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    Garden birds doing poorly

    © Belga
    © Belga

    Some bird species are highly affected by the destruction of their habitat in private gardens, Natagora noted Sunday, on the basis of its annual survey’s first results. The association stresses the importance of leaving room for nature in gardens. 

    Every winter, Natagora invites individuals to count the birds visiting their garden. During the weekend, an average of 43 birds were identified in each of the 4,000 participants’ gardens. While the operation “is a success,” Natagora is pleased to say, the association’s enthusiasm fades given the first results published 5 p.m. Sunday. 

    The population of dunnocks, Turkish turtledoves, and house sparrows continues to decline because of the destruction of their habitats, such as living and native hedges, orchards, or flower meadows. Natagora recalls that simple actions can be taken to contain the phenomenon: for example, mowing the lawn less often, not using pesticides. 

    “The effects of the Usutu virus are also being felt, as the blackbird strikes a historic low this year,” Natagora says, who also worries about the parakeets’ population, the distribution area of which no longer seems to spread. 

    A mild winter, however, together with the super fructification of some shrubs, has favoured such species as fieldfares and redwing thrushes. Great tit, robin, and blackbird were the three species most observed last weekend. 

    The Brussels Times