The RSPB’s Big Garden Birdwatch is back on 26-27 January, giving people all over the UK the chance to be part of the world’s biggest wildlife survey.
To take part, people are asked to spend just one hour at any time over the Big Garden Birdwatch weekend, noting the highest number of each bird species seen in their gardens or local park at any one time. They then have three weeks to submit their results, either through the RSPB website or by post.
Now in its 34th year, the survey provides the RSPB with an important snapshot of garden bird populations in winter and has helped to highlight some dramatic declines in UK garden birds.
Sarah Houghton, RSPB Big Garden Birdwatch Manager, said: ‘Everyone who takes part is contributing to the world’s biggest wildlife survey and helping us learn more about some of our most familiar garden birds.
‘The declines of birds like starlings and sparrows over the last 30 years or so have been alarming, but Big Garden Birdwatch has helped us find out more about their numbers and distribution across UK gardens, and that has been the first step in helping to put things right.”
Some bird species have fared considerably better over the years. None more so than the woodpigeon, which has increased by a massive 800% since 1979. Sightings of popular species like blue tits, great tits and coal tits in gardens have also risen.
Once you have registered with the RSPB website they will send you a free pack of hints and tips, some reminder emails, plus a £5 discount to use in the RSPB online shop. There’s also a counting sheet to download, which will help you to keep track of all the birds you spot.