National Garden Bird Survey reaches 25 years - BTO

In 1995 the British Trust for Ornithology (BTO) launched a weekly garden bird survey: Garden BirdWatch (GBW). Today the project is still going strong, having received over eight million lists of birds and other wildlife from a total of more than 50,000 British gardens, and giving us a unique insight into the changes at our bird feeders over that time.

In 1995 House Sparrows were the third most commonly-recorded bird, but today they are in 7th place, following the long-term decline of this species. Starling has dropped from 7th place to 13th, and Greenfinch has fallen from 8th to 15th, due to the decline in numbers caused by the disease trichomonosis. One of the biggest yet most mysterious declines is that of Song Thrush: in February 1996 they were recorded in over half of GBW gardens, and were a familiar sight feeding on snails. Today they are found in only 15% of GBW gardens, and yet over the same time period numbers in the country overall have remained stable.

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