THE number of starlings in Hampshire has declined by more than two thirds, latest figures show.
The RSPB has reported that the population of the familiar chattering bird has dropped by 69 per cent in the last two decades.
This crash is triggering concern about the bird’s future status as a widespread bird.
Figures show that 40m starlings have disappeared from the European Union, including the UK, since 1980.
The bird was still, however, in the top five for birds seen in Hampshire during this year’s Big Garden Birdwatch.
Dr Richard Gregory, from the RSPB, said: ‘The starling is still a plentiful bird, but its numbers are falling alarmingly.
‘Forty million starlings lost represents over 150 for every hour since the 1980s. This loss should be a wake-up call, because we ignore the decline of nature at our own peril.’
Theories for the population decline include intensive farming and loss of grassland. However, research is still being done to understand it.