New bird food helps goldfinches flourish

Goldfinch numbers have increased dramatically in the past year thanks to a new kind of bird food, according to the results of the British Trust for Ornithology‘s (BTO) Garden BirdWatch survey.

The popular bird-seed mix includes food that goldfinches would choose in the wild, such as nyjer seeds and sunflower hearts.

As a result, goldfinch numbers are up by 78% in the past year compared to the average in the past decade.

Dr Tim Harrison of the BTO said: ‘In the summer, there was a particularly pronounced increase in goldfinches’ occurrence in gardens.

‘This suggests that they had a productive breeding season and that juvenile goldfinches moved into gardens for an easy meal.’

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The population increase is welcome news, as goldfinches have been declining due to the spread of trichomonosis disease.

The BTO survey also showed that smaller birds, such as wrens and song thrushes, suffered more during this harsh winter than larger birds, such as jackdaws and woodpeckers.

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