/2014. It was also a productive breeding season for many of our garden birds, according to nesting and ringing data, including Long-tailed Tit, Song Thrush, Robin and Blackbird, with the latter having one of its best years ever.

So why did we not see bumper bird numbers in gardens? Clare Simm, from the Garden BirdWatch team, commented, "Continuing mild weather and the ability to obtain food in the wider countryside meant that birds did not need to come into gardens in greater numbers than usual. While the supplementary food that we supply is valuable during adverse weather conditions, it is only used when birds need it. This demonstrates the value of having long-term datasets so that we can tell when and how birds are using gardens."

She added: "So don’t worry - our garden birds are out there!"

It could all change this year, however, and we need your help to keep an eye out for any unusual activity.

To find out more about the BTO Garden BirdWatch, including a free enquiry pack and magazine, please get in touch by emailing gbw@bto.org or telephoning 01842 750050, or write to GBW, BTO, The Nunnery, Thetford, Norfolk, IP24 2PU. More information can also be found at the BTO Website a>

BTO

6th March 2015