Last year almost 700,000 people took part in the annual survey of birds organised by the Royal Society for the Protection of Birds (RSPB) – and this year the charity hope that even more people will get involved.
There are around 30 million fewer birds in UK skies compared to half a century ago and the RSPB want to reverse that decline.
To do so they need vital figures on how many bords are out there – and this is where you come in.
Here’s everything you need to know about the Big Garden Birdwatch 2023.
When is the Big Garden Birdwatch?
The Big Garden Birdwatch takes place this weekend, from Friday 27-Sunday 29 January.
How can I take part?
It's simple to take part – simply watch the birds around you in your garden for one hour at any point during the weekend and count how many of each species of bird lands on your patch.
The RSPB only need one count for each area – so please don’t log multiple reports from the same location.
You can print out a free guide to garden birds from the RSPB website to give you a hand identifying the species.
Sign-up on the RSPB website to download a free guide for advice and ID tips, and share your stories and photos on social media using #BigGardenBirdWatch.
Why do the RSPB need people to count birds?
Counting the birds where you live is fun and fascinating because nature might deliver the unexpected. Apart from cheeky blue tits and busy blackbirds, you never know what might land in your patch in one weekend in January. In previous years, black redstart and brambling were spotted.
But nature is in crisis. In the UK we’ve lost 38 million birds over the last 50 years, many back garden favourites amongst them. Take the starling: it has declined so much that it is now on the UK Red List for birds. That’s why yours and every birdwatch matters, as it helps the RSPB monitor how our UK birds are doing in the face of the nature and climate crisis.
A RSPB spokesperson said: “As a conservation charity we depend on your support to save nature and to look after places where wildlife can thrive. You can also make a difference by taking part in Big Garden Birdwatch. Thank you for making it count!”
Why does it take place in January?
Because that’s the time of the year garden birds need us most – if it’s really cold, it’s likely more birds will come into our gardens looking for shelter and food. This makes iI easier to count the birds. Because the Birdwatch takes place at the same time every year, the RSPB can look back through the years to see if anything has changed.