Battle to save garden birds

Chaffinches are among the bird species found to be less common sights in gardens.
Chaffinches are among the bird species found to be less common sights in gardens.
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GARDEN BIRDS desperately need human intervention to help them survive, the RSPB said, as a major public survey found evidence of falling numbers of certain species.

Fewer finches visited gardens in Yorkshire this year and less chaffinches, goldfinches and greenfinches were also recorded nationally, the RSPB’s Big Garden Birdwatch found.

Both house sparrows and starlings are also considered to be of highest conservation priority and in need of urgent action.

More than 585,000 people across the country took part in the bird count, spending an hour over the weekend of January 24-25 recording any flying visitors to their gardens.

Overall more than 8.5 million birds were spotted. Species that fared particularly well in Yorkshire included wrens, robins and blackbirds, with sightings up on last year.

The average number of robins seen in gardens nationally was at its highest since 2011.

Dr Daniel Hayhow, conservation scientist at the RSPB, said: “Many garden birds are in desperate need of our help. During winter, birds need extra food and water, a safe place to shelter and make their home. Gardens providing these things are an invaluable resource for birds and are likely to have a significant effect on their numbers, perhaps even playing a pivotal role in reversing some declines.

“We hope through this year’s Big Garden Birdwatch challenge, of seeing things through the eyes of birds, really helped people to understand exactly how they use your garden, and will allow them to improve the ways to give nature a home all year round.”