National statistics

Wild bird populations in the UK

Annual trends in wild bird populations in the UK - Updated for Wintering Waterbirds.



Due to COVID-19 restrictions in all UK countries, the latest BTO/RSPB/JNCC Breeding Bird Survey report collected limited data in 2020. Therefore, this publication has only been updated to include new data (2019/20) for wintering waterbirds. The all-species index has not been updated. See chapter 6 for more detail.

Bird populations have long been considered to provide a good indication of the broad state of wildlife in the UK. This is because they occupy a wide range of habitats and respond to environmental pressures that also operate on other groups of wildlife. In addition there are considerable long-term data on changes in bird populations, which help in the interpretation of shorter term fluctuations in numbers.

The bird population indices have been compiled in conjunction with the Royal Society for the Protection of Birds (RSPB), the British Trust for Ornithology (BTO) and the Joint Nature Conservation Committee (JNCC).

For more statistics about the status of bird populations internationally, please see the Pan-European Common Bird Monitoring Scheme website.

The datasets associated with this publication can be found here ENV07 - Wild bird populations in the UK

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Published 6 December 2012
Last updated 9 December 2021 + show all updates
  1. Updated for Wintering Waterbirds’

  2. Annual update.

  3. New publication for 2019.

  4. Annual publication.

  5. Annual update.

  6. Publication revised and re-published.

  7. Amendments made to statistical notice.

  8. Annual update.

  9. Annual update to statistical release.

  10. Amendment to figure for long term change for reed bunting as a result of a typo error in the original release.

  11. 2014 wild bird release published.

  12. Introductory paper added to the publication

  13. 2012 figures update

  14. First published.