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Where have all the thrushes gone?

PUBLISHED: 19:00 20 July 2019

The thrush - once a familiar sight in gardens now in rapid decline. Picture: Nicholas Brown

The thrush - once a familiar sight in gardens now in rapid decline. Picture: Nicholas Brown

(c) copyright citizenside.com

Alarmed residents in Suffolk have voiced their concerns at the worryingly low number of songbirds spotted in the county this summer.

The RSPB's Big Garden Birdwatch encourages birdwatchers and families to keep record of bird numbers in an attempt to curb declining populations Picture: ELEANOR BENTALL (RSPB-IMAGES.COM)The RSPB's Big Garden Birdwatch encourages birdwatchers and families to keep record of bird numbers in an attempt to curb declining populations Picture: ELEANOR BENTALL (RSPB-IMAGES.COM)

Their concerns have been raised as songbird populations across the UK have continued to decline over the last 30 years.

Clare-based writer and birdwatcher Sylvia Loch claimed she and fellow villagers have only seen a single songbird in four months.

She said: "We need to wake up to the amount of birds we are losing like swallows and swifts.

"It has been getting worse for years - but I never expected to only see one song thrush in the last four months. It is terrible.

"People love feeding their birds, but there isn't a single bird to feed."

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According to the RSPB, the declining population is significantly caused by farming - notably of which through increased efficiency, changing in cropping practices and the use of fertilisers and pesticides.

In their 2019 Big Garden Birdwatch, the charity found many species are being seen less and less in Suffolk.

Martin Harper, the RSPB's director of conservation, said: "The signs are all around us that something is not right, that nature is falling silent and you only need to stop and listen to find the beautiful bird song that should be the background music to our life is absent. But no one is talking about the crisis facing wildlife and nature in the UK.

"Wildlife and our natural world can recover, it can be saved for future generations, but we need more people to talk about the issue and how much something as simple and wonderful as bird song means to each of us. Because if we do not start talking about the threats facing nature the inspiration behind so much of our music, poetry and literature may go silent."

The charity's research shows more than 40 million birds have vanished from the country's skies in only 50 years, leading them to announce nature is in "crisis".

Charity Songbird Survival, based in Diss, added predators such as corvids, badgers and cat populations are rapidly increasing while they continue to disturb nests and eat eggs, nestlings and adult birds - primarily targeting them during nesting season.

According to their research, tree sparrows reduced by 96% between 1967 and 2016.

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