Songbird populations have crashed in the last 50 years and continue to decline. More than half our UK songbirds are threatened or in decline. Species such as the tree sparrow, which were once common, have become rare sightings.
Human activity is destroying the natural world at an alarming rate. The pace at which we are transforming the planet is a life-threatening problem for biodiversity. Songbirds cannot keep up with the change and although they can adapt by evolution, this is not at the rate needed to survive, and thrive.
As human beings, we are the planet’s apex predator, with unrivaled power either to support or destroy biodiversity. As such, our charity’s mission since we were established in 2001 is to improve, protect, preserve, and restore the population of songbirds (and other small birds) in the UK for the benefit of the public, and for nature in its widest sense.
Why do we need songbirds?
Birds help to shape the world we see around us. They are a critical part of the ecosystem, dispersing seeds, keeping the balance between plants, herbivores, predator, and prey, and recycling nutrients. They respond quickly to changes in the environment, whether for good or bad, so they act as our early warning system for when things are going wrong.
Birds don’t need us - but we need them. They are an essential part of our ecosystem, and we need them for our own survival. They also help our souls in an indefinable way, lifting the spirit, bringing comfort and joy, often at times when it is much needed.
There are multiple threats that songbirds face, many of which are intrinsically entwined, making it hard to separate or prioritise them.
How we change the future for songbirds?
There is no more complex system than the natural environment. Reducing the number of one species, intentionally or otherwise, will always have a knock-on effect on others. This complexity makes long-term decision-making extremely hard. No individual or group can provide the ‘perfect’ ecological balance, alone: it is incumbent on us as the dominant species to do good research, listen and collaborate with those who can help support songbird populations in the UK.
The internationally renowned ecologist and conservationist, Dr Dick Potts, conceived the idea that there are ‘three legs to the conservation stool’: habitat, food and predation. Our charity focuses on all three.
We believe that more research is needed to properly understand the reasons for songbird declines based on scientific evidence.
We fund scientists at the best institutions to plug the knowledge gaps and thus help direct better decision-making as far as songbirds are concerned.
See the research we have been conducting and the solutions we have already created here: