Poor British summer, spring too much for birds

Indo Asian News Service

London, Dec 3 (IANS) While the House Sparrows appear to be fast vanishing from Indian cities, Britain appears to be not lagging behind much with its washed-out spring and summer being blamed for a disastrous breeding season for native birds.

According to researchers from the British Trust for Ornithology (BTO), out of 24 of the most common species, 23 produced fewer than average chicks this year, Daily Express reported.

The Great Tit, the Wren, the Garden Warbler, the Blackcap and the Whitethroat all suffered following record levels of rainfall. Nests were washed away and food, particularly insects, became harder to come by.

Only blackbirds emerged unscathed - with a six per cent increase - as they feed on worms and beetles, which thrive in damp conditions.

Analysts came up with their finding after checking nests to count the number of eggs laid, their size and the number of fledging chicks.

In a second study, the BTO monitored the proportion of young birds after they left the nest to establish their survival rate or "productivity".