Big Garden Birdwatch 2021: How to take part in the RSBP bird count, and the birds to look for
Binoculars at the ready: it’s time to watch some birds
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By Joanna Whitehead
January 29, 2021 12:37 pm
Updated January 29, 2021 12:41 pm
Robin, Eithacus rubecula, in song Norfolk. (Photo by: David Tipling/Education Images/Universal Images Group via Getty Images)
The charismatic robin was crowned the UK’s first national bird in 2015 (Photo: David Tipling/Education Images/Universal Images Group via Getty Images)
Whether you’re a bona fide twitcher or an amateur animal lover, the Big Garden Bird Watch is the ideal opportunity to help our nation’s birds as well as lifting our spirits during a particularly challenging time.
Here’s everything you need to know about the 42nd RSPB Big Garden Bird Watch.
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What is the Big Garden Bird Watch?
Undated handout photo issued by the RSPB of a still from RSPB Big Garden Birdwatch TV advertisement showing Laura Harbard taking part from her home in Bedfordshire. Watching birds and listening to birdsong have helped people during the pandemic, polling suggests in the run-up to the RSPB’s Big Garden Birdwatch.Issue date: Thursday January 28, 2021. PA Photo. The RSPB is expecting a record-breaking year of participation in Big Garden Birdwatch, having already exceeded all forecasts for pre-registrations. In 2020, nearly half a million people took part, counting almost eight million birds over a three-day period. See PA story ENVIRONMENT Birds. Photo credit should read: Eleanor Bentall/RSPB/PA Wire NOTE TO EDITORS: This handout photo may only be used in for editorial reporting purposes for the contemporaneous illustration of events, things or the people in the image or facts mentioned in the caption. Reuse of the picture may require further permission from the copyright holder.
The RSPB is expecting a record-breaking year of participation in Big Garden Birdwatch, having already exceeded all forecasts for pre-registrations (Photo: Eleanor Bentall/RSPB/PA Wire)
This annual event is the UK’s largest garden wildlife citizen science project. Birdwatchers spend one hour tracking the birds they see in their garden, from their balcony or local park to provide valuable insight into the types of birds in a given area.
How does the Big Garden Bird Watch help?
Information gathered by everyday birdwatchers means that the RSPB now has over 40 years of data that helps increase understanding of the specific challenges faced by wildlife.
The Big Garden Bird Watch was one of the first surveys to identify the decline of song thrushes in gardens, for example. Once a regular visitor to British gardens in the late 1970s, numbers dropped by 76 per cent by 2019.