Close-up of a juvenile swift looking at the camera

Red Alert

  • 29%

    of UK birds are now on the Red list of Conservation Concern
  • 70

    Red Listed bird species need help
  • 9

    UK bird species now Globally Threatened with extinction.

We’re losing the soundtrack to summer

When swifts and house martins zoom around our rooftops in summer, you can’t fail to be uplifted by their screaming and chattering calls. But these two species have suffered severe declines and are now on the Red list.

Other noisy summer visitors are falling silent too: the cuckoo, nightingale, turtle dove and puffin are all of greatest conservation concern on the Red list. We can’t imagine a summer without them, can you?

What is the Red List?

The UK Red list for birds keeps track of how different species are doing, and any birds that are rated red are in need of urgent action. Shockingly, more than one in four of our birds are now on that list; 70 species in total.

It shows that many of our migrant birds are in trouble – winter ducks, swans and wading birds, as well as some of our summer visitors. But more familiar garden species are red-listed too, birds such as greenfinches, starlings and house sparrows.

But those 70 species are not beyond hope. With your support, we can turn their fortunes around.

Blue wood texture background

Just £3 a month can help reshape the future for our Red-listed birds by supporting RSPB projects across the UK. A one-off donation would also help, whatever the amount.

What we'll be doing

We will prioritise work for some of the birds on the Red list, such as swifts, to find out the reasons for their declines, how we can help and then implement the solution.

Projects across the UK are already helping, but we need funding from nature-loving people like you to ensure these projects continue, and to make even more possible.

 Female Goldeneye Bucephala clangula, swimming, Martin Mere, Wildfowl and Wetlands Trust, Lancashire

Some of the birds you'll be helping


We know that some of our swifts fly over 40 miles in a single round-trip to find insects to feed to their chicks. Your donation could help us find out if swifts are struggling to find food in the UK, as well as places to nest.

Wood warbler

The spectacular ‘spinning-coin’ song of the wood warbler rings out through upland oak woods in the spring. Help us protect these special places to keep wood warblers safe.


The greenfinch jumped straight from the Green list to the Red, after large declines as a result of a severe outbreak of a disease called trichomonosis. Help us to find out the best ways to keep them safe in our gardens.


We know what they sound like, but fewer of us get to hear one now. We’ve lost over three-quarters of our cuckoos since the 1980s. Help us understand what is driving their decline, so that we can help their ‘cuckoo’ call ring out again.

Swift | The RSPB
Wood warbler
Greenfinch, Carduelis chloris, male perched on blossom
Spotlight on cuckoos

See the Impact of your gift

So you can see the huge impact of your regular gift will make to help endangered species, we’ll send you the RSPB’s Impact newsletter twice a year, either by post or email.