Top 20 Edinburgh garden birds for 2013 revealed by RSPB

Cock House Sparrow

Did you take part in this years’ RSPB Big Back Garden Birdwatch?

If you did, you were among more than half a million people who counted the birds in their back garden over 1 hour earlier in the year.

This week the RSPB finished crunching all the numbers and released the results, and so we put together this little chart so that you can see which bird species were spotted most often in Edinburgh – and how this compares to Scotland and the UK as a whole.

If you can’t see it on your device, try clicking here.

The chart shows that Sparrows remain the most common garden bird in Edinburgh, Scotland and indeed the UK. But despite this, the bird is on the RSPB “Red list” as the total number spotted each year continues to decline rapidly.

According to the RSPB, sparrow sightings fell 17% compared with 2012. Starlings also hit an all time UK low, with numbers falling 16% from last year. Bullfinches and Dunnocks, both on the RSPB amber-list, fell by 20 per cent and 13 per cent respectively.

In Edinburgh, probably like many urban places, we seem to have more feral pigeons and gulls than the Scottish average. Edinburgh folk also seem to be relatively more likely to see bullfinches in their back gardens than other Scots.

The survey also shows that some species have moved into back gardens from other places. Back garden sightings of Siskins, Fieldfares and Jays increased by up to 85 per cent across the UK.

Martin Harper, RSPB Conservation Director, said: “Gardens make up around 4 per cent of land area in the UK and their role as habitats for our wildlife is clear. They are the places that birds come to for food and shelter when conditions in the countryside are especially tough and together, we can all play a part in making them more welcoming and supportive for wildlife, whether we have a garden full of greenery, a yard or a window box.”

For advice about what you can do to make your back garden more friendly to wild birds, check out the RSPB website.

Photo credit: Ian A Kirk