Birdsongs 'a mystery to most'
Published 12/01/2014 | 03:07
The majority of people are unable to identify the song of some of Britain's most familiar garden birds, a survey suggests.
Although birds were the most commonly spotted wildlife in gardens and most people had seen the five birds whose songs they were questioned about, the majority struggled to name the species from their calls.
More than two thirds of the 1,649 respondents to the online audio survey were unable to correctly identify the song of blackbirds, sparrows, robins and blue tits.
The only bird whose song was identified by more than half those questioned was the wood pigeon, the survey for BBC Gardeners' World Magazine found.
Only 11% of people were able to identify the call of a blue tit, a quarter of people managed to recognise a robin's song and 30% correctly identified the song of a house sparrow.
Blackbird song was recognised by less than a third (32%) of those questioned. The wood pigeon's call was identified by 55% of people who took part in the survey.
Lucy Hall, BBC Gardeners' World Magazine editor, said: "It's so sad to see, from the survey, that we're now unable to recognise once-familiar bird songs.
"With the rise of technology and the loss of connection with seasons and nature, we seem to be noticing our surroundings less.
"But as temperatures drop this month, we're urging everyone to look out for wildlife and help garden birds survive winter, using our handy tips in the magazine."
The magazine is launching a campaign urging gardeners to take care of birds over the winter. An interactive special edition of the magazine enables readers to watch and listen to birds singing on their tablets or smartphones and get tips on how to help them survive winter.