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Wild out there - but not wild enough

All eyes on the garden or park for big nature watch

Published on January 22nd 2014.


Wild out there - but not wild enough
 

PEOPLE living in city centre apartments look away. Or, failing that, look even harder. 

The world’s biggest garden wildlife survey swoops in this weekend and more people on Merseyside than ever before are being urged to take part. 

Now in its 35th year, the RSPB’s Big Garden Birdwatch (January 25-26) is a popular event for all ages. The drill goes like this: count the birds in your garden or local park for one hour over Big Garden Birdwatch weekend and tell the RSPB what you see. 

But this year, there is a difference. For the first time, the RSPB wants to hear about the other wildlife in your garden or park to create an even better picture of what is happening to our wildlife. 

Sparrow Washiong LineSparrow on the washing line

It's more than a nice way to idly spend an hour.  With many of the UK's most common garden birds and other creatures in steep decline, the charity says it needs participation more than ever. 

Martin Harper, RSPB Conservation Director says: “Winter has felt more like autumn for many of us and this could have a significant impact on the number of birds in our gardens. 

“Birds come into gardens for food when they can’t find it in the wider countryside but if insects and berries continue to be available long into winter, numbers visiting gardens may be down. The Big Garden Birdwatch will be really interesting this year and will be a good indication of just how much the weather affects their behaviour. 

“The key thing for the RSPB is that even if you feel you don’t have as many birds in your garden compared to normal, we still desperately need your results."

Starlings hit an all time low in the 2013 Birdwatch with their numbers sinking by a further 16 per cent from 2012. Numbers of house sparrows, which are of high conservation concern, dropped by 17 per cent in gardens, compared to 2012, whilst numbers of bullfinches and dunnocks were down by 20 per cent and 13 per cent respectively. 

Red SquirrelRed SquirrelJo Keene, RSPB Manager in Northern England, said: It’s not just the birds which need our help; almost half our hedgehogs have disappeared in the last 25 years.” 

A Big Garden Birdwatch website  has been launched and participants will be able to record the birds as they see them directly onto a laptop, tablet or smartphone with an online bird counting tool or send results in the post. 

This Sunday at10am, the more enthusiastic can join the Liverpool Liverbirds RSPB Wildlife Explorers outside the visitor centre at Pex Hill, Widnes, to watch away.


 

Big Garden Birdwatch results 2013 – top 20

Rank

UK Species

Average per garden

1

House sparrow

3.70

2

Blackbird

2.85

3

Blue tit

2.63

4

Starling

2.62

5

Woodpigeon

2.05

6

Chaffinch

1.91

7

Great tit

1.42

8

Goldfinch

1.42

9

Robin

1.30

10

Long-tailed tit

1.26

11

Collared dove

1.23

12

Dunnock

0.93

13

Magpie

0.91

14

Coal tit

0.74

15

Feral pigeon

0.74

16

Greenfinch

0.66

17

Jackdaw

0.64

18

Carrion crow

0.58

19

Common gull

0.31

20

Wren

0.25

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5 comments so far, continue the conversation, write a comment.

TwitcherJanuary 23rd 2014.

So, why is the crow flying upside down?

1 Response: Reply To This...
1970s schoolyard jokeJanuary 23rd 2014.

Q. Which way does the crow fly? . . A. Whichever way it is flicked.

AnonymousJanuary 23rd 2014.

And the sparrow is something else!

ChoughJanuary 23rd 2014.

Are these birds and animals you see actually 'in' your garden or merely 'from' your garden? We've never had a gull in the garden but plenty of of them fly overhead every day.

1 Response: Reply To This...
AnonymousJanuary 23rd 2014.

Try the rspb website dude!

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