23/11/2015
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Goldfinches on the up in gardens

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Goldfinch numbers are increasing in Britain's gardens, and the BTO is asking for your help in discovering why. Photo by David Friel (commons.wikimedia.org).
Goldfinch numbers are increasing in Britain's gardens, and the BTO is asking for your help in discovering why. Photo by David Friel (commons.wikimedia.org).

Goldfinches are increasingly common in Britain’s gardens, according to the most recent figures from the British Trust for Ornithology (BTO).

A massive 70 per cent more Garden BirdWatch participants are reporting Goldfinches now than 20 years ago, showing that the species is far more common in gardens than it used to be. However, the reasons for this increase are unknown, the BTO has reported.

The organisation is asking birders across the country for their help. Starting this month, it has launched the Goldfinch Feeding Survey. The study, which runs until February 2016, will look at how important garden bird foods are to the species, what foods it is eating and whether the increase is mirrored by a wider growth in the British population.

Participants are asked to spend a couple of minutes watching Goldfinches in their gardens, recording how many are seen and what they are feeding on. The BTO is also interested in how the birds’ behaviour changes over the winter, so birders who regularly get Goldfinches can help by reporting more than once.

The BTO Garden BirdWatch is one of the biggest citizen science projects in the world. The January issue of Birdwatch will run a special report on the study’s 20-year history.

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Written by: Birdwatch news team