Did you take part in the weekend’s Big Garden Birdwatch? For over 35 years, The Royal Society for the Protection of Birds (RSPB) have been asking Brits to count the birds visiting their garden, park or local outdoor space during a particular weekend of the year. This ‘crowd sourced’ data is then used to create an annual snapshot of Britain’s bird life.
A fun and educational activity for the whole family to enjoy, participants in the Big Garden event were also asked to jot down details of the other wildlife they saw in their gardens – whether it be a slow worm, squirrel or grass snake! Of course, frogs, hedgehogs, foxes, badgers and moles were equally welcome. Although keen gardeners may not have been quite so happy to see some of these critters freely roaming around their finely groomed lawns and flower beds.
Ultimately, the RSPB survey provides important information about the changes in numbers of birds and other wildlife using our gardens in winter, and helps alert conservationists to those species in decline like house sparrows, greenfinches and starlings.
“Making your garden more nature-friendly is the best way you can help the birds and other wildlife that use it – and by doing so you’ll attract even more to your garden for you to enjoy,” says RSPB conservation scientist, Dr Daniel Hayhow. “Whilst putting out food for birds is important, it’s not the be-all and end-all. Birds need a wide variety of plants to shelter and perch to be able to make use of the feeders we provide in winter, as well as nectar-rich plants that attract insects in summer.”
Five Big Garden Birdwatch Facts
While we anxiously wait for 2015’s stats to be collected, digested and revealed, here’s a few interesting snippets from previous Big Garden Birdwatches.
- House sparrows were the most commonly seen birds during last year’s Birdwatch
- Unusual sightings during previous Birdwatch surveys include red kites, great spotted woodpeckers and even a peregrine falcon
- 7 million birds were counted in 2014
- Children can still get involved in Big Garden Birdwatch 2015 by counting the number of birds visiting their school grounds in any hour between now and 13th February
- To find out how you can give nature a home where you live, visit https://homes.rspb.org.uk
Birdwatchers 2015 United
More than half a million people were expected to watch and count their garden birds and wildlife during the weekend’s RSPB Big Garden Birdwatch this year. If you were one of them, we’d love to hear how you got on. Please use the ‘Leave a Reply’ box below to share your stories and photos.
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