The world’s largest garden wildlife survey is taking place this month and you’re invited along! Join hundreds of thousands of people as they flock to a great cause – recording how the UK’s birds are faring.

Be wowed by wildlife

The RSPB’s Big Garden Birdwatch is back for its 43rd year, from Friday 28th until Sunday 30th January. It’s a great opportunity to be wowed by local wildlife, and to help birds too. “By taking part in the Birdwatch, you are helping to build an annual snapshot of how our birdlife is doing across the UK,” says Beccy Speight, the RSPB’s Chief Executive.

RSPB bird care product. Medium Premium seed feeder and feeder mix extra Greenfinch Carduelis chloris
RSPB bird care product. Medium Premium seed feeder and feeder mix extra Greenfinch Carduelis chloris. Nigel Blake (rspb-images.com)

How to take part

You can take part for free, whether you’re an ardent ornithologist or beginner birdwatcher.  Getting involved is simple. Register on the charity’s website, where you can download your free Big Garden Birdwatch digital guide, containing everything you need for your Birdwatch. In it you’ll find handy tips for identifying birds and their calls, expert advice on wildlife, and even a discount for the RSPB shop as a thank you. Registration closes at the end of 30th January, so act swift-ly! During the weekend, count the birds you see land over an hour period. This can be from your garden or yard, balcony or at a local park. Don’t forget to submit your results afterwards.

An astonishing insight

Over the years, more than 150 million birds have been recorded, providing an astonishing insight into how UK birds are doing. Last year, over a million people took part – the biggest Birdwatch yet. “We were blown away by the enthusiasm with which people took part in the Birdwatch in 2021,” says Speight. An incredible 17 million birds were recorded last year. The house sparrow kept its crown as the UK’s most spotted bird – 2.6 million of them were sighted. Blue tits and starlings joined sparrows in the top three. Goldfinches, robins and jackdaws also made the list of the top 20 spotted birds.

Mother and her daughter counting birds in their garden, Bedford, UK
Mother and her daughter counting birds in their garden, Bedford, UK. Eleanor Bentall (rspb-images.com)

Give nature a helping hand

Unfortunately, many of the birds on the list have dropped in number since the Birdwatch began. Starling numbers have fallen by 83% and house sparrows by 58%. But there’s hope for the future. “We know that nature is in crisis but together, we can take action to solve the problems facing nature,” says Speight. So, what are you waiting for? It’s time to get your binoculars out!

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