RSPB Big Garden Birdwatch

Some of you may have seen or heard on the news today that the Mistle thrush is disapearing from our gardens.  Results from the RSPB’s annual survey suggested that the birds are in in fewer than half the gardens they were 10 years ago.  Estimates put the population at just 170,000 breading pairs and experts have compared the decline to that on the Song thrush.

To help them continue to monitor the birds visiting our gardens, the RSPB would like you to take part in their Big Garden Bird Watch this weekend.  Started in 1979 as just a Winter activity for it members, they now have over half a million people  regularly taking part.  With over 30 years worth of data, Big Garden Birdwatch allows the RSPB to monitor trends and helps them understand how birds are doing.

Big Garden Birdwatch intro from The RSPB on Vimeo.

To take part, all you need to do is watch the birds in your garden or local park for one hour on the weekend of 26 – 27 January 2013.  Record the highest number of each bird species you see at the same time. Don’t count the total over the hour as you may get the same birds visiting more than once. Also, please only count those birds that land within your garden – not flying over.  They have even produced a handy recording sheet for you!

To help you identify the birds in your garden you can try the RSPB’s bird identifier.

For ore information or if you have any question please visit the RSPB BGBW 2013 site and their FAQ page.  You will find lots of other ways in which you can get involved including making your own bird feeder and some colouring games

You can see last years results here.

4 thoughts on “RSPB Big Garden Birdwatch

  1. This reply is only a year late…! My apologies, I found this again today by chance! Yes, this photo is fine. At first glance, the Mistle Thrush is basically greyer, paler, bigger and more upright in stance than the warm-toned, browner, small Song Thrush. When you look closer, it is also paler on the side of the head/neck, greyer-winged with whitish edging on the wing feathers and the black spots below are more rounded (more like “arrowheads” on Song Thrush). Song Thrush generally has an ochre-yellow wash on its breast/flanks too. Taken together, the two look quite different once you have had a bit of practice – you will just know after you’ve seen a few! Thanks for the article, they seem to still be doing OK in my area (Greenwich) but autumn flocks are much smaller than in the past.

    1. Hi Joe,

      Thanks for your comment. Looking at my bird book I think you are right, but I would be interested to know what made you know this? Was it the markings or something else?



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