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Blackbirds in school visits

PUBLISHED: 08:00 20 March 2010 | UPDATED: 08:59 02 July 2010

A childrens' wildlife survey has revealed that the blackbird is the most common visitor to school playing grounds.

A childrens' wildlife survey has revealed that the blackbird is the most common visitor to school playing grounds.

Matthew Sparkes

A childrens' wildlife survey has revealed that the blackbird is the most common visitor to school playing grounds.

Nearly 60pc of schools taking part in the RSPB's Big Schools' Birdwatch in the region saw blackbirds outside their classrooms.

A childrens' wildlife survey has revealed that the blackbird is the most common visitor to school playing grounds.

Nearly 60pc of schools taking part in the RSPB's Big Schools' Birdwatch in the region saw blackbirds outside their classrooms.

The nationwide project was carried out by almost 10,000 schoolchildren and teachers from over 250 schools.

Second behind the blackbird, which took the top spot for the second year running, was the wood pigeon with, followed by the starling.

But most species on the list have declined since last year.

Some of the worst hit were those that rely on playing fields for feeding, like gulls and crows.

The birds gather in groups and stamp the ground to bring invertebrates to the surface to eat, but heavy snowfall during the survey changed their habits.

Amberlee Foote, RSPB youth and education officer, said: “Wild birds never fail to enthuse and inspire and the response to this year's survey has been fantastic with many schools now running it as a whole school project.”

“The benefits of contact with nature are now widely recognised. Independent research has found that such activities can have a positive impact on children's mental and physical health.”

The records provided by schools are put to good use by the RSPB in analysing the health of different species.

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