GBW Annual Results
We now have a full quarter-century of weekly garden bird observations from the length and breadth of the country, thanks to the dedication of all of our Garden BirdWatchers. These records show us how the birds we see in our gardens and at our feeders have changed over the last 25 years.
25 year results
These figures show the actual reporting rates of our garden birds in 1995 (orange) and in 2019 (dark green), and how the rankings of our top 20, from most common to least common, have changed.
The biggest increases amongst our common birds have been shown by Goldfinch (up 12 places), Woodpigeon (+10), Nuthatch (+6, moving into the top 20 from 26th place) and Jackdaw (+3).
The common birds we have lost from many of our gardens since 1995 include Song Thrush (down 8 places and out of the top 20), Greenfinch (-7), Starling (-6) and House Sparrow (-4). Of these, Song Thrushes have remained stable in the wider countryside over the same period, making their loss from gardens more mysterious.
The full article, below, also explores the patterns in numbers of Blackcaps and Chaffinches we have seen in our gardens over the last 25 years.
More about changes in garden bird numbers
Read more detail about the changes in our common garden birds we have seen over 25 years of Garden BirdWatch, as well as some staggering statistics about the scale of the data set Garden BirdWatchers have collected.
Article originally published in issue 101 of Bird Table magazine for Garden BirdWatchers.
The chart to the right shows the reporting rates for 2018 (pale green) and 2019 (dark green). The orange bars show the percentage change between 2018 and 2019.
Notable changes include the 5% decline in Chaffinch sightings between 2018 and 2019, the 4% decline in the Greenfinch reporting rate and the 15% decline in Song Thrushes. However, Stock Doves and Nuthatches were both seen in higher percentages of gardens in 2019 compared to 2018.
Note that the percentage changes become larger as the actual reporting rates become smaller. A change from 10% to 5% of gardens would be a 50% decline, but a change from 100% to 95% would be a 5% decline, though the number of gardens would be the same.
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Garden BirdWatch - 25 years of monitoring garden birds
We have been collecting garden bird lists for 25 years, but why does this matter?