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Last Updated: Wednesday, 22 March 2006, 20:44 GMT
Sparrow tops garden bird survey
House sparrow
The house sparrow rules the roost in the North East and Cumbria
The house sparrow is the most common bird in gardens across the north of England, a survey has revealed.

Almost 19,000 people in the North East and Cumbria took part in the RSPB's Big Garden Birdwatch in January, up from 14,000 last year.

They watched gardens and parks during one weekend and found sparrows were the most common bird except in Tyne and Wear where there were more starlings.

Other common garden species included blackbirds and greenfinches.

David Hirst, from the RSPB's North England Region, said: "This sort of survey helps us to understand more about the population trends of UK garden birds.

"Wild birds are an excellent indicator of the health of the environment and this survey produces a valuable snapshot of winter garden bird populations."

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