THE house sparrow is the most frequent visitor to West Yorkshire gardens, according to new findings.
Almost 10,000 people in the region watched their gardens and local parks on January 29 and 30 for the Big Garden Birdwatch survey run by the Royal Society for the Protection of Birds.
House sparrows topped the list of sightings, despite a massive decline in their numbers since the first survey 26 years ago.
With an average of 4.56% sparrows seen per garden this year, compared to an average of 10% in 1979, the house sparrow has declined by more than half.
The starling, which has beaten sparrow numbers in recent years, was back in second place, with the blue tit third.
Survey co-ordinator Kirsten Whittaker said: "Big Garden Birdwatch allows hundreds of thousands of people to get inv- olved with a project that tells us how some of our best-loved birds are faring."
She revealed how declining numbers of song thrushes were giving cause for concern.
She said: "After a slight increase in recent years, song thrush numbers dropped in 2005 and for the first time this red-listed species dropped out of the top 20 garden birds. It held seventh place in 1979."
For the first time ever watchers were asked on-line if they provided food and what food their birds were feeding on. The most common bird coming to food was the blue tit.
Peanuts overtook seed mix as the most common food put out.