The UK’s biggest citizen science project has been recording the winners and losers in the garden bird world for over four decades with the help of half a million people. Now the RSPB is counting on Lowton and Golborne residents to join in too.
Now in its 42nd year, the Big Garden Birdwatch is the largest wildlife survey in the world. In 2021, it runs from 29-31 January and depends on people like YOU to make it a success.
How can I get involved in the Big Garden Birdwatch?
Luckily, this is an ideal activity for lockdown! All you need to do is spend just one hour watching your garden and recording which birds visit you.
This year, we’ve seen how important the natural world is to our mental health and wellbeing. There has been a surge in interest in the nature on our doorsteps and many people have come to rely on garden birds to bring joy and comfort in these unsettling times. 13,000 people in Greater Manchester took part last year, and now the RSPB is hoping even more will join in in 2021.
Which are the most and least common garden birds?
Both across the country and here in Greater Manchester, house sparrows topped the rankings in the RSPB’s Big Garden Birdwatch results last year, despite wider national decline. Meanwhile, starlings and blue tits joined house sparrows to form the top three most sighted birds in Greater Manchester.
A common garden bird thanks to the provision of winter food and nest boxes, blue tits are on the rise across the country, with an 8% increase in the population since 1979. Other birds featuring in the Greater Manchester “top ten” were goldfinches, robins and long tailed tits.
Seeing a positive change across the county’s gardens, long tailed tits were found in over 25% more Greater Manchester gardens in 2020 compared to previous years. These charming birds, with distinctive pink grey and white feathers and long tail, are usually found in large flocks of up to 20 birds and often make use of garden feeders throughout the winter – so be sure to look out for them this year.
Why take part in the Big Garden Birdwatch?
Allowing the RSPB to monitor similar bird trends across the country, the data collected during the Big Garden Birdwatch will create a ‘snapshot’ of bird numbers across the UK and how they have faired since the project began over 40 years ago.
It’s a great opportunity to connect with nature and help with the RSPB’s work. And don’t worry if you don’t know much about garden birds already, the RSPB will provide a FREE Big Garden Birdwatch guide, including a bird identification chart and top tips. Text BIRD to 70030 or register online at www.rspb.org.uk/birdwatch.
Which birds regularly visit your garden?
Let us know in the comments – and give us your top tips for attracting them, too!