Help Hampshire’s bird population

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SOME of the UK’s most threatened and best-loved bird species are continuing to decline, according to results from the RSPB’s Big Garden Birdwatch survey.

Residents across the area took part in this year’s survey which identifies which birds are at risk, and the results were released today.

Starlings are a UK red-listed species, meaning it is of the highest conservation concern. They hit an all-time low in last year’s survey and their numbers sunk by a further 16 per cent in gardens this year.

Numbers of house sparrows, also on the red-list, dropped by 17 per cent in gardens compared to 2012, whilst bullfinches and dunnocks, both amber-listed, fell by 20 per cent and 13 per cent respectively.

These trends continued in Hampshire, where house sparrows fell from the top spot in the county’s ranking to second place. While the starling clung on to fifth place, it also saw a big decline in numbers.

Blue tits, pictured, were the most common bird in the county’s gardens.

While the decline of some species continued, others fared better with garden sightings of siskins, fieldfares and jays up by as much as 85 per cent.

The cold, harsh conditions in January is likely to have driven more birds into gardens on their search for food.

To help them, supply water and calorie rich food such as mixed seed, nyjer seed, fatballs, suet sprinkles and peanuts.