Every January, the RSPB run an annual citizen science campaign to collate information on how many birds are visiting our gardens in winter. The aim of this project to gather data to understand how many birds are resident in the UK and which species are thriving or declining – it helps to keep track of bird populations so we can find out how the birds are doing. Half a million people took part in it last year!
Last year I remember seeing:
- my usual flock of goldfinches
- a small party of long-tailed tits dropped by
- a few dunnocks moseying about on the ground
- the family of sparrows that live in next door’s roof
- great tits
It’s always the last weekend in January and this year it’s 27-29th. If you want to take part you can request your free pack here. Make sure you choose a suitable spot to watch the birds – if you don’t have a garden, try a local park or nature area. Make sure you only count the number of one species within the hour in terms of how many you see at one time rather than the total number of, say, sparrows that you see; this means there’s less chance that you’re counting the same individual bird twice.
Not sure what bird you saw? The invaluable RSPB Bird Identifier will help to narrow it down for you.
It usually takes about a month for the RSPB to pool all the data and publish the results, so here are last years results to consider in the meantime.
Are you taking part this year? Let me know what you see!