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Last Updated: Wednesday, 26 March 2008, 00:54 GMT
Starling tops garden birds poll
Starlings topped the London poll, carried out in January
The starling is the most common bird in London gardens, according to an annual RSPB survey.

Residents counted an average of 3.14 starlings in each of the 13,848 Greater London gardens in the survey.

This fell from an average of 3.65 in 2007 and an RSPB spokesman said it was concerned at the continuing fall in the number of starlings and house sparrows.

"These are our most common birds but they're vanishing, mostly as a result of lack of food and shelter," he said.

The RSPB conducts national Big Garden Birdwatch surveys each year, encouraging people to count the number of birds in their local gardens.

This enables it to understand more about the population trends of UK garden birds and to prioritise its bird conservation work.

Starling - 3.14 per garden
House sparrow - 2.63
Wood pigeon - 2.38
Blue tit - 2.09
Blackbird - 1.72
Feral pigeon - 1.41
Robin - 1.23
Magpie - 1.20
Great tit - 1.07
Collared dove - 0.90
Source: RSPB

More than 20,000 people carried out the London survey on 26 and 27 January, spotting more than 36 different species of bird.

The second most common species was the house sparrow, with 2.63 per garden, followed by the wood pigeon in third place at 2.38.

The RSPB spokesman said bird species could be maintained by growing plants that provide food and shelter for wildlife.

"Gardening for wildlife is rewarding when you see the results of your labours," he said.

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