Belfast Telegraph

Saturday 10 October 2015

Call to join bird counting scheme

Published 25/01/2014

Goldfinches are among many birds common in UK gardens.
Goldfinches are among many birds common in UK gardens.

More than half a million people are expected to take part in the annual RSPB bird counting scheme this weekend.

With many of the UK's garden birds in decline, the wildlife charity is calling for more people than ever to take part in the Big Garden Birdwatch to record bird numbers in parks and gardens to help assess the state of UK wildlife.

Last year's scheme saw starlings hit an all-time low, while house sparrows dropped 17% in 2013 compared with 2012 figures, bullfinches were down a fifth and dunnocks fell 13% on the previous year.

Some 590,000 people took part, counting 8.2 million birds last year alone.

And for the first time this year, people are also being asked to tell the RSPB if they ever see some other wildlife in their gardens, including deer, squirrels, badgers, hedgehogs, frogs and toads.

The information on other wildlife will be shared with other conservation groups to help with their work, and will enable the RSPB give advice on how people can help creatures who visit their gardens to nest, breed and and feed successfully.

Miranda Krestovnikoff, RSPB President, said: "So many of us spend time giving our nature a home, whether that's feeding garden birds, putting up nestboxes or planting the right things.

"And this is the perfect opportunity to reap the benefits - it's so rewarding seeing creatures taking up your hospitality.

"The RSPB urgently needs as many people to take part as possible. The more people that get involved, the more we'll be able to understand which of our wildlife is most under threat and take action."

Martin Harper, RSPB conservation director, said: " The key thing for the RSPB is that, even when you feel you don't have as many birds in your garden compared to normal, we still desperately need your results.

"We will be able to compare results to other milder winter years and compare regional trends, so if you don't see many birds, we still need to know, it's really useful information."

To take part in the Big Garden Birdwatch, people just need to spend an hour birdwatching at any time over the weekend, recording the highest number of each bird species seen in their garden or outside space at any one time.

From the web

Sponsored Videos

Your Comments

COMMENT RULES: Comments that are judged to be defamatory, abusive or in bad taste are not acceptable and contributors who consistently fall below certain criteria will be permanently blacklisted. The moderator will not enter into debate with individual contributors and the moderator’s decision is final. It is Belfast Telegraph policy to close comments on court cases, tribunals and active legal investigations. We may also close comments on articles which are being targeted for abuse. Problems with commenting?

Read More

From Belfast Telegraph