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Grab a cuppa and join in the world's biggest wildlife survey

Last modified: 29 January 2016

Grab a cuppa and join in the world’s biggest wildlife survey

RSPB Cymru’s Big Garden Birdwatch is set to bring families together to uncover what is happening in Wales’ gardens Families are being asked to spend just one hour watching the birds in their garden on the 30 and 31 of January to help RSPB Cymru understand how Wales’ best loved garden birds are doing in winter.

 

Last year over half-a-million people across the UK took part, with 28,000 participants in Wales, making Big Garden Birdwatch the world’s biggest garden wildlife survey [note 2]. For the third year running, the RSPB is also asking participants to log some of the other wildlife they see in their gardens throughout the year such as hedgehogs, foxes, stoats and squirrels, to help build an overall picture of how important gardens are for giving nature a home [note 5]. More than 8.5 million birds were spotted visiting gardens across the UK last year. Unfortunately we saw a decline in the number of finches, coal-tits and collared doves in Wales, with the breeding populations of starlings also falling dramatically by more than two thirds. However it was good news for the house sparrow, with breeding population almost doubling in the last few decades in Wales, despite declines across the UK as a whole (+92% 1995 – 2013) [note 4]. Eleri Wynne, RSPB Cymru’s Communications Officer, said: “The Big Garden Birdwatch is fun for the whole family and it’s so easy to get involved. Simply put the kettle on, grab a biscuit and spend an hour watching the wildlife you see in your garden or local park.”

 

“We love hearing how families come together to discover the exciting natural world in their own back gardens and you don’t need to be an expert to take part. We have an online pack with everything you will need and there is even a handy guide to help you tell a black bird from a blue tit! If you take any photos then remember to send them to us as we would love to see what you spot.”

 

If you would like to sign up, please visit www.rspb.org.uk/birdwatch, phone 0800 665 450 or text: BIRD to 60155. You can also follow the action throughout the weekend by following @RSPBCymru on Twitter or by using #BigGardenBirdwatch / #GwylioAdar.

 

Eleri added: “Every year we are amazed by how many people take part. Whether you see a wealth of wildlife or nothing at all it doesn’t matter - we would still like to hear from you. All this information helps us build a picture of our beloved birds and lets us see how rich, surprising and precious our wild neighbours truly are. The survey is part of the RSPB’s Giving Nature a Home campaign, aimed at tackling the housing crisis facing the UK’s threatened wildlife. The RSPB is asking people to provide a place for wildlife in their own gardens and outside spaces – whether it’s putting up a nest box for birds, creating a pond to support a number of different species or building a home for a hedgehog. The Big Garden Birdwatch is just one of the steps you can take to help nature on your doorstep. To find out more about how to Give Nature a Home in your garden visit www.rspb.org.uk/homes. The parallel event, Big Schools’ Birdwatch takes place from 4 January - 12 February 2016 [note 8]. Further information can be found at www.rspb.org.uk/schoolswatch. ENDS

How you can help

Find out which birds were the movers and shakers in this year's Big Garden Birdwatch charts.

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