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Mistle Thrushes Missing From UK Gardens: RSPB

First Posted: Jan 28, 2013 01:42 AM EST
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According to the 34th annual Big Garden Birdwatch survey, world's biggest wildlife survey, conducted by the Royal Society for the Protection of Birds annually, the number of 'mistle thrushes' is declining and its population almost disappearing from U.K. gardens, reports RSPB.

Native to Europe, the mistle thrush is smaller than the song thrush and larger than the common blackbird. It derives its name from its penchant for mistletoe. The survey suggests that the mistle thrushes are seen in fewer than half the number of gardens they were seen in 10 years ago.   

'Everyone that has ever taken part in Big Garden Birdwatch has helped to make us aware of huge changes in the populations of birds like house sparrows, starlings and song thrushes, leading us to do more work on the decline of these familiar birds," Martin Harper, RSPB conservation director was quoted in RSPB.

He said that mistle thrushes were being listed in the amber list of conservation concern. Based on the rate of decline of the mistle thrush and song thrush, both the species need help.

The first survey was conducted in 1979, during which 15 starlings per garden were seen and that dropped to an average of 3 starlings per garden in 2012. The 2012 record was the lowest level ever counted. Along with the mistle thrush, the house sparrow population is also threatened as their numbers dropped by two thirds since the time the survey was started.

On the other hand the populations of the popular blue tits and coal tits are booming over the period of time.

Last year's survey recorded over 9 million birds and had the active participation of over 600,000 people, including 90,000 pupils and teachers at schools.

'The declines of birds like 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,' Sarah Houghton, RSPB manager for the Birdwatch, said in a press statement.

According to Houghton, this survey is an ideal way to know the creatures that exist around us and gather important information about them.

Click here to view Live Webcams that will broadcast the Big Garden Birdwatch.

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