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The recently released results of the RSPB's Big Garden Birdwatch have shown the House Sparrow in number one spot, with 1.3 million sightings, showing a promising rise in numbers in the last decade.


"While the overall decline in house sparrow numbers, reported by participants, since the Big Garden Birdwatch began is 53% (1979 - 2020), in the most recent decade (2010-2020) numbers appear to have increased by 10%. Giving us hope that at least a partial recovery may be happening," said RSPB conservation scientist Daniel Hayhow.


There was also an increase in sightings of smaller birds such as long-tailed tits, wrens and coal tits, up by 14%, 13% and 10% on 2019 respectively which the RSPB put down to the milder weather at the start of the year which has allowed many species a higher survival rate than one may expect during a cold winter.



The top 10 birds in the RSPB Big Garden Birdwatch 2020 were as follows:-


1. House sparrow

2. Starling

3. Blue tit

4. Woodpigeon

5. Blackbird

6. Goldfinch

7. Great tit

8. Robin

9. Long-tailed tit

10. Magpie


Unfortunately the Greenfinch was only 18th in the survey and seen in just 14% of gardens, reflecting a drop of 8% since 2019 and the Song Thrush, a firm fixture in the top 10 when the Big Garden Birdwatch first took place in 1979, only came in at 20th in 2020. By 2009, its numbers had halved, and the worrying trend appears to continue.



Running over the last weekend of January, the RSPB Big Garden Birdwatch, which is a chance for people to count the number of birds that visit their gardens, has been going for 41 years, and this year, almost half a million people took part, counting nearly 8 million birds.


For a full round-up of all the RSPB Big Garden Birdwatch results and to see which birds were visiting gardens where you live, visit the RSPB. Over the coming weeks, they will also be helping people to continue to share their wildlife encounters. You can also join the RSPB for #BreakfastBirdwatch from your home, weekdays from 8-9 am.