The RSPB’s Big Garden Birdwatch is back this weekend, for its 35th year.
Running over the weekend of the 25 and 26 January 2014, the Big Garden Birdwatch is a great opportunity to catch a the most colourful and intriguing garden birds from the comfort of your own home.
What is the Big Garden Birdwatch?
The RSPB Big Garden Birdwatch is an annual event in which volunteers from around the country keep a tally of the birds that visit their garden over the course of one hour.
Last year 590,000 people took part, counting over eight million birds, helping the RSPB monitor the progress of our avian wildlife.
Why take part?
Not only is it a great way to enjoy a spot of warm, winter twitching but it is also a vital opportunity for the RSPB to keep tabs on the population of British birds.
Since the Big Garden Birdwatch started in 1979, numbers of many species have been on the decline. These studies offer a chance to find out which species are struggling and perhaps provide clues as to why, and how they can be protected.
It also supplies conservationists with data tracing those birds that are doing well.
Birds such as the house sparrow, song thrush and starling have drastically declined since the late 1980s, while collared doves, woodpigeons and coal tit numbers have increased.
You don’t have to be an RSPB member to take part and it’s a great way to get your children or grandchildren interested in wildlife.
There are plenty of activities to help youngsters engage with wildlife on the website, from making delicious jelly worms for themselves and cakes for the birds, to building your own DIY bird feeders.
There’s also the Big School Birdwatch for children to take part in from 20 January to 14 February.
How to get involved
Simply visit the RSPB’s Big Garden Birdwatch website and register online before the 25 January to receive your free guide, then spend just one hour over the weekend watching and recording the number of birds in your garden.
Once you’ve done that you can submit your results by post or online.
This year the RSPB are enabling eager volunteers the option to carry out the count on their desktop computers, laptops, tablets or smartphones, and submit their results directly from their devices.
The previous method of printing out the form and posting it back to the RSPB is still available.
The RSPB will be running fun, family-friendly events to get birdwatchers prepared in the run-up to the weekend, so be sure to visit their website for information regarding possible events in your area.