[an error occurred while processing this directive]
BBC News
watch One-Minute World News
Last Updated: Monday, 4 July, 2005, 14:06 GMT 15:06 UK
Wood pigeon 'most common UK bird'
Wood pigeon (Picture courtesy of Tommy Holden/BTO)
Wood pigeons are seen more often than any other birds
The wood pigeon is now the most commonly seen bird across the UK, a study has found.

The second most common was the chaffinch, followed by blackbirds, wrens, robins and carrion crows.

The survey, by 2,000 British Trust for Ornithology volunteers, found many species had bounced back in 2004 from a decline in numbers recorded in 2003.

Numbers of ravens, for example, increased by 91% during the course of 2004, the trust said.

1. Wood pigeon
2. Chaffinch
3. Blackbird
4. Wren
5. Robin
6. Carrion crow
7. Blue tit
8. Great tit
9. Dunnock
10. Starling
11. Song thrush
12. Swallow
13. Magpie
14. Skylark
15. Greenfinch
16. Pheasant
17. House sparrow
18. Jackdaw
19. Willow warbler
20. Blackcap

The annual survey carried out by the BTO involves 2,000 people who go out at dawn to count the UK's birds.

It was also a good year for many African migrant species and for some farmland species that had been in long-term decline, particularly the tree sparrow and song thrush.

But there was bad news for the lesser redpoll and yellow wagtail and signs that sparrowhawk numbers are falling.

There was a 247% increase in sand martins; and numbers of cuckoo, which had declined 47% between 1970 and 2001, were up by 31%.

Whitethroats were up 19%, chiffchaffs up 17% and willow warblers up 12%.

The increases are believed to reflect a good breeding season in 2003 or better than average winter conditions in Africa during the winter of 2003/2004.

A selection of your comments on this story:

Regular visitors are a pair of song thrushes. Two families of blackbird. Two pairs of collared dove, several blue tits, pair of robins, several house sparrows, pair of wood pigeons, occasional green finch and great tit, and of course several starlings.
Eric Beech, Great Wakering, Essex

We have at least two permanent wood pigeon nests in or near our garden. It seems that they are the only birds capable of defending their nests against the magpies. All other birds, especially house sparrows, have had their nests hit by the black and white pests.
K Sadler, Biggin Hill, UK

I live in a second floor flat near Heathrow Airport. I have suction-type feeders which I attach to the window. When I am home I have to police the window because I have wood pigeons, collard doves, green finches, chaffinches, sparrows, woodpeckers (I never chase woodpeckers away because they are only occasional visitors) and starlings. I keep the path clear for blue tits, great tits, and another one or two varieties of tits because if I did not all the others would get in first.
Marina McGuire, West Drayton, England

Here it's the seagull, the rat with wings.
Kevin Smart, Brighton UK

I would definitely say that I have noticed an increase in the numbers of wood pigeons, even in London. Thing is, they're so big that they're hard to miss when you see them!
Darryl Walker, London

We have starlings, the odd blackbird and robin in our garden. By far the most noticeable, though, are the half dozen super-sized woodpigeons. Someone get them a nutritionist.
Louise Thomas, Brighton, UK

There were almost no birds in my garden when I moved in four years ago. Now there are two pairs of blackbirds, dunnocks, blue and coal tits, wrens, starlings and the occasional sparrow. Would like to see more sparrows! Less welcome are the greedy pigeons and noisy magpies.
Sean, Horndean

The wood pigeon is by far the most common bird where I live.
Scott McAdam, Perth

No, house sparrows are easily the commonest bird. Wood pigeons are a daily visitor.
Paul, York

I feed birds in my garden and am very fortunate to be able to take delight in the sparrows, blackbirds, thrush, blue and great tits, wrens, greenfinch, goldfinch, green woodpecker and even a merlin (what's it doing here?) that regularly visit.

But I am getting a little tired of getting up every morning at dawn to close the window because of the wretched collared doves' incessant "ka-coo-coo".
Jim, Cotswolds, UK

My dawn chorus is made up of the revolting cooing of feral pigeons and the squawks of ring necked parrots. To my neighbours, please stop feeding the pigeons and throw your litter in the bin.
Ciaran, London

We have a pair of wood pigeons that nest in our garden each year. I'm rather fond of them even if they are a little noisy. My brother lives in China, the last time I spoke to him I was in the garden and the pigeons were cooing away. Peter commented that it was such an English sound and came over all nostalgic!
Kate, Dorset, UK

Even though we live in a town we have pheasants and a sparrowhawk in our garden thanks to the unused allotments behind us. But it is the blackbird that sits on the corner of the eave that wakes us up, and serenades us in the evening.
Paul Robinson, Grimsby, England

Collared dove has to be in the common list here. I also have sparrows nesting, starlings, Robins and blackbirds, would make up the rest of the frequent list, and yes some wood pigeons.
Robin, Letchworth, Herts

The wood pigeon is a very common sight up our road. Largely because the two we have are so obese, they can barely fly. I'm surprised they haven't been nabbed by the numerous cats. Starlings seemed to have dropped, as have thrushes sadly. We do have a lot of buzzards though.
Nick Payne, Alcester, UK

I have had a pair of blackbirds in my garden for the past two years. They follow me around quite happily when I am doing my garden, (especially the female), collecting worms, beetles etc. A large family of hedge sparrows are also in residence, but a wee bit shyer. There is also a coal tit that visits now and again, and a pied wagtail. However, the wood pigeon is a very rare visitor.
Alec McKenzie, York

House sparrow tops garden survey
22 Mar 05 |  Science/Nature
Field stubble 'helps rare birds'
05 Apr 05 |  Science/Nature
Bird survey is 'wake-up' call
13 Jan 04 |  Northern Ireland


The BBC is not responsible for the content of external internet sites


News Front Page | Africa | Americas | Asia-Pacific | Europe | Middle East | South Asia
UK | Business | Entertainment | Science/Nature | Technology | Health
Have Your Say | In Pictures | Week at a Glance | Country Profiles | In Depth | Programmes
Americas Africa Europe Middle East South Asia Asia Pacific