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Big freeze afects garden bird numbers

As a result of the freeze during last winter the RSPB has reported that the amount of small birds such as goldcrests and coal tits has fallen.

According to the charity’s yearly Big Garden Birdwatch, the numbers of goldcrests fell by 75% and coal tit numbers fell by 20%.
However, the icy weather may have caused less people to see the birds which could throw off the numbers slightly as well.
The count took place over January 30th and 31st and recorded about 8.5m birds composed of 73 different species in about 280,000 UK gardens.

According to January’s court, long tailed tits fell by 27% even though they still made it into the top ten most spotted garden birds.
However there was a rise in common countryside birds such as yellowhammers, fieldfares, bullfinches, and redwings.  Usually these birds are found in hedgerows, fields, and farmland trees.

Also seen in larger numbers were mistle thrushes and song thrushes.

Sarah Kelly, the Big Garden Birdwatch co-coordinator, stated that they are mostly concerned about the survival of small birds throughout winter asking that people ensure that they have access to feed and fresh water in gardens.
The RSPB also report that more blackcaps survived the cold then were expects probably because the breed has adjusted their feeding behavior to include feeder food.

The charity organization stated that while the top ten remains mostly the same this year compared to 2009, the most common species in Britain are facing a long term decline.


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