Take part in the RSPB's Big Garden Birdwatch, January 2023
The RSPB’s Big Garden Birdwatch 2023 #BigGardenBirdwatch
Nature is in a critical state. The UK’s lost 38 million birds in 50 years – the starling has decreased so much in number that it is now on the UK Red List for Birds.
So if you want to help protect and restore nature, one thing you can do is to help restore species. But to do this we need to know which species need help. And this is where you and I come in to help our feathered friends.
Big Garden Birdwatch 2023 is on the weekend of 27th to 29th January 2023!
All you need to do to take part is spend a joyful and relaxing hour watching the birds land in your garden and then report your findings to the RSPB. You can take part even if you don’t have a garden – a balcony is fine to do the birdwatch from or you can head to your local park.
Birdwatching surveys like this are invaluable because they help conservation charities such as the RSPB acquire a good picture of which birds are doing well, and which need focused help to boost their numbers. It can also give them an idea of how birds are faring against challenges such as climate change. And you don’t need to be an expert, though it helps to have a basic idea of the most popular garden birds you’re most likely to see such as the blackbird and robin.
So how do you take part?
- Register (free) with the RSPB’s Big Garden Birdwatch – if you do this you can get a free guide to help you and also enjoy 20% off plus free postage and packing when you buy from the RSPB shop. There’s no minimum spent, it’s a single use offer, for 18 and over, and T&Cs apply.
- On the weekend of 27 to 29th January 2023, pick an hour of your choosing and convenience and during that hour, count how many species of bird land on your chosen patch e.g. garden, local park.
- Go on to the RSPB’s website and record your sightings. The RSPB will then collate everyone’s findings from around the country and they can work out which birds are doing well and which aren’t.
Who else does it?
Well, in 2022 over ONE million people took part! Hence the TV ad and video, “Be one in a million”! People all over the country are doing their bit for nature. Please join in and be one in a million! The birds and wildlife NEED you. Last year, one million people counted over 17 million birds.
Your wildlife need you!
Do you have to be an expert in bird species?
No, you don’t! You can be a complete beginner or know every species on the planet. You probably already know birds like the robin and the blackbird, and this is a great chance to take a look at some of the resources the RSPB has and the more popular birds likely to appear and find out more about them. The weather is rotten at the moment, so it’s a great excuse (if you need one) to put the kettle on, make yourself a warm brew of something, tuck into a treat, and lose yourself in finding out more about our feathered friends. Visit the RSPB’s Bird identifier tool
What does the RSPB need this information about birds for?
Well, it helps them identify which species are doing well and which species of bird needs some help from us. If the species needs help – for instance, if their numbers in the count are really dropping – then that sends out a signal to the RSPB that they need our help. And the RSPB can tell us how we can help that species.
Which birds were in the Top Ten in 2022?
Drum roll, please!! Here was the top ten in the results for the RSPB’s Big Garden Birdwatch 2022.
- House sparrow (for the 19th year running)
- Blue tit
- Robin (moving up from last year)
- Great Tit
One Birdwatch regular, the greenfinch, has declined so much that it was put on the UK red list for Birds in 2021.
How to prepare for the RSPB #BigGardenBirdwatch:
- Attract birds to your garden! You can top up your bird feeders and bird table and make sure bird baths are clean and full. The RSPB say you could clean your feeders every week to prevent them being affected by disease – greenfinches and chaffinches have been hit by these. There’s guidance on cleaning here.
- You can also spend some time increasing your knowledge of our feathered friends so that you can identify them. You don’t need to be an expert to take part in this survey – just a member of the public who cares enough to take action – but the RSPB can help you identify who you’ve spotted with its bird identifier. There are special events and activities to help you get the most from the Big Garden Birdwatch, with sessions to show you how to attract more birds to guided walks for beginners.
- You can also photograph birds in your garden as a bit of a hobby and the RSPB has lots of tips on taking better photos.
Can schools take part?
Good news for teachers! There is the Big Schools Birdwatch in the first half of the Easter term – a great opportunity to pick a sunny morning and get your students outside in the fresh air.
3 steps to take part for schools:
- Register – the RSPB will send you a pack with everything you need to take part. The good news is that the resources are all differentiated to support curriculum learning. You can get them in Welsh, too.
- Get counting! Packs include ID resources, survey sheets and everything you need to know to get your Wild Challenge award
- Submit your results. What’s more, you can do this with your class on the whiteboard.
Whichever birdwatch you take part in, the RSPB want to know what you see – even if you see no birds or wildlife at all. A zero result is important. Please send it in.
There are now 38 MILLION fewer birds around in the UK than there were 50 years ago. Please do what you can do help them. They need feed, water, shelter, a place to rest and nest.
This is an event you can take part in to help nature recover.
The RSPB has an offer, too:
Sign-up to the RSPB Big Garden Birdwatch today and get your free guide, plus 20% off and free P&P when you make a purchase from the RSPB shop. There’s no minimum spend, this is a single-use offer for 18 year olds or over. Terms and conditions apply.
All images on this page ©RSPB