Around a million people from across the UK are set to take part in the RSPB’s Big Garden Birdwatch by counting the birds in their gardens over the weekend of 28-30 January 2022. They’ll also make a record of the other wildlife they see throughout the year, providing a vital snapshot of UK nature.
The largest wildlife survey in the world, the Big Garden Birdwatch has been running for over 30 years. Last year, with people more or less confined to their homes by Covid-19 restrictions, was a record year. Over a million people took part and over 17 million birds were counted. Despite its much-publicised decline in numbers, the House Sparrow was the commonest bird in last year’s count, for the 18th consecutive year. An average of just over four sparrows were recoded in each garden. Blue Tit, Starling, Blackbird and Woodpigeon made up the top five. The most widespread bird was the Blackbird, recorded in 85% of gardens where counts took place.
The House Sparrow also topped the 2021 list in London, with an average of 2.8 sparrows per garden. Woodpigeon, Blue Tit, Starling and Feral Pigeon made up the top five. The most widespread bird in London, despite only coming tenth in numbers, was the Blackbird, recorded in 74% of gardens. The full 2021 results can be seen here.
To join in, all you need to do is to count birds in your garden or local park for one hour on 28, 29 or 30 January. Record the highest number of each species that you see at one time and send in the results to the RSPB. You can submit your counts online or send them in on paper. See the RSPB website for full details of how to take part. You can request a free information pack to help you get ready for the Big Garden Birdwatch and identify the birds you see.
Header photo: Blackbird by David Darrell-Lambert