THERE’S a new winner in the battle for sky supremacy.
The house sparrow is the most-spotted bird in Hampshire gardens in the 2014 RSPB Big Garden Birdwatch (BGB).
More than 15,000 people took part in this year’s event, and it’s all change in the top five since last year.
The sparrow flew into the top spot from second place in the 2013 survey, knocking the blue tit off its perch.
Meanwhile, the starling is at number three, with the blackbird falling to number four and the woodpigeon completing the top five.
Richard Bashford, BGB organiser, said: “This was always going to be an interesting Big Garden Birdwatch as the winter has been so mild, and we wondered if it would have a significant impact on garden birds.”
Martin Harper, RSPB conservation director, said: “Many garden birds rely on us humans for help. During winter, birds need extra food and water, and at other times of the year, as well as sustenance, a safe place to shelter and make their home can really give them a boost.
“Two of the species that moved up the rankings nationally this year, blue tits and goldfinches, are adaptable, friendly garden birds and great examples of birds that can flourish with our help. If we put up a n e s t b o x , leave out some food or let our gardens grow a bit wild they’ll be among the first to take advantage.”
But it’s not all good news for bird-kind as many are on the UK ‘red list’, species that are dropping in population since Birdwatch began in 1979.
Sparrow numbers have fallen by 62 per cent, while starlings and song thrushes have dropped by 84 and 81 per cent respectively.
The RSPB has launched the Give Nature a Home campaign, urging people to provide places for wildlife in their gardens, whether it’s growing pollen-rich plants for bees or building nestboxes for birds.