The RSPB's Big Garden Birdwatch 2024
It's that time of the year again and, if you live in East Sussex, the RSPB wants your help. It'll only take an hour of your time and will provide valuable data for the RSPB's nationwide study in 2024.
The first Big Garden Birdwatch was held in 1979, and ever since, the RSPB has conducted this survey each year. Its purpose is to monitor the trends in bird populations and identify which species are flourishing in our gardens and which ones are on the decline. Last year, over half a million people took part so why not add your name for 2024?
When is it? - The actual survey takes place over a 3 day period - From 26th to 28th January 2024
How to Take part in the 2024 bird-watching survey
To join the study, simply dedicate one hour of your day to it. You can choose any hour that suits you during the specified dates, though a morning hour is preferable. However, if mornings don't work for you, any time during daylight is equally acceptable.
What to do (No garden required!)
During your chosen hour, only count birds that actually land in your garden (don't include ones flying over). Record the highest number of each bird species that you see at any one time. Then answer the other questions in the survey about other wildlife species that visit your garden during the year. Don’t worry if you don’t see anything over the hour, as it’s still really useful information. And, even if you don't have a garden, you can still take part - Just plot up at your favourite spot e.g. in your local park.
Food and water
If you want to attract more birds into your garden before the study begins, it's important to make sure you have the right types of food to attract a range of different species. During this time of year, many birds benefit from high-fat foods to protect them during cold spells. These can include grated cheese, bird seeds, whole nuts, bird cakes and sunflower hearts, which all helps survive the winter weather. Also don't forget to put out water for them too.
If you want to get a feel for what this year holds, it worth noting some stats from last year:
- Over half a million people took part in Big Garden Birdwatch of 2023
- 9.1 million birds were counted
- House Sparrows took the top #1 spot (although numbers were down by 57% compared to the 1979 Birdwatch
- 38 million birds from UK skies have disappeared in the last 60 years.
Take part now
Take part in the Big Garden Birdwatch by visiting this page of the RSPB's website