Get ready for the Big Garden Birdwatch


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Can you spare an hour on the weekend of 30-31 January 2016 to help wildlife?

All you have to do is to sit and record the number of birds in your garden or local green space for one hour.

It's all in aid of the RSPB's Big Garden Birdwatch, a survey of our garden birds.   And anyone can take part - it's suitable for all ages and abilities.

Surveys like the Big Garden Birdwatch help animal charities looking after wildlife pinpoint birds in trouble i.e. decline - then they can help plan a way to help them increase in numbers.  The RSPB has been asking the public to count the birds since 1979, so their annual survey gives the charity the chance to minotor trends, see how the birds are doing - and then work out a way to tackle any notable declines in bird species. 

In 2015, over 585,000 people took part in the Big Garden Birdwatch. And the good news is that they saw an increase in most of the top 20 birds compared with 2014.  Survey participants spotted over 8.5 million birds - the House Sparrow was top

What did people see in 2015?

The Top 10 were:

  1. House Sparrow
  2. Starling
  3. Blackbird
  4. Blue tit
  5. Woodpigeon
  6. Chaffinch
  7. Robin
  8. Great tit
  9. Goldfinch
  10. Collared dove

The songthrush were down to 22nd place and their numbers are really declining fast, especially on farmland - you can find out more about them here

Greenfinches sadly have declined dramatically because of the disease called Trichomonosis - keep your feeders clean, remove waste food regularly and move them around the garden regularly.

Twice as many people saw wrens in their garden this year than in 2014, the highest number since 2006.

How to take part in the Big Garden's easy and free!

  1. Register (it's free to do this and only takes a minute)
  2. Watch and record the number of birds in your garden or local green space for just one hour on the weekend of 24-25 January - you choose when is best to do it for you.
  3. Submit your results - you can do this online or by paper through the post if you prefer.

Click here to register. 

The Big Schools' Birdwatch  is on the 4th January to 12th February 2016.   The RSPB have lots of great ideas and resources to make everything easier for teachers so click here to fly away for more info on the Big Schools' Birdwatch



Get ready for the Big Garden Birdwatch!

You can explore the Bird Identifier on the RSPB website to build up your knowledge of birds and a bird guide.  And there's a great database of activities for you and your family to explore and to do.  Click here to Discover & Learn!

There are lots of events around the UK for this event to take part in , but you can just watch the birds from indoors or in your local park or any green space.

What you'll see varies, depending on where you live and how much you do to attract birds to your garden.  Some birds like hanging feeders - such as blue tits and great tits, while others - blackbirds and wrens for example - like to feed from the ground.  And others will feed anywhere - the robin, house sparrow and greenfinch.  Click here to find out how you can attract these different sorts of birds.

And for families, there are great ways to get youngsters involved in encouraging birds to your garden or green space such as making feeders out of plastic water bottles - click here to see them.