Results from the RSPB say that nearly 500,000 people took part in this year's Big Garden Birdwatch, which is certainly a staggering number of birds counted. Both the RSPB and us here at Kennedy Wild Bird Food want to say a huge thanks for giving nature a home.
Overall, we’ve seen an increase in the number of birds visiting our gardens this year. A prime example was the amount of starling witnessed in gardens. This year, 50% of gardens saw starlings, a 10% increase when compared with last year. With many of us taking an active interest in looking after our wild garden birds, the sheer number of birds visiting your garden is a reward for such great work.
The top 10 birds were:
- House Sparrows
- Blue Tits
- Great Tit
- Long Tailed Tit
You can check out the full results via the RSPB results spreadsheet here.
A great year for waxwings
There was a huge boost in the number of waxwings paying a visit to our gardens this year, quite possibly an anomaly due to the lack of berries in Scandinavia, their native home. There were hundreds of sightings of waxwings across the UK, even as far as Northern Ireland. Should they return next year, make sure your garden is stocked full of berries.
Other winners in 2017
Also on the up are the amount of blackbirds. Since 2007, the number of blackbirds have increased by 29%. They are readily found all over the UK after being spotted in more than 93% of UK gardens this year!
Finally, the cute little Robin. Numbers spotted this year being the highest for 20 years!
Since 2007 they have increased by 24% and are now number 7 on the top 10 list. Robins are another bird that love berries and chances are you would have seen them by a holly bush. However, robins also love mealworms, so don’t forget to leave plenty out during winter!
Tits in decline
Unfortunately, a couple of notable decreases were in the amount of great tits, coal tits and blue tits - all of which were down by 10% compared with last year. For these small birds, the weather can have a huge impact during breeding season.
One reason put forward has been last year's prolonged wet spells, which caused a lack of caterpillars for the tits to feed their young with. In turn, this meant fewer young survived which is why we witnessed fewer in our gardens this year. Although tits adore caterpillars, don’t forget they are also particularly fond of sunflower hearts and peanuts.
How to look after garden birds
A few months ago we published an article about what to feed your garden birds all year round to keep them healthy. Make sure you give it a read because as modern life continues to take it’s toll, birds and bird watchers alike are understanding the value of the Great British gardens.