RESIDENTS across Worcestershire are being urged to spend an hour between next Friday and Sunday, January 28 to 30 taking part in the RSPB’s Big Garden Birdwatch.
Last year more than a million people took part across the UK making it the biggest birdwatch ever – 13,000 of those were in Worcestershire.
A total of 17million birds were counted across the three days with the house sparrow proving the most popular in both Worcestershire and the UK.
The blue tit and blackbird completed the top three in the county.
Over its four decades, Big Garden Birdwatch has highlighted the winners and losers in the garden bird world, giving the RSPB an astonishing amount of insight into how our wildlife is faring.
To take part, people across Worcestershire just need to spend one hour and record which birds they see land in (not just fly over) their gardens or in a local green space if they do not have a garden.
Beccy Speight, the RSPB’s Chief Executive, said: “We were blown away by the enthusiasm with which people took part in the Birdwatch in 2021.
“We know for many people, garden birds provide an important connection to the wider natural world and bring enormous joy.
“Over the last year, there has been a broad and much-needed realisation that nature is an important and necessary part of our lives especially for our mental health and wellbeing. But nature needs us too.
“By taking part in the Birdwatch, you are helping to build an annual snapshot of how our birdlife is doing across the UK. 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.”
House sparrows and starlings are the UK’s most sighted birds, but a closer look at Big Garden Birdwatch data shows that numbers have dropped dramatically since the Birdwatch began in 1979. House sparrows are down 58 per cent while starlings are down 83 per cent.
Beccy added: “Whether you saw one blackbird, 20 starlings or no birds whatsoever, it is really valuable information as it helps us build a picture of how our garden birds are faring from one year to the next.”
The parallel event – the RSPB Big Schools’ Birdwatch – is running until February 21. 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.
•Visit rspb.org.uk/schoolswatch for more.
•Go to rspb.org.uk/birdwatch for a free Big Garden Birdwatch guide, including an identification chart, top tips, RSPB shop voucher and advice on attracting wildlife to gardens.