Fears for tiny goldcrest

THE number of gardens in which Britain's smallest bird were spotted has fallen by almost half, the British Trust for Ornithology (BTO) has said.

Last year's harsh winter hit goldcrests. The declines in the tiny bird, weighing just 6g, were seen throughout the UK.

Across the British Isles, goldcrests were seen in 48 per cent fewer gardens between January and March than on average, with declines reaching 60 per cent in Scotland.

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According to the BTO, the reduction in the number of gardens where goldcrests took refuge over the winter was an "early warning" of possible major declines in the population as a whole.