Bird brains are needed for wildlife survey help

Sitting pretty: Wildlife enjoying Brockholes Nature Reserve
Sitting pretty: Wildlife enjoying Brockholes Nature Reserve
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kingfishers, jackdaws, lapwings and nuthatches are just some of the birds that can be seen stretching their wings now at Brockholes Nature Reserve in Samlesbury.

Residents are also being urged to be on the lookout for wildlife in their back gardens, as part of the RSPB’s Big Garden Birdwatch this weekend.

The survey asks people to spend an hour noting down the highest number of each bird species they see in their garden or local park.

In the first survey in 1979, an average of 15 starlings were seen per garden, but that fell to just three starlings per garden in 2012, the lowest level ever.

House sparrow numbers have fallen by two thirds over the survey’s 34 years.

Joanna Keene, of the RSPB, said: “The declines of starlings and sparrows over the last 30 years or so have been alarming, but Big Garden Birdwatch has helped us find out more about their numbers and distribution across UK gardens, and that has been the first step in helping to put things right.”

Sightings of popular species like blue tits, great tits and coal tits in gardens have increased since 1979.