Big Garden Birdwatch takes place this weekend


The RSPB's annual Big Garden Birdwatch takes place this weekend [28-30 January], and it's never been easier to take part.

To get involved, all you need to do is set aside an hour to record the birds that come and go in your garden. If you're in a flat, you can log the species from your window or balcony. All species and their numbers should be recorded, and then the results can be input via the online form on the Big Garden Birdwatch website.

Greenfinch was added to the UK Red List in 2021. Big Garden Birdwatch is an excellent indicator as to how this species is faring nationally (John Atkins).

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Some 1 million people took part in 2021, counting more than 17 million birds.

The parallel event, RSPB Big Schools' Birdwatch is running until 21 February 2022. In 2021, it celebrated its 20th anniversary of connecting children with nature in their school grounds. Since its launch, over a million school children and teachers have taken part. Further information can be found at www.rspb.org.uk/schoolswatch.

Beccy Speight, Chief Executive of the RSPB, said: "We were blown away by the enthusiasm with which people took part in the Birdwatch in 2021. We know that for many people, garden birds provide an important connection to the wider natural world and bring enormous joy. Over the last year, there has been a broad and much-needed realisation that nature is an important and necessary part of our lives especially for our mental health and wellbeing. But nature needs us too.

"By taking part in the Birdwatch, you are helping to build an annual snapshot of how our birdlife is doing across the UK. It is only by us understanding how our wildlife is faring that we can protect it. We know that nature is in crisis but together, we can take action to solve the problems facing nature."

As well as familiar species, such as House Sparrow and Eurasian Wren, unusual visitors are sometimes recorded. In 2014, Emily and Thomas Power – aged 12 and nine respectively – discovered a wintering Myrtle Warbler, which they nicknamed 'Flora Butterbum'.

If you would like to take part in the Big Garden Birdwatch you can text BIRD to 70030 or register your interest here for your free guide.