Trends of common birds in Europe, 2008 update

This report presents an enlarged set of population trends and indices of 135 common bird species in Europe, which have been produced by Pan-European Common Bird Monitoring Scheme in 2008. The trends and indices presented in this report cover time period 1980 - 2006, although data back to 60s are available from some European countries.
Updated multi-species indices (indicators) are also published on this web site (see).

Special thanks to the data providers & organisations responsible for national data collection and analysis: Norbert Teufelbauer, Michael Dvorak, Christian Vansteenwegen, Anne Weiserbs, Jean-Paul Jacob, Anny Anselin, Thierry Kinet, Anotoine Derouaux, Svetoslav Spasov, Jiri Reif, Henning Heldbjerg, Michael Grell, Andres Kuresoo, Jaanus Elts, Risto A. Väisänen, Fréderic Jiguet, Johannes Schwarz, Martin Flade, Tibor Szep, Olivia Crowe, Dick Coombes, Lorenzo Fornasari, Elisabetta de Carli, Ainars Aunins, Ruud P. B. Foppen, Magne Husby, Przemek Chylarecki, Dagmara Jawinska, Geoff Hilton, Ana Meirinho, Juan Carlos del Moral, Ramón Martí, Virginia Escandell, Åke Lindström, Sören Svensson, Hans Schmid, David G. Noble, Mike Raven, Andrew Joys. The national data providers helped not only with data provision but also with many valuable comments.

Zdeněk Vermouzek and Tomáš Telenský helped with data management, TT also with this web presentation. Arco Van Strien and Adriaan Gmelig Meyling contributed with final data analysis and computation procedure.

We thank to Richard Gregory, Zoltan Waliczky, Ian Burfield, Grégoire Lois, Lukáš Viktora, Lucie Hošková, Norbert Schaffer, David W. Gibbons, Nicola Crockford, Jose Tavares, Sergi Herrando, Dominique Richard and Anne Teller for valuable comments and help with data collation, analysis and for general support.

Thanks to the many thousands of skilled volunteer counters responsible for data collection.

The project has been supported by the Royal Society for Protection of Birds (RSPB), the BirdLife International Partner in the UK. Since January 2006 the project has been supported by the European Community. Sole responsibility lies with the author and the European Commission is not responsible for any use that may be made of the information contained in this document.

Other significant partners of the project are: Statistics Netherlands, Czech Society for Ornithology (CSO, BirdLife International Partner in the Czech Republic), British Trust for Ornithology (BTO), Dutch Organisation for Field Ornithology (SOVON), EBCC and BirdLife European Partnership.


Trend information was derived from annually operated national breeding bird surveys spanning different periods from 21 European countries, obtained through the Pan-European Common Bird Monitoring Scheme (PECBMS). A software package named TRIM (which allows for missing counts in the time series and yields unbiased yearly indices and standard errors using Poisson regression) was used to calculate national species´ indices and then to combine these into supranational indices for species, weighted by estimates of national population sizes. Weighting allows for the fact that different countries hold different proportions of each species´ European population. Updated population size estimates were used for weighting and were derived from BirdLife International (2004). Although national schemes differ in count methods in the field, these differences do not influence the supranational results because the indices are standardised before being combined. An improved hierarchical imputation procedure was used to calculate supranational indices.
More detailed information on computation methods is summarized in special report (see).

Species characteristic for main habitat types have been classified using improved procedure accepted at the PEBCMS workshop in Prague in 2005. This procedure is based on species classification within four main biogeographical regions, Atlantic, Boreal, Continental and Mediterranean. Species habitat classification has not undergone any changes since last year, details on species classification procedure can be found here.


National monitoring coordinators provided data on 244 species, however, data on many species were poor that European index could not be produced. Finally, reliable European index was produced on 135 species. The data come from 21 countries including data from new scheme in Bulgaria started in 2004. Moreover, compared to last year, Estonia provided data over the larger time period (1983 - 2006).
The countries are: Austria, Belgium, Bulgaria, Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Hungary, Ireland, Italy, Latvia, Netherlands, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, United Kingdom.
The countries provided the data for different time periods (see).

Results are summarised in the table.
For graph of species´ index, click on species name in the table. For drawing and comparing graphs for several species at once, tick a check box at left side of a species name and click on a button "Show graphs for selected species" below the table to confirm and proceed your selection.

Despite the data quality control, quality of outputs might differ species by species. Furthermore, year to year fluctuations might not always reflect real population change. Therefore we recommend cautious interpretation of year by year changes and readers should also pay attention to species legend. For any use of the results presented in this report, we strongly recommend to consult PECBMS coordination unit.

SpeciesTrend 1980 (%)a)Long-term Slope (SE)b)Trend 1990 (%)a)Short-term Slope (SE)b)Habitat
Accipiter nisus531.0035 (0.009)130.9817 (0.0212)for
Acrocephalus arundinaceus2)1061.0354 (0.0172)-31.0125 (0.0117)oth
Acrocephalus palustris201.0029 (0.0031)-151.0071 (0.0038)oth
Acrocephalus scirpaceus-60.9939 (0.0024)-180.9889 (0.0035)oth
Acrocephalus schoenobaenus-131.0007 (0.0043)31.0037 (0.0071)oth
Actitis hypoleucos-200.9828 (0.0045)-180.9849 (0.0067)oth
Aegithalos caudatus381.0059 (0.0042)-191.0027 (0.0119)oth
Alauda arvensis-490.9801 (0.001)-280.9824 (0.0014)farm
Anas platyrhynchos421.0098 (0.0029)-240.9931 (0.0046)oth
Anthus campestris1) 3)-10.9684 (0.2753)farm
Anthus pratensis-560.9816 (0.0029)-420.975 (0.0033)farm
Anthus trivialis-470.9714 (0.0011)-300.9807 (0.0017)for
Apus apus-60.9934 (0.0038)81.0065 (0.0095)oth
Ardea cinerea2861.0444 (0.007)81.0242 (0.0091)oth
Bonasa bonasia-300.99 (0.0087)190.9949 (0.0093)for
Burhinus oedicnemus1) 4)801.0377 (0.0153)farm
Buteo buteo731.0228 (0.0032)-170.9895 (0.0054)oth
Calandrella brachydactyla1) 4)-570.957 (0.0167)farm
Carduelis cannabina-650.9765 (0.003)-550.9555 (0.006)farm
Carduelis carduelis-141.0165 (0.0029)-61.0069 (0.0042)oth
Carduelis flammea-700.9681 (0.0073)-100.9963 (0.0067)oth
Carduelis chloris351.0049 (0.0019)-110.9979 (0.0041)oth
Carduelis spinus40.9934 (0.0029)-200.9881 (0.0029)for
Carpodacus erythrinus-11.0006 (0.0027)-310.9693 (0.0033)oth
Certhia brachydactyla2)-550.9927 (0.0071)181.0243 (0.0102)for
Certhia familiaris-91.0004 (0.0024)-60.9955 (0.0032)for
Cettia cetti1)4781.0622 (0.0139)oth
Ciconia ciconia2)1071.0275 (0.0132)531.0292 (0.0111)farm
Circus aeruginosus2161.0421 (0.0085)-250.9917 (0.0074)oth
Cisticola juncidis1) 4)90.9903 (0.0128)oth
Coccothraustes coccothraustes5321.0167 (0.006)-340.9774 (0.0052)for
Columba oenas191.0074 (0.0045)131.0067 (0.0107)for
Columba palumbus751.0194 (0.0022)211.0119 (0.0016)oth
Corvus corax1181.0315 (0.0057)581.0186 (0.0044)oth
Corvus corone&cornix221.0051 (0.0021)91.0046 (0.0025)oth
Corvus frugilegus421.0141 (0.004)231.0101 (0.005)farm
Corvus monedula220.995 (0.0038)-60.9903 (0.0059)oth
Cuculus canorus-120.9883 (0.0016)-50.9908 (0.0036)oth
Cyanopica cyana1) 4)2251.1101 (0.0466)oth
Delichon urbica-30.9828 (0.0057)-120.9827 (0.0113)oth
Dendrocopos major461.0122 (0.0017)161.0192 (0.0049)oth
Dendrocopos minor-750.9307 (0.0233)-470.9441 (0.0475)for
Dendrocopos syriacus1) 5)261.0052 (0.0786)oth
Dryocopus martius931.0205 (0.0051)691.0203 (0.0154)for
Emberiza cia1) 4)1441.0362 (0.0182)oth
Emberiza cirlus1)621.039 (0.0163)farm
Emberiza citrinella-400.9794 (0.001)-190.9867 (0.0016)farm
Emberiza hortulana-790.9368 (0.0059)-281.0077 (0.0135)farm
Emberiza melanocephala1) 6)01 (0.0945)farm
Emberiza rustica-780.9596 (0.009)-670.9275 (0.0162)for
Emberiza schoeniclus-190.9934 (0.0019)-60.9917 (0.0037)oth
Erithacus rubecula151.0116 (0.0008)61.0104 (0.0017)oth
Falco tinnunculus-260.9919 (0.0037)-320.9729 (0.0074)farm
Ficedula albicollis2)2071.0329 (0.0067)711 (0.0058)for
Ficedula hypoleuca-220.991 (0.0014)-270.9868 (0.0019)for
Fringilla coelebs40.999 (0.0005)-60.9983 (0.0009)oth
Fringilla montifringilla-670.9725 (0.0042)-270.9764 (0.0037)oth
Galerida cristata2)-980.8355 (0.0505)-880.9091 (0.0088)farm
Galerida theklae1) 4)111.0119 (0.0153)farm
Gallinago gallinago-360.9775 (0.0027)-160.9958 (0.0037)oth
Garrulus glandarius371.0041 (0.0024)491.0216 (0.0072)for
Hippolais icterina-370.9824 (0.0021)-50.9916 (0.0031)oth
Hippolais polyglotta1)-20.9866 (0.0096)oth
Hirundo rupestris1) 4)1051.0406 (0.0247)oth
Hirundo rustica-70.9971 (0.0024)-90.9888 (0.0043)farm
Jynx torquilla-630.9565 (0.0068)-440.962 (0.0089)oth
Lanius collurio-271.0019 (0.0057)371.0126 (0.01)farm
Lanius minor1) 5)21.0049 (0.0355)farm
Lanius senator1) 4)-460.9716 (0.01)farm
Limosa limosa1)-400.9704 (0.0022)farm
Locustella fluviatilis2)-560.9908 (0.0064)-230.9948 (0.0081)oth
Locustella naevia-390.9897 (0.0082)-230.9774 (0.0073)oth
Lullula arborea-470.9778 (0.034)141.0028 (0.0128)oth
Luscinia luscinia141.0101 (0.003)191.0119 (0.0051)oth
Luscinia megarhynchos-630.9639 (0.0052)61.0025 (0.0044)oth
Melanocorypha calandra1) 4)221.0072 (0.0105)farm
Merops apiaster1)-11.016 (0.0359)oth
Miliaria calandra-640.968 (0.005)-140.9893 (0.0079)farm
Motacilla alba-160.9965 (0.0016)-280.989 (0.0032)oth
Motacilla cinerea3861.0023 (0.0138)-310.9899 (0.0049)oth
Motacilla flava-610.9673 (0.0115)-240.9887 (0.0087)farm
Muscicapa striata-500.973 (0.0053)-280.9827 (0.012)oth
Nucifraga caryocatactes500.9873 (0.014)-450.9561 (0.0194)for
Oenanthe hispanica1) 4)-410.969 (0.0149)farm
Oenanthe oenanthe-520.9647 (0.0085)-510.9583 (0.0039)oth
Oriolus oriolus2)441.0164 (0.0044)351.0137 (0.008)oth
Parus ater-51.0002 (0.0021)-150.9865 (0.0057)for
Parus caeruleus371.0094 (0.0013)271.0153 (0.0037)oth
Parus cristatus-330.9858 (0.0069)-51.0014 (0.0174)for
Parus major111.0002 (0.0009)161.0083 (0.0019)oth
Parus montanus-560.9647 (0.0035)-340.9843 (0.009)for
Parus palustris-360.9767 (0.004)-160.9942 (0.0114)for
Passer domesticus-580.9712 (0.0032)-50.9934 (0.0032)oth
Passer montanus-520.9799 (0.0042)70.9861 (0.0096)farm
Perdix perdix-790.9334 (0.0099)-560.9292 (0.0182)farm
Petronia petronia1) 4)761.0311 (0.0129)farm
Phoenicurus ochruros2)281.0046 (0.0041)-31.0017 (0.0071)oth
Phoenicurus phoenicurus91.0064 (0.0025)381.0138 (0.0058)for
Phylloscopus bonelli1)-350.9763 (0.0233)for
Phylloscopus collybita341.0248 (0.0012)-320.9942 (0.002)for
Phylloscopus sibilatrix-270.9753 (0.0026)-280.9647 (0.0046)for
Phylloscopus trochilus-260.9837 (0.0008)-260.9818 (0.0015)oth
Pica pica20.9947 (0.002)-300.9677 (0.0049)oth
Picus canus2)531.0138 (0.0222)-150.9849 (0.0124)for
Picus viridis551.0205 (0.0062)611.0308 (0.0115)oth
Prunella modularis-300.9879 (0.0011)-100.994 (0.0027)oth
Pyrrhocorax pyrrhocorax1) 4)631.05 (0.0293)oth
Pyrrhula pyrrhula-500.9885 (0.0025)-330.9815 (0.0055)for
Regulus ignicapilla2)-321.0022 (0.0091)-430.9996 (0.0169)for
Regulus regulus-410.9922 (0.0015)-560.9765 (0.0025)for
Saxicola rubetra-550.9823 (0.0059)01.002 (0.0037)farm
Saxicola torquata2)-450.9852 (0.0535)-320.9936 (0.0145)farm
Serinus serinus2)-480.9645 (0.0051)-400.9727 (0.0116)farm
Sitta europaea711.012 (0.0034)-100.9937 (0.0098)for
Streptopelia decaocto991.0256 (0.0025)1161.0481 (0.0038)oth
Streptopelia turtur-660.9629 (0.0031)-230.9884 (0.0053)farm
Sturnus unicolor1) 4)671.0425 (0.0066)farm
Sturnus vulgaris-520.9758 (0.0036)-60.9938 (0.0032)farm
Sylvia atricapilla891.0267 (0.001)281.0209 (0.002)oth
Sylvia borin-170.9932 (0.0011)-130.9954 (0.0025)oth
Sylvia cantillans1)-51.0066 (0.023)oth
Sylvia communis231.011 (0.0014)81.0102 (0.002)farm
Sylvia curruca-141.0006 (0.0018)91.0071 (0.0027)oth
Sylvia melanocephala1)-181.0172 (0.0149)oth
Sylvia nisoria2)401.0005 (0.038)-210.9834 (0.0174)oth
Sylvia undata1) 4)-430.9452 (0.0131)oth
Tringa totanus-340.9737 (0.0057)-80.9896 (0.007)oth
Troglodytes troglodytes441.0182 (0.0009)01.0146 (0.0015)oth
Turdus iliacus-10.9976 (0.0017)71.0042 (0.0021)oth
Turdus merula111.0072 (0.0007)131.0115 (0.0011)oth
Turdus philomelos-100.9972 (0.0009)131.0133 (0.0013)oth
Turdus pilaris-31.0083 (0.0018)-430.9863 (0.0017)oth
Turdus viscivorus-300.9873 (0.0028)-150.9946 (0.0054)for
Upupa epops2)2511.0485 (0.0527)-200.9932 (0.0251)farm
Vanellus vanellus-450.9674 (0.0031)-270.9835 (0.0055)farm

1) Data for Long-term Trend and Long-term Slope not available.
2) Data for Long-term Trend and Long-term Slope available over the period 1982-2006.
3) Data for Short-term Trend and Short-term Slope available over the period 1991-2006.
4) Data for Short-term Trend and Short-term Slope available over the period 1996-2006.
5) Data for Short-term Trend and Short-term Slope available over the period 1999-2006.
6) Data for Short-term Trend and Short-term Slope available over the period 2004-2006.
a) Trend - change (in %) in an index value between the first and the last year of a time period (Long-term Trend - over the period 1980-2006, Short-term Trend - over the period 1990-2006).
b) Slope - multiplicative trend over a time period considered, reflects average percentage change per year. If the slope value is 1, there is no trend. If > 1, there is a positive trend, if < 1, trend is negative. For instance, 1.08 means 8 % increase per year, 0.93 means 7 % decline per year. Slope standard error (SE) in parenthesis (Long-term Slope - over the period 1980-2006, Short-term Slope - over the period 1990-2006).
c) Habitat
for - forest
farm - farmland
oth - other

Petr Voříšek, Jana Škorpilová, Alena Klvaňová

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