Take part in RSPB’s Big Garden Birdwatch

Only for use in Big Garden Bird watch press release. Coal tit Parus ater, Aberdeenshire, October SUS-160122-132555001
Only for use in Big Garden Bird watch press release. Coal tit Parus ater, Aberdeenshire, October SUS-160122-132555001
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Wildlife lovers are being encouraged to participate in the RSPB’s big garden birdwatch this weekend.

People taking part in this year’s big garden birdwatch will be providing conservation scientists with valuable data about the changes in numbers of birds using our gardens in winter, enabling them to help protect our wildlife for future generations.

More than half-a-million people are expected to watch and count their garden birds in what is the world’s largest garden wildlife survey.

For almost 40 years, the RSPB’s big garden birdwatch has helped raise awareness of those species in decline like starlings and song thrushes, whose numbers have dropped by an alarming 80 and 70 per cent respectively since the Birdwatch began back in 1979.

There is slightly better news for the house sparrow, whose long-term decline appears to have continued to slow and it remains the most commonly spotted bird in our gardens.

Dr Daniel Hayhow, RSPB conservation scientist, said: “With so many people now taking part, the results we get from gardens are very valuable.

“The results help us create an annual snapshot of bird numbers across the UK, which, combined with over 30 years’ worth of data, allows us to monitor trends and understand how birds are doing.”

The results from big garden birdwatch will also help the charity understand how recent unusual weather conditions have affected birds visiting gardens this winter.

For the third successive year, the RSPB is also asking participants to log some of the other wildlife they see in their gardens throughout the year such as hedgehogs, foxes, stoats and squirres.

The survey is part of the RSPB’s Giving Nature a Home campaign, aimed at tackling the housing crisis facing the UK’s threatened wildlife.

To take part, simply register your details to save time on the weekend.

The RSPB will be live blogging throughout the weekend and offering downloadable bird song on their website as a soundtrack for the bird watch.

For more information, visit: rspb.org.uk/birdwatch