As regular CFZ-watchers will know, for some time Corinna has been doing a column for Animals & Men and a regular segment on On The Track... particularly about out-of-place birds and rare vagrants. There seem to be more and more bird stories from all over the world hitting the news these days so, to make room for them all - and to give them all equal and worthy coverage - she has set up this new blog to cover all things feathery and Fortean.

Sunday, 27 January 2013

Mistle thrushes 'missing' from UK gardens

By Ella Davies Reporter, BBC Nature

Mistle thrushes have disappeared from UK gardens at a "staggering" rate, according to the Royal Society for the Protection of Birds.

Results from the charity's annual survey suggest the birds are seen in fewer than half the number of gardens they were 10 years ago.

Population estimates published at the end of last year confirm there are now just 170,000 breeding pairs.

The warning comes on the eve of the RSPB's annual Big Garden Birdwatch.

Experts compare the decline to that of the closely related song thrush.

Both thrush species have become rarer sights in UK gardens, with populations falling by more than half since the 1970s, according to the ongoing Breeding Bird Survey carried out by the British Trust for Ornithology (BTO) and partners.

But the continuing trend of decline among mistle thrushes is a key concern.

"If you look at the decline in the short term, from 1995 to 2010, we see that mistle thrushes have declined by 28%," said the RSPB's Graham Madge.

Over the same period, the song thrush, which has been recognised as a species of serious conservation concern, increased by 13%, according to figures from the The State of UK Birds report jointly published last November by the RSPB, BTO and Wildfowl and Wetlands Trust.


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