The RSPB Big Garden Birdwatch 2016 will soon be upon, giving us the chance to collectively gather information about all manner of species we may observe in our gardens. It is, in fact, the largest citizen-nature observation activity in the world, and in 2015 around 500,000 people got involved, providing tons of useful information to help us understand the behaviour of a large variety of garden birds across the UK.
You can see the results from 2015 here. The very friendly blackbird was the most observed bird, appearing in most gardens around the UK, but other common species include robins, wrens and song thrushes also made the top ten list for 2015. We are, of course, looking for greater increases in house sparrow populations, so fingers crossed here.
What can you do to get involved?
Getting involved is easy, and the RSPB offer a free bird watching pack to help you get started. The idea is to observe for a single hour as many different birds as possible, and make clear and concise notes about them.
You can then submit your observations online via the RSPB website.
What will the RSPB do with the Big Garden Birdwatch data?
It’s important to provide information about your birds so that organisations such as the RSPB can provide insight into increases and declines, as well as solutions to any potential threats. This data is also shared among other key organisations.
Last year’s Big Garden Birdwatch saw many different species of bird still experiencing a serious decline. These include house sparrows, greenfinches, starlings and snog thrushes. Interestingly, Dr Daniel Hayhow, a scientist at the RSPB Center for Conservation Science stated that more people counted birds in their gardens than are members of all the political parties put together. A startling fact.
All we have to say is join in the fun, get counting, and let’s hope for a better future for our garden birds.