Warwickshire residents urged to join in the RSPB’s Big Garden Birdwatch this weekend - The Rugby Observer

Warwickshire residents urged to join in the RSPB’s Big Garden Birdwatch this weekend

Rugby Editorial 28th Jan, 2021   0

A WILDLIFE charity is urging Warwickshire residents to take part in some bird-spotting from their windows, as well as other home-based nature activities.

The RSPB’s Big Garden Birdwatch, the world’s largest wildlife survey, returns for its 42nd year this weekend (January 29-31).

The UK’s biggest citizen science project has been recording the winners and losers in the garden bird world for over four decades with the help of half a million people, and the RSPB is counting on Warwickshire residents to join in once more.

Residents are asked to spend an hour over the weekend recording the birds that land as seen from their windows, balconies or gardens, and submitting their results to the charity.

In Warwickshire, house sparrows topped the rankings in the RSPB’s Big Garden Birdwatch last year, followed by the blue tit and wood pigeon. Other birds featuring in the county’s top ten were goldfinches, starlings and long tailed tits.

The charity has tipped Warwickshire residents to keep an eye out for long-tailed tits – which have distinctive pink, grey and white feathers and long tails, are usually found in large flocks of up to 20, and often make use of garden feeders throughout the winter – as they were found in 24 per cent more Warwickshire gardens in 2020 compared to previous years.

Over 3,500 Warwickshire residents took part last year – and this year the charity hopes lockdown will inspire even more people to join in.

RSPB’s chief executive Beccy Speight said: “For many people, garden birds provide an important connection to the wider world and bring enormous joy.

“Lockdown brought few benefits, but the last year has either started or reignited a love of nature for many people. There has been a broad and much needed realisation that nature is an important and necessary part of our lives especially for our mental health and wellbeing. But nature needs us too.

“By taking part in the Birdwatch, you are helping to build an annual snapshot of how our birdlife is doing across the UK. It is only by us understanding how our wildlife is faring that we can protect it. We know that nature is in crisis but together, we can take action to solve the problems facing nature.”

The data collected during the Big Garden Birdwatch will create a snapshot of bird numbers across the UK and how they have fared since the project began. Visit www.rspb.org.uk/birdwatch for more information and to submit results.

The RSPB is providing other wildlife-inspired activities to take part in from home with its free Wild Challenge. Participants can earn bronze, silver and gold awards by completing activities such as making bug hotels, bird boxes and compost heaps, and drawing wildlife. Visit www.rspb.org.uk/wildchallenge for more information.

Teachers can make use of the charity’s resources for RSPB’s parallel event, the Big Schools Birdwatch, which is taking place during the first half of spring term. Visit www.rspb.org.uk/schoolswatch for more information.

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