Traditionally, the Irish Garden Bird Survey gains pace after Christmas when birds find food and shelter in scarce supply. Between now and the end of February are the peak feeding and viewing months for birds in your garden.
The Garden Bird Survey is a long established citizen science tool, probably the largest volunteer participation survey we have. The dataset continues to throw up interesting facts and records shifts in populations and range.
Woodpeckers continue to spread within Ireland since proved breeding in the Republic of Ireland in 2009. There are now winter records from 105 gardens with 20 Irish counties reporting them last winter.. this spread is great news after recently colonising the country from the swelling mainland European population.
Greenfinches, declining over 4% per annum in gardens, especially urban gardens.. this is due to the spread of a parasite, trichomoniasis which affects the birds ability to feed. Greenfinch was at its lowest ever ranking in the survey last year at 20th and is found in 58% of gardens surveyed, down from 90% in 2007/08..
Red Amber or Green?
The updated conservation list, presented as a ‘traffic light system’ highlights what species we need to be concerned for, and actually, some of these species occur in our gardens:
Meadow Pipit, Grey Wagtail, Yellowhammer and Redwing
Starling, House and Tree Sparrow, Greenfinch, Goldcrest, Linnet…
So you can actually help a garden species or two which maybe in trouble, by a simple action such as feeding birds or creating garden conditions to enhance their chances of nesting successfully. More than enough reasons to feed and enjoy our Irish Garden Birds!
For tips on garden birds see our Top 20 Garden Birds pages or simply google irish garden bird survey.