This weekend why not spend an hour watching and counting the birds in your garden, yard or local park? Bird numbers help determine the health of the environment and the RSPB want as many people as possible to help with the biggest wildlife survey in the World. It’s great fun however good or bad your bird ID skills are. It’s the perfect opportunity to learn about birds if you don’t know your blackbird from your blue tit. Last year, around half a million people too part right across the UK including families, schools and care homes.
You can do it for any hour on either Saturday or Sunday and there’s loads of info the RSPB to help you identify those feathered creatures in the garden. Register your details on the website and you will get a free information pack here.
I was encouraged to identify and watch birds form a young age by my step dad who has a great breadth of knowledge, of which he has passed on to me. Although, I can only dream if ever knowing as much as he does. The Big Garden Birdwatch is the perfect opportunity to get young ones interested in wildlife and, speaking from experience, is a rewarding activity to do as a family.
If don’t already feed the birds in your garden it may be worth putting out some food tomorrow (Friday) so your local birds can familiarise themselves with the it before your survey hour. If you haven’t got any bird feeders, don’t worry, you can improvise. Check out the home made feeder made from a plastic bottle below.
Bird seed can be picked up from the local pet shop or supermarket but if you don’t have time to pop out, just stand on a couple of apples to crush them open slightly and chuck them outside in view from your window. Bread fills the stomachs of birds quickly but has little nutrition so shouldn’t be given to birds regularly. It’s OK to give them a bit now and again though, so throw some out if you can’t get hold of any seed.
These are birds commonly found in gardens across the UK and this ID sheet is a great tool to help identify and count the birds you see during your hour-long survey. To get a bigger version of the sheet just click on the image and it will take you to the RSPB website where you can print it off.
Last of all, have fun and I hope you get lots of lovely birds visiting you in your chosen hour.
Will you be taking part?