RSPB Big Garden Birdwatch 2024 results published


The results from this year's RSPB Big Garden Birdwatch have been announced, with nearly 10 million birds reported by more than 600,000 participants.

House Sparrow retains its position as most-recorded species for another year, ranked by average count per garden, followed by Blue Tit, Common Starling, Woodpigeon and Blackbird.

A total of 80 species were logged in UK gardens during the annual survey, with participants observing more than 9.5 million individual birds.

Despite a comfortable place in the top five garden birds, Common Starling has declined sharply over the last few decades (Glyn Sellors).


Citizen science

The Big Garden Birdwatch provides insights into common birds in gardens, which cover around 4,330 sq km of the UK. Representing such a large amount of the country's land, gardens are important habitats for birds.

Common Starling is among the garden birds that sit on the UK Red List of Conservation Concern, due to a serious decline since the 1960s. The Big Garden Birdwatch helps chart this and other species' fortunes, as well as highlighting the importance of gardens for birds. Big Garden Birdwatch sightings of starlings have dropped by 81.5% since 1979.

Beccy Speight, RSPB chief executive, said: "Last year's State of Nature report laid out a grim picture finding that there’s been no let-up in the decline of our wildlife over recent decades, with one in six species at risk of being lost from Great Britain.

"However, with seven out of eight households lucky enough to have access to a garden, it is the place where many of us can make a positive difference to the ongoing nature crisis. Gardens and community green spaces can both give a crucial lifeline for struggling species by providing a huge patchwork of potential homes for nature."


Wildlife-friendly gardens

The RSPB says that even small actions can benefit starlings and other birds, as well as a wider suite of wildlife. In 2020 alone, more than 1.7 million people sought advice from the RSPB website on making their garden more wildlife-friendly.

To help, the RSPB has designed a series of actions to inspire and advise everyone on how to turn their outdoor spaces into havens for wildlife – whether it be a garden, balcony, yard, or community green space.

Speight added: "To halt nature's decline and turn round its current downward trajectory, we need to help it return across the board and make it a feature of everyday life. Our fields, farms, and towns need help to let nature back in and gardens provide the perfect place for us as individuals to start.

"Providing food, shelter and water for wildlife, not using chemicals and not using peat based compost – what we do in our own backyard can make a huge difference. All of us making small changes can effect huge change."

To turn your garden or local green space into a haven for wildlife, go to: www.rspb.org.uk/get-involved/activities/nature-on-your-doorstep.