It’s that time again! RSPB’s Big Garden Birdwatch is coming up. It’s the world’s biggest citizen science project.
Did you know that the Big Garden Birdwatch started out as an event for children? Back in 1979, the RSPB joined forces with BBC’s Blue Peter and called on children to let us know what birds they saw in their garden. Hundreds took up the call, and in those pre-digital days, dutifully posted in their findings. The early signs of success were there, with the RSPB team faced with an impressive 34 mail bags full of post to sort.
The popularity of the Birdwatch has grown year-on-year and now over 40 years later it is the world’s largest wildlife survey, with around half a million people regularly taking part. It is one of the biggest citizen science events around, as borne out by the stats.
- Nearly 9 million hours have been spent watching garden birds since the Big Garden Birdwatch began in 1979
- The total number of birds counted as part of the Big Garden Birdwatch since 1979, is around 137 million
You don’t need to order a pack to take part but if you would like one for the little ones taking part, there might just be enough time to order one: RSPB
Don’t forget you only have until 19th Feb to submit your results to the Big Garden Bird Watch! Even if you only saw one wood pigeon - every result if important!
[Big Garden Birdwatch | The RSPB]
Done ours, lots of jackdaws this year, we seem to have 30-40 of them roosting in our tall trees every night. More Long-tailed Tits, photographed 10 at one time in one of our feeders, all poking each other in the face with their tails! Sadly another year with zero greenfinches or starlings, but our goldcrests and black caps are doing well as are our resident wild moorhens.
Fabulous stuff @STallis thanks for sharing! Since we moved to our new place, I have really struggled to complete the Big Garden Birdwatch because we have too many birds! Even if I just focus on the feeder tree, it’s just too much for me to keep track of for an hour! Such a lovely problem to have. I did manage to get a maximum count of Tree Sparrows (11) though!
We also have a resident Pheasant (Freddie) who likes to clean up under the feeders… and I especially love LTTs, there’s something about them that is so endearing.
That’s a great problem to have. I’m in a similar situation where I find it hard to track all the birds at once. I must say, out of our various different seed and peanut feeders, the caged peanut feeder attracts the most as we get the agile tits inside in and the lazier house sparrows, chaffinches and even a robin once, who like to sit in bottom and feed without having to perch. It also gives the small birds a chance to feed and the bigger jays, magpies, crows, jackdaws and woodpeckers tend to go to the non caged peanut feeders so everyone gets a chance. VERY jealous of your tree sparrows though, well done for having so many, they’re getting so rare these days! I think I’ve seen some down the bottom of our garden but haven’t managed to photograph any yet. Need to sit down there very still for a few hours and try and capture them. I hear you with the pheasants too, those and the robins, dunnocks and blackbirds do a grand job of clearing up below. Though everything in our garden has to keep an eye open for the buzzards!