Page last updated at 11:54 GMT, Sunday, 14 December 2008

Bird-spotters to count starlings

starlings
Numbers of starlings have been in decline

Nature lovers are being asked to help count the number of starlings roosting in the North East this winter.

Since the 1970s numbers have fallen by 66% and conservation projects are needed to tackle the problem.

Durham Wildlife Trust is asking people to take part in Starling Watch and let them know via the website or a postcard when they spot 10 or more birds.

The Durham Biodiversity Partnership is also organising the watch and is interested in where the birds roost.

A spokesman for Durham Wildlife Trust said: "These roosts can be in a variety of places including buildings, trees or reed beds, and will also occur within urban areas including villages, towns and cities.

"At the end of the day, as the starlings return to their roost, they can often be seen darkening the skies as they flock before settling down for the night, this is one of nature's greatest spectacles."



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