Preliminary results from this year’s Garden Bird Survey indicate that the house sparrow is again top species, with an average 12.4 counted per garden (compared with 12.7 last year). The silvereye is second, with an average 9.7 per garden (6.1 last year). The larger number of silvereyes compared with last year could be a result of the early winter forcing them out of the forest and into gardens in search of food. Other species in the top 10 are much the same as last year. Data are still being entered online, so the figures in the table may change slightly.
The response from participants around the country has been fantastic. About 3800 survey forms have been returned so far, more than the total number of returns last year.
Some people reported large numbers of birds in their garden. One said: “I get approx 200+ birds on my section as I feed them daily at approx 7.30 am in winter, 6.30 am in summer. They are actually waiting for me in the trees.”
Another reported: “There are so many birds on our property it would take an ornithologist to do a full count of all species to be found.”
The results will help build up a picture of how both native and introduced birds are faring in our gardens over the years.
Table: Top 10 birds in 2012 (after 2709 returns), compared with 2011 results.
(The data are raw data not corrected for regional proportions of households)