Lancashire TelegraphFears over falling bird numbers in Lancashire (From Lancashire Telegraph)

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Fears over falling bird numbers in Lancashire

Lancashire Telegraph: The house sparrow The house sparrow

WILDLIFE experts have expressed concern about the dramatic decline in numbers of birds in Lancashire.

New figures show that the number of house sparrows in the region has fallen by 50 per cent while starlings have declined by 30 per cent and the song thrush by 55 per cent, in the past two decades.

The figures from The Wildlife Trust of Lancashire, Manchester and North Merseyside come on the back of a report called ‘State of the UK's Birds 2012’ carried out by the RSPB which showed that nationally the bird population in the UK had declined by 44 million since 1966.

Alan Wright, spokesman for The Wildlife Trust of Lancashire, Manchester and North Merseyside, said: “There have certainly been declines in populations of most birds in the past 30 years.

“A lot of this is down to removal of hedgerows from farmland and the use of chemical pesticides.

“In gardens, cats have proved to be a major threat to many birds.

“In Lancashire, numbers of many species have plummeted but in particular it is noticeable that we have fewer sparrows and starlings in gardens.

“And out on the moors there are definitely fewer skylarks, thrushes, meadow and tree pipits, twites and yellowhammers.

“Birds of prey numbers are starting to improve but it is nothing compared to the numbers they have lost.

“In some cases, smaller bird numbers have dived by as much as 90 per cent since the end of the Second World War.”

Lancashire Telegraph wildlife expert Ron Freethy said: “The numbers of house sparrows and starlings in East Lancashire, like the rest of the country, have been declining.

“If it continues, it will be worrying.

“However, these things tend to go in trends – the records only date back to the 1950s so it’s difficult to say whether if the numbers will start to increase again in a few years.”

Bird populations

  • Blue tit 3,600,000
  • Great tit 2,600,000
  • Swallow 860,000
  • House martin 510,000
  • Wren 8,600,000
  • Starling 1,900,000
  • Blackbird 5,100,000
  • Song thrush 1,200,000
  • Robin 6,700,000
  • House sparrow 5,300,000

Comments (7)

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3:21pm Tue 20 Nov 12

mavrick says...

I have serious doubts as to the accuracy of these figures, I have seen a dramatic increase in both sparrows and starlings in my little area. I can't help feeling these figures are being massaged for political reasons rather than animal welfare concerns.
I have serious doubts as to the accuracy of these figures, I have seen a dramatic increase in both sparrows and starlings in my little area. I can't help feeling these figures are being massaged for political reasons rather than animal welfare concerns. mavrick
  • Score: -1

4:01pm Tue 20 Nov 12

bigdee123 says...

cat owners have alot to answer for. people think that cats can look after themselves. they just leave them to fend for themselves wher i live.
birds of prey arent helping,plus with many modern roofing systems starlings and sparrows are struggling.
cat owners have alot to answer for. people think that cats can look after themselves. they just leave them to fend for themselves wher i live. birds of prey arent helping,plus with many modern roofing systems starlings and sparrows are struggling. bigdee123
  • Score: 3

4:40pm Tue 20 Nov 12

2 for 5p says...

bigdee123 wrote:
cat owners have alot to answer for. people think that cats can look after themselves. they just leave them to fend for themselves wher i live.
birds of prey arent helping,plus with many modern roofing systems starlings and sparrows are struggling.
Ok bigdee I'll just go out and spend thousands changing my roof so some birds can build nests.
[quote][p][bold]bigdee123[/bold] wrote: cat owners have alot to answer for. people think that cats can look after themselves. they just leave them to fend for themselves wher i live. birds of prey arent helping,plus with many modern roofing systems starlings and sparrows are struggling.[/p][/quote]Ok bigdee I'll just go out and spend thousands changing my roof so some birds can build nests. 2 for 5p
  • Score: 1

5:18pm Tue 20 Nov 12

jogalot says...

mavrick wrote:
I have serious doubts as to the accuracy of these figures, I have seen a dramatic increase in both sparrows and starlings in my little area. I can't help feeling these figures are being massaged for political reasons rather than animal welfare concerns.
I have no doubts about the accuracy. I jog a lot and I hardly ever see or hear a bird anymore. They're being poisoned. Car fumes, pesticides and god help us if genetically modified crops are introduced. They will if Monsanto have their way and they do get their way. They spent millions of preventing a law in California that wanted to all foods that contained GM to label food as such. Millions to prevent the public knowing what their food contains! Sorry for going off-topic but I'll bet it happens here pretty soon and we'll all be at greater risk of cancer, farmers will go bankrupt and Monsanto will grow all grains in the world and get away with their blatant murder.
[quote][p][bold]mavrick[/bold] wrote: I have serious doubts as to the accuracy of these figures, I have seen a dramatic increase in both sparrows and starlings in my little area. I can't help feeling these figures are being massaged for political reasons rather than animal welfare concerns.[/p][/quote]I have no doubts about the accuracy. I jog a lot and I hardly ever see or hear a bird anymore. They're being poisoned. Car fumes, pesticides and god help us if genetically modified crops are introduced. They will if Monsanto have their way and they do get their way. They spent millions of preventing a law in California that wanted to all foods that contained GM to label food as such. Millions to prevent the public knowing what their food contains! Sorry for going off-topic but I'll bet it happens here pretty soon and we'll all be at greater risk of cancer, farmers will go bankrupt and Monsanto will grow all grains in the world and get away with their blatant murder. jogalot
  • Score: 2

6:38pm Tue 20 Nov 12

grumpyoldlady says...

Song Thrushes and Sparrows have definitely declined in my garden. I have witnessed cats catching Blackbirds, Collared Doves and Sparrows. Another problem is Magpies which have attacked Blackbird and Thrushes nests and it is quite obvious that with the decline of some species the Magpie population is rapidly increasing where I live. I think all cats should wear bells in order to give the birds half a chance.
Song Thrushes and Sparrows have definitely declined in my garden. I have witnessed cats catching Blackbirds, Collared Doves and Sparrows. Another problem is Magpies which have attacked Blackbird and Thrushes nests and it is quite obvious that with the decline of some species the Magpie population is rapidly increasing where I live. I think all cats should wear bells in order to give the birds half a chance. grumpyoldlady
  • Score: 4

10:36pm Tue 20 Nov 12

Major Tom says...

Cats are pets for lazy owners. They kick them out and let them do their damage. I always remember what I was told on my driving test... 'If a cat runs out in front of you, run it over.'
I had to go through three no entry signs to do my first one.
Cats are pets for lazy owners. They kick them out and let them do their damage. I always remember what I was told on my driving test... 'If a cat runs out in front of you, run it over.' I had to go through three no entry signs to do my first one. Major Tom
  • Score: 1

9:48am Wed 21 Nov 12

Joseph O'M says...

Thousands of terraced houses have been demolished in Lancashire within the last 10 years, and the construction of their eaves was such that they provided an ideal habitat for many nesting birds - these houses have gone and so have these birds habitats. Also, a significant number of front yards and gardens in Blackburn have been tarmaced (especially semi detached houses) and this must surely have had an impact upon bird species. Having said that, I saw a buzzard between Pleasington and Hoghton a few weeks ago so it's not all doom and gloom.
Thousands of terraced houses have been demolished in Lancashire within the last 10 years, and the construction of their eaves was such that they provided an ideal habitat for many nesting birds - these houses have gone and so have these birds habitats. Also, a significant number of front yards and gardens in Blackburn have been tarmaced (especially semi detached houses) and this must surely have had an impact upon bird species. Having said that, I saw a buzzard between Pleasington and Hoghton a few weeks ago so it's not all doom and gloom. Joseph O'M
  • Score: 0

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