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Garden Birds

Calling all gardens with Goldfinches


9th December 2015

Last Updated: 11th April 2024

If you have Goldfinches in your garden, you’re probably aware that they’re becoming increasingly common. However the reasons behind this are not yet fully understood, so the British Trust for Ornithology (BTO) is running a Goldfinch Feeding Survey this winter to work out, with your help, exactly what it is about our gardens that they are attracted to.

Goldfinches are an increasingly common sight in our gardens with 70% more BTO Garden BirdWatch participants reporting them now than they did twenty years ago. However we don’t actually know what it is that attracts them to gardens, especially during the winter. Therefore your help is needed this winter to find out what Goldfinches are feeding on, whether it’s the bird food we provide, or the plants that we grow.

Clare Simm, the Goldfinch Feeding Survey organiser said, “It is vital to understand what resources birds are using in our gardens, in order to help them when times are hard. Supplementary feeding in gardens has recently been shown to affect the migratory behaviour of wintering Blackcaps in the UK so it will be fascinating to see if it has also helped the national population of Goldfinches to grow.”

Goldfinches like niger seed

Whether you feed the birds or not, if you get Goldfinches please help the BTO by taking part in this survey. All you need to do, before the end of February, is count the Goldfinches in your garden for two minutes and record what, if anything, they are feeding on.

To find out more about the BTO Goldfinch Feeding Survey or to download the instructions on how to take part, visit www.bto.org/goldfinch-survey. If you have any queries, please contact the Garden Ecology team by phone 01842 750050 or email gbw@bto.org.

Related Internet Links:
British Trust for Ornithology
BTO – Goldfinch Feeding Survey
Holt Blackbird Project Blog

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