Saturday, 17 November 2007

Birds suffered in 2007

A Blue Tit at the caravan a couple of years ago.

UK birds have suffered a major decline after dreadful summer weather
The seven biggest losers in 2007 (all with their worst ever productivity) were:
Blue Tit (48% below the long-term average)
Great Tit (33% below normal)
Reed Warbler (27% below normal)
Whitethroat (25% below normal)
Willow Warbler (19% below normal)
Treecreepers and Willow Tits were also at their lowest levels (55% and 63% below average) but, as only small numbers are caught, these figures may be unrepresentative.

A juvenile Blue Tit.
The Blue Tit was one of the worst hit; during the summer, bird ringers were catching only half the number of juvenile Blue Tits that would have been expected in an average year, the appalling weather of May, June and July having taken its toll. Most resident species are expected to be able to bounce back but migratory species which suffer from shooting on migration may have greater difficulty.

There is one positive story though: Long-tailed Tits had their highest ever productivity this year, showing an increase of 48% on the long-term average. They are early nesters – building nests in February and March – and may well have taken full advantage of the great April weather.

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