How to participate in the RSPB’s Big Garden Birdwatch

The RSPB Big Garden Birdwatch takes place on 27-29 January

The RSPB’s Big Garden Birdwatch takes place on 27-29 January (Images: Getty)

Calling all budding birders and avid twitchers – the RSPB’s Big Garden Birdwatch returns Friday 27th – Sunday 29th January.

The charity invites everyone across the UK to take part in their annual birdwatching by spending an hour outdoors – whether in a garden, in a park, on a balcony or wherever – counting how many birds they see and them send the results.

Worried about not distinguishing your sparrows from your swallows? Don’t worry, the RSPB has a free guide to common birds in the UK to help with identification – you can download it in English and Welsh here.

The Big Garden Birdwatch, described by the RSPB as the world’s largest wildlife survey, is now in its 44th year.

Over four decades, it has provided a snapshot of the country’s vast population, including the rapid decline of species including the song thrush – sightings have fallen by 81% since first being recorded in 1979.

Greenfinch sightings have declined 63% since 1993 after an outbreak of trichomoniasis, a disease that causes trouble swallowing food.

It’s not all bad news though – in 2022, blue jay sightings increased by 73% year-on-year, moving up nine places to rank 23rd.

House sparrows retained their crown as the most commonly sighted species with more than 1.7 million recorded sightings. Blue tits and starlings took second and third place.

In total, more than 11 million birds were counted by almost 700,000 people last year. To participate this year, register here.

Click here for the complete RSPB bird AZ.

How to participate in the RSPB’s Big Garden Birdwatch

1. Count the birds you see in your yard, on your balcony, or in your local park for one hour between Friday, January 27th and Sunday, January 29th.

2. Only consider birds that land, not those that fly over. Count the highest number of each species you see at the same time, otherwise you could count the same bird twice. For example, if you saw a group of four starlings and near the end of the lesson saw two starlings together, please record four as your final count.

3. Let the RSPB know what you see here, or fill out and submit the form above to print from home. Whatever you saw – even if nothing – please share it with them. The more people submit their results, the better they can get a picture of how the garden birds are doing.

The top 10 of 2022

house sparrow

1. House Sparrow (male) (Image: Getty)

Two blue tits

2. Blue Tit (males and females are similar) (Image: Getty)


3. Starling (male) (Image: Getty)

wooden pigeon

4. Wood pigeon (males and females are similar) (Image: Getty)


5. Blackbird (male) (Image: Getty)

Share your photos

Snapped a star or photographed a parakeet? Share your photos and we’ll post the best ones in our birding gallery.

Click here to submit


6. Robin (male and female are similar) (Image: Ken Jack/Getty)


7. Goldfinch (males and females are similar) (Image: Frank Hoensch/Getty)

big tit

8. Great Tit (males and females are similar) (Picture: Getty)


9. Magpie (male and female are similar) (Image: Getty)

Common chaffinch

10. Chaffinch (male) (Image: Getty)

MORE: Jay birds resist instant gratification for delayed tastier treats, study finds

MORE : Nature calls: lying in wait to watch tens of thousands of birds soar in formation How to participate in the RSPB's Big Garden Birdwatch

Justin Scaccy

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