‘Significant’ increase found in the number of ‘urban’ birds

THERE has been a “significant” increase (of 19 per cent) in the number of birds in Scotland’s towns and cities.

According to the Scottish Government agency, NatureScot, among the species whose populations have grown, between 1994 and 2019, are blue tits, great tits and goldfinches.

Says the agency, here: “A number of birds have seen an upsurge across all habitats, but there have been more rapid increases in urban areas. In particular, typical garden birds such as blue tits, great tits and goldfinches have seen rises in their numbers. Although increased use of birdfeeders are likely a key factor, these species showed even higher population increases on farmland, so other factors, such as climate change, are likely to have contributed as well.”

But it has not been all good news, from the study (here): “Meanwhile, house sparrows, song thrushes and blackbirds all declined in urban areas – although they increased across other habitats. Possible reasons for their urban declines include poorer food quality for chicks and increases in disease and predation in towns and cities.”

Picture credit: Place Design Scotland