Cornish gardens are painted pink

No.:  2010-11-52
November 2010

New results from the year-round British Trust for Ornithology (BTO) Garden BirdWatch paint a colourful picture in Cornish gardens. Three species – the Bullfinch, Chaffinch and Jay – all make a vivid splash with their pink and red plumage in Cornish gardens.

Bullfinch by Jill Pakenham 

The male Bullfinch has a pronounced
pink breast

In our urbanising world gardens form oases of colour, a patchwork of shades and textures that are stitched together by the ethereal threads of fluttering birds. Perched high on the red end of the spectrum are Cornish gardens, with Bullfinches and Chaffinches, species in which the male has a pronounced pink breast, and Jays, whose plumage is predominantly pink, all unusually common.

The results, from the BTO Garden BirdWatch, highlight Cornwall’s unique garden bird community. Here, many popular species succeed, including the tiny Wren and the sleek Blackcap. As winter’s grip wrings the colour from gardens, these species are welcome additions.

There are many reasons to be excited by Cornwall’s garden birds and the BTO is encouraging more householders to enjoy them and to record what they see. Recent sightings in Cornwall include rarities such as Yellow-browed Warbler and Snow Bunting, so who knows what might turn up! The BTO’s Garden BirdWatch has run every week since 1995 and is the largest year-round survey of garden birds in the world, with more than 200 participants in Cornwall alone.

Dr Tim Harrison, BTO Garden BirdWatch, commented: “Cornish householders can be amazed at the birds that they have in their gardens. Compared with the rest of Britain and Ireland, Cornish gardens are more likely to host many species including Great Tit, Robin and, of course, our three pink favourites. Even on the most gloomy winter day, these birds will shine brightly.”

He added, “Many people watch birds in their gardens and the BTO Garden BirdWatch enables Cornish householders to record what they see and, in the process, make a real scientific contribution. Whether you watch the birds for 10 minutes or 10 hours per week you can still get involved.”

To make your Cornish garden count or for a free enquiry pack and copy of Bird Table magazine please telephone 01842 750050 and ask for the Garden BirdWatch team, email gbw [at] bto.org or write to GBW, BTO, The Nunnery, Thetford, Norfolk, IP24 2PU.

Notes for Editors

  1. Cornwall’s unique garden bird community – Top 20 
     
    Top 20
    Cornwall
    % gardens occupied
    Top 20
    Rest of Britain and Ireland
    % gardens occupied
    1
    Blackbird
    90.1
    Blackbird
    91.1
    2
    Blue Tit
    89.0
    Blue Tit
    88.3
    3
    Chaffinch
    87.4
    Robin
    83.9
    4
    Robin
    86.5
    Dunnock
    76.4
    5
    Great Tit
    79.5
    Great Tit
    76.1
    6
    Dunnock
    75.9
    Chaffinch
    73.2
    7
    House Sparrow
    73.0
    Woodpigeon
    72.7
    8
    Magpie
    65.5
    House Sparrow
    71.3
    9
    Greenfinch
    63.2
    Collared Dove
    66.1
    10
    Woodpigeon
    60.5
    Greenfinch
    63.6
    11
    Collared Dove
    60.4
    Magpie
    59.9
    12
    Jackdaw
    52.8
    Coal Tit
    57.9
    13
    Goldfinch
    47.8
    Starling
    57.4
    14
    Wren
    42.6
    Goldfinch
    53.3
    15
    Coal Tit
    42.1
    Jackdaw
    36.7
    16
    Starling
    28.9
    Wren
    34.0
    17
    Carrion Crow
    26.8
    Carrion Crow
    31.9
    18
    Rook
    26.2
    Song Thrush
    27.5
    19
    Bullfinch
    21.6
    Long-tailed Tit
    27.1
    20
    Long-tailed Tit
    21.2
    Great Spotted Woodpecker
    26.3
  1. The BTO Garden BirdWatch is the only nationwide survey of garden birds to run weekly throughout the year, providing important information on how birds use gardens, and how this use changes over time. Currently, some 15,000 people take part in the project. The project is funded by participants’ contributions and is the largest year-round survey of garden birds in the world. For more information see www.bto.org/gbw
  2. The BTO is the UK’s leading bird research organisation. Over thirty thousand birdwatchers contribute to the BTO’s surveys. They collect information that forms the basis of conservation action in the UK. The BTO maintains a staff of 100 at its offices in Norfolk and Stirling, who analyse and publicise the results of project work. The BTO’s investigations are funded by government, industry and conservation organisations.

Contact information

Tim Harrison (BTO Garden BirdWatch Development Officer)
Office: 01842 750050 (9am to 5.30pm)
Email: gbw [at] bto.org

Paul Stancliffe (BTO Press Officer)
Office: 01842 750050 (9am to 5.30pm)
Mobile: 07845 900559 (anytime)
Email: press [at] bto.org

Images are available for use alongside this News Release
Please contact images [at] bto.org quoting reference 2010-11-52

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Please contact us to book an interview
Office: 01842 750050