RSPB Big Garden Birdwatch 28-30 January 2017
The countdown has commenced for the world's biggest garden wildlife survey - and more people in East Yorkshire than ever before are being called upon to take part in the RSPB's Big Garden Birdwatch, running 28, 29 and 30 January 2017.
The public are asked to spend just one hour watching and recording the birds and other wildlife in their garden or local public space, then send their results to the RSPB. As the world's largest garden wildlife survey, now in its 38th year, more than half a million people are expected to take part in 2017.
In response to many requests over the years, and for the first time in its history, people will also be able to take part on the Monday, extending the birdwatch to three days. It is hoped this will allow even more people to spend an hour counting the birds in their park or garden, adding to the snapshot of how they are doing.
To help you prepare for the Big Garden Birdwatch, there are plenty of events taking place in East Yorkshire this January - from discovering how to attract more wildlife into your garden to gaining tips on how to identify the creatures that live on your doorstep.
Every weekend from now until Big Garden BirdWatch, volunteers and staff from RSPB Bempton Cliffs will be in the grounds of Bridlington's Sewerby Hall and Gardens telling visitors how they can become involved in the world's biggest wildlilfe survey - and why it's important to take part. There will be the opportunity for visitors to make an apple bird feeder to take home, win a prize in the tombola and youngsters can get stuck in to some nature-themed arts and crafts. There will also be the Bempton Cliffs' puffin mascot, Mrs P, to cuddle up to - because there's 'nuffin' like huggin' a puffin'.
Daniel Hayhow, RSPB Conservation Scientist said: "With over half a million people now regularly taking part, coupled with over 30 years worth of data, Big Garden Birdwatch allows us to monitor trends and helps us understand how birds are doing. With results from so many gardens, we are able to create a 'snapshot' of the birds visiting at this time of year across the UK. Even if you see nothing during your Big Garden Birdwatch hour, that's important information too, so please let us know."
As well as counting feathered friends, the RSPB is once again asking participants to log some of the other wildlife they see in their gardens and green spaces such as grass snakes, hedgehogs, stag beetles, stoats and moles.
Daniel added: "The threats to our wildlife means that it's facing tough times. For example it is estimated that we've lost more than half of our hedgehogs in the last 50 years. We're going to include this part of the survey every year now, enabling us to monitor the distribution of other wildlife as well as trends in bird numbers."
To take part, download your free Big Garden Birdwatch pack at rspb.org.uk/birdwatch.
Results will be published in March 2017.
The parallel event, Big Schools' Birdwatch takes place during the first half of spring term, 3 January-17 February 2017. Further information can be found at rspb.org.uk/schoolswatch