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Tits on the plunge!!


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Number of blue tits plunges by 42% as experts warn modern feeders are threatening species

 

 

By David Derbyshire

Last updated at 5:03 PM on 14th September 2010

 

 

 

Its colourful plumage and industrious personality has made the blue tit one of Britain's best loved garden birds.

But according to a shocking new study, the once common species is vanishing from the UK's bird tables and feeders at an alarming rate.

Over the last 40 years, the number of blue tits on bird tables and feeders has fallen by 42 per cent, wildlife experts warned today.

 

article-1311979-04EB3A6A000005DC-659_468x286.jpg The number of blue tits visiting British gardens has plunged over the past few decades

 

The fall is so rapid that the creatures are now only occasional visitors in parts of the country.

The latest British Trust for Ornithology's Garden Bird Feeding Survey also reveals perilous declines in the number of starlings, song thrushes and house sparrows.

Tim Harrison of the BTO said the decline of the blue tit would astonish many bird lovers.

'People see blue tits all the time and it's quite a surprise to find out it's happening under our noses,' he said. 'The survey reveals that blue tits are declining in gardens while other BTO surveys hint at a downturn in their population

'In gardens, changes in bird feeding could be responsible. Once the supple dexterity of the blue tit would have been king - allowing it to feed on monkey nuts threaded on a string, peanuts in a mesh feeder and coconut shells stuffed with fat.

'But modern foods and feeders mean that blue tits face stiff competition from others species.'

The growing popularity of bird feeding means the birds may be spread out over more gardens, he added.

In the winter of 1970-71 , blue tits were seen 5.3 times on average in British gardens every week, according to the BTO. Last winter, they were spotted just 3.1 times.

The survey has also show a fall in starlings and song thrushes by 75 per cent over the same period and a drop in house sparrows of 70 per cent.

And after a rise in the first three decades of the survey, the number of collared doves has also fallen - down by more than a quarter in the past 10 years.

The survey also revealed some winners.

Birds have been badly hit by changes to farming and woodland management and the increased use of pesticides which have robbed them off seeds and insects.

Fuelled by the growing sales of nyjer seed and sunflower hearts, goldfinch numbers have multiplied more than 25 times over in the past 20 years, while long-tailed tits have increased tenfold.

Four times as many Great Spotted Woodpeckers now dart into gardens than at the start of the survey, hammering and probing their bills into a wide variety of foods.

David Glue, the BTO's research ecologist, said: 'Forty years of the Garden Bird Feeding Survey has provided a fantastic resource.

'It is the longest running survey of its kind in the world and has only been made possible through the dedicated observations of hundreds of UK householders who participate voluntarily.

'With urbanisation and the development of new bird care products continuing apace, the importance of the GBFS will continue to grow.'

Around 15 million blue tits are thought to spend the winter in Britain. Over the summer the population goes up to between 20 and 44 million.

 

 

Read more: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/sciencetech/article-1311979/Number-blue-tits-plunges-42-experts-warn-modern-feeders-threatening-species.html#ixzz0zWPV2Mf3

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Guest howyousawtheworld
Awwwww, leave Piers alone. :(

 

On an unrelated note...yeah, the title seems rather inappropriate.

 

:confused: Piers Moron is obviously not as hated in America as he is in Britain!

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Why do you think he upped sticks and moved over there for good?:rolleyes:

 

I saw an interview where he said that one of the reasons he prefers America because if he drove down the road in London with no roof on his car listening to guns and roses full blast someone will walk past and call him a ******, whereas in America they will compliment him. I guess there are more people over there who will accept bad taste.

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Guest howyousawtheworld
I saw an interview where he said that one of the reasons he prefers America because if he drove down the road in London with no roof on his car listening to guns and roses full blast someone will walk past and call him a ******, whereas in America they will compliment him. I guess there are more people over there who will accept bad taste.

 

Coming from the country who gave us McDonalds, Paris Hilton and Justin Bieber. You're not wrong there!

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I saw an interview where he said that one of the reasons he prefers America because if he drove down the road in London with no roof on his car listening to guns and roses full blast someone will walk past and call him a ******, whereas in America they will compliment him. I guess there are more people over there who will accept bad taste.

 

:lol:

 

You don't reckon the money had anything to do with it, then?

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