GardenBird Poll: 2017

Throughout the whole of 2017, GardenBird has focused on a different species of bird each and every week via our “All About” series of articles, which can be read here. Some of these birds are rare (like the Crested tit); and some, much more common (like the Robin).

The aim, of course, was not only to educate our customers by providing information about the birds we all love to care for and feed, but to discover through our very own survey which birds are commonly observed, and those that aren’t. So, we set to work, and every week our emails featured a “yes or no” question about each individual bird, asking have you seen one of these recently?

The results have been tremendous, with 1,000s of responses each time, providing us, we believe, with a statistically significant set of results that show clearly a list of the most common birds in the UK. And it was all done by our customers.

In the spirit of fairness, we wanted to compare our results with those of something grander to see how accurate our results are. Therefore, what better way to benchmark our results than to compare them against the RSPB Big Garden Birdwatch results from earlier in 2017. This we did, and again, some very intriguing findings.

How did we compare against the RSPB?

GardenBird vs RSPB Big Garden Birdwatch
GardenBird RSPB
1 Woodpigeon House sparrow
2 Blackbird Starling
3 Magpie Blackbird
4 Blue tit Blue tit
5 Robin Woodpigeon
6 Great tit Goldfinch
7 Dunnock Robin
8 House sparrow Great tit
9 Carrion crow Chaffinch
10 Goldfinch Long-tailed tit

It is, of course, important to bear in mind that statistics from the RSPB are based on number of sightings and count, with individual people making notes (often meticulous ones) about various species they observe in their gardens during a specific period of time. For GardenBird, it was not a survey of numbers, but one of sightings. Location, for instance, would play a part in successful sightings of specific species, as would time of year.

Take a look at the comparison above, and you’ll notice that both top 10 results contain seven of the same species, with the only difference being Magpies, Dunnocks and Carrion crows. Interestingly, these three birds are not far from position 10 on the RSPB Birdwatch survey: a very close call indeed.

Which are the most sighted and least sighted birds?

Interestingly, it is the Woodpigeon that hit the top spot in our poll, with the Blackbird in second place, and Magpie in third. The least common, understandably, is the Crested tit, a bird that is isolated to specific pine plantations and forests in northern Scotland.

Most sighted bird species Least sighted bird species
1 Woodpigeon 99.1% Crested tit 4.2%
2 Blackbird 99% Brambling 7.6%
3 Magpie 98% Whinchat 7.8%

Which are the most sighted woodpeckers?

Sightings for woodpeckers are in line with population observations in the UK, with the Great spotted woodpecker the most common species, and the Lesser spotted woodepecker the least common.

Most sighted woodpeckers
1 Great spotted woodpecker 98%
2 Green woodpecker 87.4%
3 Lesser spotted woodpecker 55.3%

Which are the most sighted chats and thrushes?

Most sighted chats and thrushes
1 Blackbird 99%
2 Robin 95%
3 Song thrush 40.6%
4 Fieldfare 13%
5 Redstart 11.6%
6 Redwing 9%
7 Whinchat 7.8%

Which are the most sighted finches?

Most sighted finches
1 Goldfinch 87%
2 Chaffinch 76.3%
3 Greenfinch 60.6%
4 Bullfinch 44.2%
5 Siskin 30.4%
6 Brambling 7.6%

Which are the most sighted tits?

Most sighted tits
1 Blue tit 97%
2 Great tit 91%
3 Long-tailed tit 82.9%
4 Coal tit 69.6%
5 Crested tit 4.2%

Which are the most sighted crows?

Most sighted crows
1 Magpie 98%
2 Carrion crow 87.4%
3 Jay 55.3%