The RSPB Big Garden Birdwatch 2022- House sparrows remain top of the flock with goldfinches charming their way back up the charts

Tuesday 26 April 2022

The humble house sparrow claims the top spot for the fifth year in a row in the Big Garden Birdwatch survey in Northern Ireland. Now in its 43rd year, RSPB’s Big Garden Birdwatch takes place annually in January and is the world’s largest

This year, almost 700,000 people joined together and counted over more than 11 million birds that visited their gardens and helped the RSPB get a snapshot of how birdlife is faring.   

Starlings remain perched as the second most spotted birds across NI. A slight shift for blue-tits, one of our most recognisable garden visitors, which flew in to claim third place moving up one, chaffinches jumped into fourth position and blackbirds fell back into fifth spot. Goldfinches have charmed their way back up to sixth spot with great-tits, robins, magpies and coal-tits rounding out the top ten. 

Claire Barnett, Area Manager for RSPB NI said “It’s fantastic to see the continued enthusiasm for the Big Garden Birdwatch and we appreciate everyone taking part and helping us understand how our garden birds are faring across Northern Ireland. It’s another great year for house sparrows and it’s wonderful to see blue-tits rise into third spot for the first time.” 

RSPB NI is a conservation charity that works to inspire everyone to give nature a home and to secure a healthy environment for wildlife.  

Across the UK house sparrows remained at the top of the Big Garden Birdwatch ranking as the most seen garden birds with more than 1.7 million recorded sightings throughout the weekend. Blue-tits and starlings remained in second and third positions respectively.  

For a full round-up of all the RSPB Big Garden Birdwatch results and to see which birds were visiting gardens where you live, or to support the charity’s work, visit  

Connecting with nature doesn’t have to stop with Big Garden Birdwatch. Spring sees the return of nature’s biggest music festival, the dawn chorus, with national and international stars of the bird world coming together to perform their biggest hits right on your doorstep. 

Dawn Chorus Day takes place on Sunday 1 May 2022. Share your Dawn Chorus experience with us on social media using #DawnChorusDay. 
Find out more at  


Last Updated: Tuesday 26 April 2022

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