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New poll finds children want to do more to help birds and wildlife, but a quarter cannot identify a robin

November 28, 2023

Today we have released new polling that found that children aged 5 to 11 want to do more to help the UK’s wildlife and want to learn more about birds.

The poll captures children’s love of birds – 89% believe hearing and seeing birds makes them feel happy.  


The poll, run by pollster Panelbase for SongBird Survival, surveyed 612 children across the UK. It reveals:  

  • 25% of children could not correctly identify a robin – one of the UK’s most loved birds - from a photo.  
  • 87% of children say looking after wildlife is important to them.  
  • 82% of children want to do more to help wildlife.  
  • Nearly a quarter of children, 24%, don’t currently do anything in their garden to help birds.  
  • 81% want to learn more about birds.  
  • 89% of children like birds and the same number believe that hearing and seeing birds makes them feel happy.  


In response to the polling, to help children to connect with nature, we have launched a free Ruby Robin Award this Winter. Children aged 5to 11 can take part in our fun challenges to gain a special certificate and Ruby Robin badge. Challenges include crafting DIY feeders for their gardens, learning fun facts about birds and spending time outdoors spotting birds. Over 10,000 children have already signed up to take part, with families, schools and youth groups getting involved. 


Sue Morgan, Chief Executive of SongBird Survival says: 

"Our polling reiterates how much children today care about birds and wildlife, and how we owe it to them to protect nature for future generations.  

The fact that a quarter of children could not correctly identify a robin – one of Britain’s much-loved birds – shows we need to support children to understand more about our beautiful wildlife.

However, children are eager to learn more. 8 out of 10 children want to learn more about birds.

Through our free Ruby Robin Award, we’re making it easy for families to enjoy learning more about birds and how to help them this Winter."


The findings from the poll echo previous national research that demonstrates children show a high connection to and enjoyment of time in nature and want to protect the environment. This new polling specifically asked children whether how children feel about birds and checked their general bird knowledge through asking them to identify a robin using a photo. 


The polling comes at a time when Britain’s birds remain under threat. Latest Government statistics published this month show that all bird species combined have shown a 15 per cent decline over the last 45 years, with short term declines of 6 per cent over the last 5 years.  


More than half of our UK songbirds are threatened or already in decline. 


We run National Robin Day every 21st December to celebrate a love of songbirds and encourage us all to take small actions at home to help songbirds as temperatures drop. See our tips on how to attract more birds to your garden using #NationalRobinDay. 

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