Usually held over the last weekend in January, The RSPB’s Big Garden Birdwatch is a great opportunity for bird lovers off all ages to play an active role in the survival of UK wild birds. You don’t need to be an expert and by monitoring numbers in your own garden, you can help protect them for many years to come.
Here’s a few ideas on how to prepare:
1. Put a bird feeder up now so birds get used to it
Get set up a couple of weeks in advance to allow birds time to learn that food is available. If you set it up the day before the Big Garden Bird Watch, you may be disappointed. Put feeders in a prominent position, well away from predators, but so you can see it clearly from a window. If you already have a bird feeder, you may want to get another one to attract as many birds as possible. See our advice on positioning your feeders.
2. Buy a quality bird food
Make sure your feeders are topped up and contain a seed mix with a wide variety of ingredients to attract as many species of bird as possible. Our Peckish Complete Seed Mix is a great choice, as it has 12 different ingredients to attract more birds, including Sunflower Hearts, Naked Oats, Safflower Seeds, Kibbled Peanuts. All ingredients are small or have been chopped, to make it suitable for even the smallest of beaks.
3. Create a spotting chart
Using some paper and a pen, write down the various species of garden birds and leave a space next to each so you can tally up the amount you see. Our interactive bird guide will give you all the information you need to do this.
4. Grab a seat and a pair of binoculars
A cup of tea and some biscuits are great essentials for bird spotting! You may also want to make yourself as comfy as possible for an hour or two of quality indoor bird spotting. Why not switch off your mobile phone and turn off the TV to avoid any distractions.
In our busy modern lives it can be a real pleasure to spend an hour or two gazing out of the window and becoming totally immersed in the here and now. Savour this time, sip some tea and appreciate the beauty that the wildlife outside your window has to offer.