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Big Garden Birdwatch

January 21st 2022| Michael Mountford
January 21st 2022 |

Big Garden Birdwatch

How to take part

  1. Pick a time
    You can choose any hour between the 28th and 30th January. So whether you’re an early bird or a night owl, you can still take part.
  2. Tell us what you see 
    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.
  3. Submit your results
    Online: You can submit your results online at rspb.org.uk/birdwatch.

Every count is important so, if you don’t see anything, please still submit your result. Finding out which birds don’t visit your area is as important as understanding those which do!

How to attract birds to your garden

The RSPB have a whole page dedicated to helping you make your garden look as attractive as possible to birds. Take a look here to find out all there is to know about attracting birds to your garden.

Below are some quick excerpts from their website to help you get started:

  • Blackbirds mostly feed on the ground and will eat a broad range of foods, from fatty nibbles to mealworms
  • Blue tits and great tits use a feeder, eating seeds as well as suet and peanuts
  • Look for good quality bird food – those that don’t include ‘fillers’ such as dried peas and beans that birds rarely eat.
  • You can put out leftovers such as some bread, fruit cake, dried fruit, unsalted pastry, or fruit such as apples and pears. Don’t use anything mouldy or salty though, and if you have a dog don’t put out dried fruit – vine fruits such as raisins can be toxic to them.

You can put your bird feeder in all sorts of places, but aim for somewhere:

  • Quiet – where birds won’t be disturbed
  • Safe – not too close to bushes where cats could hide in wait, but close enough to cover that birds can easily dart to and from
  • Sheltered from harsh winds.

Birds like a drink too. You don’t even need a traditional birdbath:

  • Try a dinner plate or breakfast bowl – anything shallow that holds water will do
  • Large plant pot trays work well 

And remember to:

  • Keep it clean
  • Put out fresh water every day
  • Pour warm water onto any ice that forms in the winter, birds need water all year round.

How does it help

Thanks to people like you taking part in the Big Garden Birdwatch, we now have over 40 years of data and this has helped increase our understanding of the challenges faced by wildlife.

It 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.

The RSPB have events going on all year round and teachers can take a look here to take a look at all of their activities, resources and opportunities to help support your teaching and help inspire your students and learn more about nature. As well as Garden Birdwatch, they also have an event titled Big School’s Birdwatch

Resources

Click the button below to see a whole load more resources all to do with the Big Bird Watch.

To help you get started, below are a handful of our resources that are great ways to start getting involved with your very own Big Bird Watch.

Resources In The Wild

With our brand new Big Bird Watch resources being released, we’ve already received some photos of people making use of them in the wild.

We love to see it! And if you have any photos of our resources being used, please make sure to share them and tag us on Instagram, Facebook and Twitter.

View all posts by: Michael Mountford
Categories: Topic Calendar
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