Starlings Keep Top Spot 30 March 2017
Starlings keep NI top spot in RSPB Big Garden Birdwatch
Starlings remain the most common bird in Northern Ireland, according to a popular piece of citizen science.
The bird kept the top spot during this year’s Big Garden Birdwatch, organised by the Royal Society for the Protection of Birds (RSPB).
Some 17,000 people participated in the charity’s survey in January, spending an hour making notes of the birds that visited their gardens.
Almost 130,000 birds were recorded.
After starlings, the most common species were house sparrows, chaffinches, blue tits and blackbirds.
Across the UK there was an increase in sightings of waxwings.
They flock to Northern Ireland’s gardens once every few years, when the berry crop fails in their native Scandinavia.
Waxwings are not seen often in local gardens, but were spotted six times during the survey.
Joanne Sherwood, RSPB NI director, said: “To have so many people connecting with this huge citizen science initiative is amazing and the information gathered will really help create a snapshot of how our garden birds are doing.”