This weekend was the twentieth edition of the National Garden Bird Count. More than 120,000 people and a total of more than one and a half million birds. The house sparrow traditionally takes first place. The great tit, number two, was seen in most gardens. The blue tit is in third place.
The annual event is organized by Vogelbescherming Nederland. This year, extra attention was paid to the greenfinch, because this finch-like bird has been decreasing in numbers in urban areas for years.
“In 2008, counters still saw the greenfinch in more than a quarter of the gardens, now in only 5 percent of the counted gardens. The average number of greenfinch per garden also decreased considerably from 4.5 to less than 3,” Vogelbescherming reports.
According to Vogelbescherming, the decrease could be explained by the lack of shrubs. Greenlings like to breed in it. But the yellow disease, which is often spread through feeding places, also seems to play a role.
Vogelbescherming Nederland will work with Sovon Vogelonderzoek to further investigate the causes. In the meantime, Bird Protection advises greening gardens, so that the greenfinch can breed to his heart’s content. It is also good to clean the feeding table once a week with hot water.
According to the organization, the number of garden bird counters is considerably higher than in the years before corona. “A sign that birdwatching is becoming increasingly popular and that people are more and more concerned with the birds in their garden,” says Vogelbescherming.
Counters had to count how many birds they saw in their own area for half an hour and pass this on to Tuinvogeltelling.nl. Data can still be submitted until Monday 12:00 PM.