A blackbird in the Museum's Wildlife Garden

A blackbird in the Museum's Wildlife Garden

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Listening to birdsong a forgotten pleasure

A Gardener's World magazine survey suggests few can identify the song of common garden birds such as blackbirds, sparrows and robins.

More than 1,600 people responded to the online audio survey in a special birds edition of the magazine, which urges people to take care of birds over the winter.

Wood pigeon most recognisable

Although more than half of those who responded could recognise the sound of a wood pigeon, only 11 per cent could identify the blue tit, a quarter recognised the sound of a robin and 30 per cent could spot a house sparrow.

Lucy Hall, editor of the magazine, blamed the rise of technology and our loss of connection with nature and the seasons for ignorance of our surroundings and once-familiar birdsong.

Bird heaven

Meanwhile, the Museum's Wildlife Garden is currently home to a host of birds, including:  the blackbird, mistle thrush, robin, moorhen, wood pigeon, blue tit, great tis, coal tit, greenfinch, chaffinch, with occasional sightings of goldfinch, dunnock, wren, carrion crow, magpie, and a great spotted woodpecker.

The birds in bold above are expected to nest in the garden.

Caroline Ware, Wildlife Garden manager, said, 'We’ll expect to see those birds listed during the spring, too – but not mistle thrush or redwing, and hopefully we’ll see or hear blackcap. Occasionally we find a heron – once the frogs are out in the pond breeding!'

Staff in the garden confirmed the first redwing for a couple of years appeared last week.

Follow the Wildlife Garden blog to keep track of what is happening.