The Big Garden Birdwatch

Perfect to use as a home-schooling exercise or as an excuse to get out in the garden or look out the window, this weekend is the RSPB’s Big Garden Birdwatch 2021!

Everyone can take part in this free birdwatch, whether you are a novice birdwatcher or a seasoned pro and all you have to do is spend an hour counting the birds you see in your garden or from your balcony, then let the RSPB know what you saw either online or by post. It really is that simple and the collated results help increase understanding of the challenges faced by wildlife.

According to the RSPB, this type of survey, “was one of the first surveys to identify the decline of song thrushes in gardens. This species was a firm fixture in the top 10 in 1979. But by 2019, those numbers had declined by 76% – coming in at number 20. And did you know that house sparrow sightings have dropped by 53% since the first Birdwatch in 1979? However, in the past 10 years their numbers have grown by 10% showing that we are beginning to see some signs of recovery.”

Thanks to people across the country taking part in the Big Garden Birdwatch, the RSPB now has over 40 years of data which can help to map trends and spot problems whilst more importantly, help in taking steps towards addressing issues.

So all you have to do is.

  • choose any hour between 29th and 31st January
  • count the birds you see in your garden or from your balcony. Ignore any birds that are still in flight. To avoid double-counting, just record the highest number of each bird species you see at any one time – not a running total.
  • summit your results either online at rspb.org.uk/birdwatch by 19th February or by post by 15th February.

Every count is important so even if you do not see any birds, the RSPB are still keen for you to submit your result. Finding out which birds do not visit your area is as important for them as understanding those which do!

Images courtesy of the RSPB.

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