Fancy doing some bird spotting all for a good cause? The RSPB’s Big Garden Birdwatch is this weekend Saturday 26 – Monday 28 January. It takes place over three days, so if you’re busy or perhaps the weather’s bad, you have the option of a third day!
Some of the most commonly sighted garden birds, (but no less special!) are blackbirds, blue tits, chaffinches and goldfinches. Along with different colours, birds have different shapes, beaks, habits and voices. The charity event offers loads of guidance on its Birdwatch webpage. There is even a ‘Bird Identifier’ tool. Becoming familiar with your regular garden visitors will make it easier to spot something more unusual when it turns up.
Getting involved is even more important with the national picture showing that British children are now spending on average less time outdoors than prisoners. Also, how young people are becoming less able to name simple species that older generations grew up knowing – words including, ‘wren’, ‘otter’ and ‘bramble.’
Joining in with Big Garden Birdwatch is simple and enjoyable and a great excuse to watch your garden birds. You could also do it in the local park/green space or at your school. Once signed up, you choose a good place to watch from for an hour between 26-28 January. You then jot down what you see. On the website there’s a nifty counting tool to help you keep track of what you’ve seen.
With over half a million people now regularly taking part, coupled with almost 40-years worth of data, Big Garden Birdwatch allows the RSPB to monitor trends and help understand how birds are doing. With results from so many gardens, they are able to create a ‘snapshot’ of bird numbers across the UK.
While some changes in bird numbers can seem scary – the UK has lost more than half its house sparrows and some three-quarters of starlings – it isn’t all doom and gloom. Since Birdwatch began blue tit numbers have risen by 20 per cent and the woodpigeon population has increased by a whopping 800 per cent.
Your results help spot problems, but more importantly, they are also the first step in putting things right. This is why it’s so important that we count garden birds.
Sign up here and share your experiences on social media – don’t forget to use #BigGardenBirdwatch.
This is not an affiliate or sponsored post.