Trends of common birds in Europe, 2012 update

This report presents an updated population trends and indices of 148 common European bird species for the time period 1980 - 2010 that have been produced by the Pan-European Common Bird Monitoring Scheme (PECBMS) in 2012.
Updated common bird indicators for Europe, EU and their regions for the same time period can be found here.


Above all, we thank many skilled volunteer counters who have been collecting species count data year by year in the field.

Special thanks go to the data providers & organisations that are responsible for national data collection and analysis, and provide us with valuable advises and various support (listed alphabetically by countries and surnames):
Norbert Teufelbauer (Austria), Jean-Paul Jacob, Thierry Kinet, Jean-Yves Paquet, Christian Vansteenwegen, Anne Weiserbs (Belgium), Iordan Hristov (Bulgaria), Martin Hellicar, June Neal, Derek Pomeroy, Jane Stylianou (Cyprus), Tomá¹ Telenský, Zdeněk Vermouzek (Czech Republic), Henning Heldbjerg, Mathilde Lerche-Jørgensen (Denmark), Jaanus Elts, Andres Kuresoo, Renno Nellis, Hannes Pehlak (Estonia), Aleksi Lehikoinen, Risto A. Väisänen (Finland), Frédéric Jiguet (France), Martin Flade, Johannes Schwarz, Sven Trautmann (Germany), Theodoros Kominos, Danae Portolou (Greece), Károly Nagy, Tibor Szép (Hungary), Dick Coombes, Olivia Crowe (Ireland), Elisabetta de Carli, Lorenzo Fornasari, Guido Tellini Florenzano, Patrizia Rossi (Italy), Ainārs Auniņ¹, Oskars Kei¹s, Imants Ķerus, Ieva Mārdega (Latvia), Arjan Boele, Joost van Bruggen, Arend van Dijk, Calijn Plate, Wolf Teunissen, Chris van Turnhout, Jan-Willem Vergeer (Netherlands), Magne Husby, John Atle Kålås, Roald Vang (Norway), Tomasz Chodkiewicz, Przemysław Chylarecki, Bartlomiej Wozniak (Poland), Domingos Leitão, Ricardo Martins, Ana Meirinho (Portugal), Luka Bo¾ič, Jernej Figelj, Primo¾ Kmecl (Slovenia), Jozef Ridzoň, Katarína Slabeyová, Ján Topercer (Slovakia), Marc Anton, Virginia Escandell, Sergi Herrando, Juan Carlos del Moral (Spain), Martin Green, Åke Lindström (Sweden), Hans Schmid, Martin Spiess (Switzerland), David G. Noble, Anna R. Renwick, Kate Risely (United Kingdom).

We are very grateful to Arco van Strien, Adriaan Gmelig Meyling and Thomas van der Meij (all from Statistics Netherlands) who contributed with final data analysis and computation procedure, and to Tomá¹ Telenský who helped very much with this web presentation.

We thank Richard D. Gregory, Ian J. Burfield, Norbert Schäffer, David W. Gibbons, Jose Tavares and Anne Teller for valuable comments and help with data collation, analysis and for general support.

Pan-European Common Bird Monitoring Scheme is a joint initiative of the European Bird Census Council (EBCC) and BirdLife International. Since its beginning in 2002, the PECBMS project has been supported by the the Royal Society for the Protection of Birds (RSPB, the BirdLife International Partner in the UK). Since January 2006 the project has been funded by the European Commission as well. Sole responsibility lies with the authors and the European Commission is not responsible for any use that may be made of the information contained in this document.

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


In 2012, reliable European index was produced on 148 species. This year, we were able to include three new species (Alectoris rufa, Luscinia svecica svecica, Tetrao tetrix).

Altogether 25 countries contributed their data to this update: Austria, Belgium, Bulgaria, Cyprus, Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Ireland, Italy, Latvia, The Netherlands, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Slovenia, Slovakia, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, United Kingdom.
The countries provided the data for different time periods, see Methods or check the ´List of countries´ at the individual species graphs.

New development and improvement in computation techniques allowed us to use data from multiple schemes within one country. This is the case for Belgium, Cyprus, France, Germany, Latvia, Netherlands, Norway, Spain, Sweden. Compared to the last year, data from more monitoring schemes has been included in Germany and Norway. In Germany, data has been newly combined from two schemes (Häufige Brutvögel alt covering period 1989-2010 and Häufige Brutvögel neu covering period 2004-2010), as well as in Norway data comes from three schemes (Norsk Hekkefugltaksering, HFT covering period 1996-2008, Terrestrisk overvåking, TOV-I covering period 1996-2008, and Terrestrisk overvåking - Ekstensiv, TOV-E covering period 2006-2010).


Detailed description of computation steps and methods is available in special section Methods, in chapter 1. National species indices and trends and chapter 2. Supranational species indices and trends.

Species habitat classification for main habitat types (farmland, forest and other) is described in Methods, chapter 3, Box Species selection and classification.


Updated European species indices, long-/short-term trends and slopes, and species habitat classification are summarized in the table (for explanations to the table see Explanations below the table).

To generate the graph of a species index, click the species name in the table. To generate graphs for several species at once, tick the check boxes at left side of species names and press ENTER or click Show graphs for selected species button below the table to confirm and proceed your selection. You can also draw graphs for all species at once (Select all) or quickly deselect your choice (Reset). The list of countries and time periods for which they provided the data can be found at individual species graphs (List of countries). You can choose to order species trends by alphabet or by taxonomic classification, see by alphabet | by taxonomy buttons in the head of the table.

For comparison, the previous version of species trends produced for the time period 1980-2009 can be found here.

Note: We recommend cautious interpretation of year by year changes in the indicators values and readers should also pay attention to lists of species and countries. For any use of the results presented in this report, we strongly recommend to consult PECBMS coordination unit (

Species scientific and common names as well as species taxonomic order follow the BirdLife Checklist, Version 4 (BirdLife International 2011).


Species notes:
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 1981-2010.
3) Data for Long-term Trend and Long-term Slope available over the period 1982-2010.
4) Data for Short-term Trend and Short-term Slope available over the period 1984-2010.
5) Data for Short-term Trend and Short-term Slope available over the period 1991-2010.
6) Data for Short-term Trend and Short-term Slope available over the period 1998-2010.
7) Data for Short-term Trend and Short-term Slope available over the period 1999-2010.
8) Data for Short-term Trend and Short-term Slope available over the period 2000-2010.

a) Trend1980(%) and Trend1990(%) - change (in %) in an index value between the first and the last year of a time period. Trend1980(%), i.e. long-term Trend, is computed over the period 1980-2010, Trend1990(%), i.e. short-term Trend, is computed over the period 1990-2010, if not noted otherwise in the Species notes.

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 errors (SE) are in parenthesis. Long-term Slope is computed over the period 1980-2010, Short-term Slope is computed over the period 1990-2010, if not noted otherwise in the Species notes.

c) Habitat
for - forest
farm - farmland
oth - other


Petr Voří¹ek, PECBMS project coordinator
Czech Society for Ornithology, Na Bělidle 34, CZ-150 00 Prague 5, Czech Republic, phone +420 257212465, e-mail:


BirdLife International (2011). The BirdLife checklist of the birds of the world, with conservation status and taxonomic sources. Version 4. Downloaded from

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