Home Environment and health Big Garden Birdwatch 2019 – sign up now

Big Garden Birdwatch 2019 – sign up now

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Starling in the apple tree
Starling in the apple tree

World’s biggest wildlife survey, January 26-28

Now in its 40th year, the world’s biggest wildlife survey will take place next month but you need to be ready and you DON’T need to have a garden.

Around half a million people take part and last year it was so popular, organisers the RSPB ran out of the free postal packs, so if you want one, hurry!

The event is up and running online with all the resources you need, as well as news, updates and ideas to get your garden Birdwatch ready. Join in the conversation online with the hashtag #BigGardenBirdWatch.

RSPB Big Garden Birdwatch 2019
How the garden bird numbers have changed in 40 years… worrying reading for traditional favourites

Hurry for a free postal pack

Sign up now for a FREE postal pack, or take part online and get access to Big Garden Extra for exclusive articles, downloads and celebrity interviews. Once you’ve signed up, you’ll get 20 per cent off in the RSPB shop. Read more here.

It’s full of useful information and ideas for taking part, as well as tips on how to bring in the birds. The pack will be sent out in the new year.

As the format of the survey has stayed the same, the scientific data can be compared year-on-year, creating a ‘snapshot’ of bird numbers across the UK.

How to take part in the Big Garden Birdwatch

  1. Choose a good place to watch from for an hour during the three-day period (January 26-28) of the survey and have a pen and paper to make a note of what you see (there’s also a counting tool on the RSPB website).
  2. If you haven’t got a garden, go to your local park.
  3. Count the maximum number of each species you see at any one time. For example, if you see a group of three house sparrows together and later another two, and after that another one, the number to submit is three – it’s less likely you’ll double-count the same birds.
  4. Even if you don’t see any birds, this is vital information, so the RSPB can establish whether there’s a problem in your area – or if they are just next door.
  5. You can include other wildlife, such as mammals and reptiles in the survey.
  6. Go to the Big Garden Birdwatch website, log your results, or use a paper form, which is free to post back to the RSPB.
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Mandy Watson is a freelance journalist and an incurable plantaholic. MandyCanUDigIt grew from the tiny seed of a Twitter account into the rainforest of information you see before you. Gardening columnist for the Sunderland Echo, Shields Gazette and Hartlepool Mail and editor of the Teesdale Mercury Magazine. Attracted by anything rebellious, exotic and nerdy, even after all these years. Passionate about northern England and gardens everywhere. Falls over a lot.

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