The Big Garden Birdwatch

The Big Garden Birdwatch

Just one hour of your time can help protect a species because every bird count, counts

Get Your Garden Big Garden Birdwatch Ready with CJ Wildlife – The annual RSPB Big Garden Birdwatch is back in 2023, kicking off on the 27th till 29th of January.

The public are encouraged to spend one hour outside during this weekend, then count and record the bird species they see in their garden or outdoor area. Aiding RSPB efforts to protect and conserve our garden bird populations.

The Big Garden Birdwatch 2022 revealed some positives and negatives amongst our feathered friends. The Jay made a striking recovery with numbers increasing 71% than in 2021. A typically shy bird was spotted feasting in many people’s gardens, an unusual habitat for these acorn eating birds.

The citizen survey also revealed house sparrows and starlings are still struggling. Their numbers are down 58% and 82% since 1979 figures – the Big Garden Birdwatch helps identify these trends and where conservation efforts need to be focussed.

Head of CJ Wildlife Pro, Eric Michels shares some top tips on getting more birds to your garden ahead of the count.

Food is key! 

Providing the birds with their favourite choice of food is the best way to keep them in your garden. Finches love Nyjer seed, tits love chopped nuts and seeds, and robins are big fans of mealworms! By working out which birds like what, you can provide their favourite treats and keep them coming back.

CJ Wildlife’s Hi-Energy No Mess is a perfect all-rounder or offer fat balls to please all.

Cleanliness is everything 

Attracting lots of birds to your feeding stations also can attract higher risk of disease. Ensure feeders are cleaned regularly with vet approved disinfectant and air dried before refilling. Feeding areas should be moved every so often too, to prevent build-up of droppings on the floor.

If you spot a bird which looks unwell, report it immediately and take precaution when feeding, ensure you are thoroughly cleaning the feeders to be safe.

Home Sweet Home 

Providing nest boxes for feathered friends helps them to feel at home. Not only does this provide a potential shelter for them when the weather is cold, but it is also a practical family home come the breeding season in spring!

Nest boxes come in all shapes and sizes, so making note of which bird you see the most in your garden will help you to determine which nest box you should buy.

All the better to see them with… 

Binoculars are a fantastic way to see the species in your garden in more detail. They are not essential for the bird count, but they can make it a lot more insightful!

However, you choose to do the Big Garden Birdwatch, every count matters and can contribute to conversation of our garden birds.

Getting involved with the survey is simple.

Keep an hour spare on the weekend of the 27th and find somewhere comfortable to sit and watch. This can be your own garden or an outdoor park or even from the comfort of your home by looking through the window.

Simply write down which birds you see during this time and how many, try to avoid counting the same bird twice!

You can then submit your findings to the RSPB who will assess everyone’s findings to generate trends and differences.

Just one hour of your time can help protect a species because every bird count, counts.

For more information, see

Poppy Watt

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