The RSPB’s annual Big Garden Birdwatch kicks off tomorrow, and taking part can make all the difference to the conservation efforts of the British bird charity.
By asking the public to log the birds seen in their gardens on specific dates of the year, the charity can be far better informed about present numbers of various species. It can then make the best use of available resources, focusing it conservation efforts on the species in greatest need.
How to join in with the RSPB Birdwatch
It’s easy to take part in the Big Garden Birdwatch. The first step is to devote an hour to the project during the next three days (January 25 to 27). If you don’t have a garden, you can still take part by observing the birds in your local park instead.
Count the birds
The RSPB lays down some specific but simple rules. You should only count birds that land in the garden or park, excluding any that fly over. You should record the highest number of a species seen at any one time, rather than the total as seen over the course of the hour. This is because individuals may land several times; for example to take bird food from the table.
Say what you saw
The last step is to report your sightings to the RSPB. You can do this via its website up until February 16, or by post on or before February 11.
Even if you don’t see anything, you should report this; in fact, this can be even more important as missing birds are of the utmost concern.