Blackbirds booming, school survey says

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BLACKBIRDS are the most common visitor to South Yorkshire school grounds, according to a survey carried out by pupils.

Youngsters were invited to take part in the RSPB’s Big Schools Birdwatch and reported seeing an average of 7.14 blackbirds per school.

The house sparrow and wood pigeon came in second and third places respectively, with averages of 4.59 and 4.34 per school.

Next in the top 10 came blue tits, starlings, crows, magpies, black headed gulls, common gulls and robins.

Almost 90,000 schoolchildren and teachers nationally got involved in the popular annual survey.

Nearly 3,000 classes from over 2,000 schools were involved across the UK in the last two weeks of January.

Around 85,000 birds were counted this year alone and since the survey began more than 10 years ago, the event has highlighted the winners and losers in the school bird world.

Since its launch in 2002, more than 70 different species have been recorded in school grounds, ranging from starlings and house sparrows, to kestrels and even pheasants.