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People of Wales called upon to take part in world’s largest wildlife survey

17 Jan 2023 3 minute read
Robin Erithacus rubecula, on seed feeder with family watching in the background – Photo: RSPB

The world’s largest garden wildlife survey is returning this January, with thousands of people watching and counting Wales’s garden birds

The RSPB’s Big Garden Birdwatch takes place over the last weekend in January and provides a snapshot of how garden birds are faring across the country.

In 2022, over 36,269 people in Wales took part, counting over 712,641 birds.

With birds now facing so many challenges due to the climate emergency, the people of Wales are being called upon to go out and record the birds they see.

This year’s event takes place on 27, 28 and 29 January 2023 and people are asked to spend just one hour watching and recording the birds in their garden, balcony, or local park, then send their results to the RSPB.

This year marks the 44th Big Garden Birdwatch which started in 1979 and has since become a much-loved annual event.

RSPB’s Big Garden Birdwatch – Photo: RSPB

Decline

Over that time, 172 million birds have been counted and nearly 11 million hours have been spent watching garden birds.

Last year, the House Sparrow remained at the top of the Big Garden Birdwatch rankings as the most commonly seen garden bird in Wales, with the Starling and the Blue Tit remaining in the number two and three positions respectively.

Over its four decades, Big Garden Birdwatch has highlighted the winners and losers in the garden bird world across the UK.

It was first to alert the RSPB to the decline in Song Thrush numbers, which are down a shocking 81% compared to the first Big Garden Birdwatch in 1979.

This species was a firm fixture in the top 10 in 1979, but by 2009, its numbers across the UK were less than half those recorded in 1979.

Magpie Pica pica, adult perched on gatepost – Photo: RSPB

Action

Alun Prichard, RSPB Cymru Director, said: “It is only by us understanding how our wildlife is faring that we can protect it. We know that nature is in crisis but together, we can take action to solve the problems facing nature.

“Join us for Big Garden Birdwatch 2023 and together let’s take action to protect and preserve our birds and wildlife for generations to come. An hour of your time means so much to the nature on your doorstep.”

To take part, simply watch the birds in your garden, on your balcony, or in your local green space for one hour at some point over the three days.

Only count the birds that land, not those flying over and record the highest number of each bird species you see at any one time – not the total you see in the hour.

Registration is open – for a FREE Big Garden Birdwatch guide, which includes a bird identification chart, top tips for your birdwatch, RSPB shop voucher, plus advice on how to help you attract wildlife to your garden, click here.

The parallel event RSPB Big Schools’ Birdwatch takes place during the first half of spring term, 6 January – 20 February 2023.

In 2021, it celebrated its 20th anniversary of connecting children with nature in their school grounds.

Since its launch, over a million school children and teachers have taken part.


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Karl
Karl
15 days ago

What’s this, new locations for royals to shoot, needed. R says avoid helping.

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