A sparrow on the window ledge of Batley Library. There is a pile of mealworms just behind it, which it is eating.

Friends of Batley Library Helps Endangered Bird Species.

In 2023 the Friends of Batley Library installed a bird feeder on the window of the children’s library. We did this so that children could watch the birds and we could encourage local wildlife to flourish.

What we didn’t realise was quite how many of our feathered visitors were on the British Ornithology Trust’s red list of Birds of Conservation Concern, having seen their numbers plummet over the past 25 years. The House Sparrow, for instance has seen its numbers dwindle by 71% in both urban and rural areas.

A portrait of a Woodpigeon whilst it was sat outside the window of Batley Library.
A Woodpigeon visits Batley Library.

We also get a lot of Starlings at the library and they are also on the red list. Another of our visitors is the humble Woodpigeon, who is, rather surprisingly, on the amber list of concern. The Woodpigeons are the most common visitors to our feeder and the least likely to fly away when a human approaches (maybe they think you have more food).

Happily, not all our visitors are a conservation concern. We’ve seen a robin on the feeder and they are thriving, according to the BTO’s report, along with our first ever visitor, the Blackbird.

A robin sat on the window ledge outside Batley Library. There is a mound of food in the background.
A robin on a visit to the library. Photo by Fiona Senior.

We’re going to continue feeding the local birds and doing our bit to help reverse their decline. If you spot anything interesting on the bird feeder let a member of staff know so they can record it!

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