The world’s largest wildlife survey returns for its 42nd year from 29 to 31.

The RSPB are calling on residents to take part from home in the Big Garden Birdwatch as well as other fun nature-based activities.

House Sparrows feeding from a garden feeder. Credit: Ben Hall, rspb-images.com

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, and now the RSPB is counting on Wiltshire and Dorset residents to join in.

The largest wildlife survey in the world, the Big Garden Birdwatch combines 40 years of records to monitor vital bird trends. People spend just an hour recording birds that land as seen from their windows, balconies or gardens, and submitting their results to the wildlife charity.

A spokesperson said: “This year, we’ve seen how important the natural world is to our mental health and wellbeing, with a surge of interest in the nature on our doorsteps seeing many people come to rely on garden birds to bring joy and comfort in these unsettling times. That’s why the RSPB is hoping to see more people than ever take part, after many residents took part last year.

Across the country, house sparrows topped the rankings in the RSPB’s Big Garden Birdwatch results last year, despite wider national decline. Starling and blue tit joined the sparrows to form the top three most sighted birds in the county.

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 “top 10” were goldfinches, great tit and long tailed tits.

Seeing a positive change across the county, long-tailed tits, 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. 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 fared since the project began over 40 years ago. To help with their research, the charity is asking for all those taking part to ensure they share what they’ve seen during the hour by submitting their results at rspb.org.uk/birdwatch.

The Royal Society for the Protection of Birds
The Lodge, Sandy, Beds SG19 2DL
Press office telephone: 01767 681577
www.rspb.org.uk