UA3 Urban birds

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The group urban birds includes 14 species that depend largely on human influence. The group contains species found in field margins and city parks, species nesting in buildings as well as species that have benefited the most from supplementary feeding during winter.

On average urban birds have increased by 25% during the past three decades. The increasing trend has been quite steady during the whole monitoring period. Only in recent years the urban bird populations have decreased slightly.

Most of urban birds are either residents or short-distance migrants. On the whole, these species have fared well. The only exception is the House Sparrow, which populations have declined steeply. The reasons for the decline are inadequately known. In farmland habitats the decline is related to the structural change of agriculture, but this does not explain why Common Sparrow has declined also in cities.

The group contains only two long-distance migrants: Common Swift and House Martin. White Wagtail may be considered as a near long-distance migrant since it over-winters in Middle East and North Africa. The populations of these three species have all declined.

Urban indicator birds

Common Phaesant Phasianus colchicus
Stock Dove Columba oenas
Wood Pigeon Columba palumbus
Common Swift Apus apus
House Martin Delichon urbicum
White Wagtail Motacilla alba
Fieldfare Turdus pilaris
Blue Tit Cyanistes caeruleus
Great Tit Parus major
Magpie Pica pica
JackdawCorvus monedula
Hooded CrowCorvus corone
GreenfichCarduelis chloris
House SparrowPasser domesticus

Urban bird species

After excluding Great and Blue Tit, the urban birds species group could also be called farmland birds. However, these species are found in broader range of habitats than true arable land specialists and they can be commonly found also in cities and other population centres.

The most common species in this group are Fieldfare (1.4 million breeding pairs), Great Tit (1.0 million), White Wagtail (730 000), Blue Tit (500 000) and Greenfinch (340 000).


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