What is the RSPB Big Garden Bird Watch? When is the RSPB Big Garden Bird Watch? How can I take part? Do I have to be a member?

This is a must-read for twitchers.

By The Newsroom
Monday, 4th December 2017, 1:39 pm
Updated Tuesday, 12th December 2017, 9:36 am

What is the RSPB Big Garden Birdwatch?

The Royal Society of Birds (RSPB) have hosted one of the world’s largest wildlife surveys for almost 40 years. For 3 days, you become scientists by counting birds, badgers, snakes and other garden guests.

The Big Garden Birdwatch is a yearly event with over half a million people continuing to take part.

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The changing climate and our urban landscapes mean it’s more necessary than ever to build up a picture of our country’s animal population.

The more people who take part, the more the RSPB and our wildlife population benefit. What about having a wild weekend with your friends, family and neighbours?

When is the RSPB Big Garden Birdwatch?

The Big Garden Birdwatch runs from January 27 to January 29 so you have three days to pick from.

How can I get involved in the RSPB Big Garden Birdwatch?

Here’s the RSPB step-by-step guide...

1. Choose a good place to watch from for an hour from 27-29 January 2018. Which window gives you the best view? Make sure it's comfy and you have the essentials within easy reach - a nice, hot drink and your favourite biscuits - and somewhere to jot down what you see. On the website we've got a nifty counting tool to help you keep track of what you've seen.

2. If you haven't got a garden that's no problem. Just pop down to your local park or green space and join in there.

3. Relax and watch the birds for an hour.

4. Count the maximum number of each species you see at any one time. For example, if you see a group of three house sparrows together and later another two, and after that another one, the number to submit is three. That way, it’s less likely you’ll double-count the same birds.

5. Come back to the Big Garden Birdwatch website and tell us what you’ve seen. Or use a paper form, available to download here. It’s FREE to post back to us.

6. That’s it! By taking part and telling us what you see, you're helping us find out more about garden wildlife - so take a big pat on the back from us.

Share your experiences on social media - don't forget to use #BigGardenBirdwatch.

Do you have to be a member?

You don’t have to be a member however you need to register with an email address from December 13. By providing your email address, you can receive alerts reminding you of all the details.

What is the history of the RSPB Big Garden Birdwatch?

The British bird event of the year first took place in 1979 for junior members to get involved in. The study was originally used to find out the UK’s top 10 most common garden birds.

Blue Peter editor Biddy Baxter featured the event on an episode which inspired more than 30,000 people to send in their surveys.

The Big Garden Birdwatch survey has proved invaluable in monitoring our fluttery friends and making sure the charity can immediately look to solve the problem and examine the evidence.