Let’s get ready to Birdwatch!

Lauren Shannon

Tuesday 26 January 2016

RSPB Scotland is encouraging people of all ages to get involved in the world's largest wildlife survey next weekend and to celebrate, there will be a special event taking place at the Dundee Botanic Gardens on Saturday 30 January.

More than half a million people across the UK are expected to spend an hour watching and counting their garden birds for the 37th RSPB Big Garden Birdwatch over the weekend of 30 and 31 January 2016. Last year 43,000 people across Scotland took part including 459 in Dundee City and 814 in Angus, but the charity are hoping even more people will take part this year to help provide valuable information about the changes in numbers of birds using our gardens in winter.

Overall more than 632,000 birds were counted in Scotland in the 2015 survey. In Dundee City and Angus, house sparrows stayed at the top of the rankings [note 2 and 3] mirroring the Scottish result [note 4]. Their long term decline appears to have continued to slow, although numbers have dropped by 57% since the first Big Garden Birdwatch in 1979 [note 5]. They remain the most commonly spotted bird in our gardens in the UK.

As well as counting their feathered friends, RSPB Scotland is also asking participants to log some of the other wildlife they see in their gardens and green spaces such as hedgehogs, foxes, stoats and squirrels, to help build an overall picture of how important they are for giving nature a home [note 6].

On Saturday 30 January, from 11 am - 3 pm, visitors can drop by the Botanic Gardens in Dundee to discover what birds are visiting the feeders for a well-needed snack. There will be the chance to get tips on how to identify garden birds and information about how to take part in the world's largest wildlife survey. Families can also find out how to encourage wildlife into their garden and make a bird feeder to take home.

Lauren is RSPB Scotland's Community Engagement Officer in Tayside and Fife. She said: "So many of us enjoy feeding the birds in our garden. Big Garden Birdwatch is a great excuse to sit with a cup of tea for an hour and watch them, knowing that you are helping to gather important information about how garden birds are doing."

She added: "Gardens are really important places for wildlife. I'm hoping this event will also encourage people to think about how they can make their gardens more nature-friendly by adding nest boxes or nectar-rich plants to their outside spaces. Taking part in Big Garden Birdwatch is just one of the steps people can take to help nature."

This is a free event but an entry charge of £2 applies to enter the Botanic Gardens. For more information about this event call 01738 630783, email perth.admin@rspb.org.uk or visit rspb.org.uk/dundee.

For more information on Big Garden Birdwatch 2016 visit rspb.org.uk/birdwatch.

The parallel event, Big Schools' Birdwatch takes place during the first half of spring term next year. Further information can be found at rspb.org.uk/schoolswatch

For further information and to arrange an interview, please contact:

Lauren Shannon, RSPB Scotland Community Engagement Officer, on 01738 630783.

Photographs:

To download some images relevant to this press release, please click on the hyperlink below and then enter the user name and password when prompted.

https://www.rspb-images.com/respages/storysetsignon.aspx?key=d8cc3683-a5e7-4462-8d2c-44c290b0b13b

User Name: garden

Password: birdwatch

Editor's notes:

1. The RSPB is the UK's largest nature conservation charity, inspiring everyone to give nature a home. Together with our partners, we protect threatened birds and wildlife so our towns, coast and countryside will teem with life once again. We play a leading role in BirdLife International, a worldwide partnership of nature conservation organisations.

2. 2015 Big Garden Birdwatch results for Dundee:

Rank

Species

Mean

% gardens

1

House sparrow

6.28

74.45

2

Starling

3.31

47.35

3

Blackbird

3.13

93.83

4

Blue tit

2.19

74.89

5

Woodpigeon

1.97

72.69

6

Feral pigeon

1.56

32.94

7

Robin

1.51

91.19

8

Chaffinch

0.98

34.07

9

Carrion crow

0.87

33.14

10

Black headed gull

0.86

6.82

11

Dunnock

0.79

40.97

12

Coal tit

0.67

36.12

13

Great tit

0.59

29.96

14

Collared dove

0.57

29.96

15

Herring gull

0.50

20.45

16

Goldfinch

0.42

11.45

17

Long tailed tit

0.38

13.66

18

Common gull

0.34

13.64

19

Greenfinch

0.34

14.16

20

Wren

0.22

17.65

3. 2015 Big Garden Birdwatch results for Angus:

Rank

Species

Mean

% gardens

1

House sparrow

8.75

81.98

2

Starling

4.24

51.11

3

Blackbird

3.45

94.35

4

Chaffinch

2.79

58.47

5

Blue tit

2.76

78.07

6

Woodpigeon

1.82

66.87

7

Robin

1.72

92.96

8

Goldfinch

1.65

30.58

9

Great tit

1.34

53.72

10

Tree sparrow

1.19

21.34

11

Dunnock

1.10

48.69

12

Coal tit

1.07

42.86

13

Collared dove

1.07

41.85

14

Feral pigeon

1.06

19.23

15

Carrion crow

1.00

36.69

16

Long tailed tit

0.80

12.68

17

Pheasant

0.76

31.71

18

Greenfinch

0.69

23.94

19

Great spotted woodpecker

0.47

34.97

20

Wren

0.43

32.25

4. 2015 Big Garden Birdwatch results for Scotland:

Rank

Species

Mean

% gardens

Rank in 2014

1

House sparrow

6.44

74.3

1

2

Starling

4.32

48.6

3

3

Chaffinch

3.51

59.6

2

4

Blackbird

2.92

90.9

4

5

Blue tit

2.65

78.2

5

6

Robin

1.61

91.4

9

7

Woodpigeon

1.56

56.1

6

8

Goldfinch

1.31

25.5

7

9

Great tit

1.30

52.4

8

10

Feral pigeon

1.14

23.7

11

11

Carrion crow

1.08

34.6

15

12

Dunnock

1.00

47.2

12

13

Coal tit

0.94

42.8

10

14

Collared dove

0.91

35.9

13

15

Magpie

0.88

37.4

14

16

Tree sparrow

0.85

13.6

20

17

Jackdaw

0.84

23.5

16

18

Long tailed tit

0.65

12.9

18

19

Greenfinch

0.57

20.6

17

20

Pheasant

0.39

16.1

22

5. 2015 UK Big Garden Birdwatch results: rspb.org.uk/birdwatch

Rank

Species

Mean

% gardens

% change since 1979

1

House sparrow

4.254

64.58

-57.5

2

Starling

2.957

43.92

-80.3

3

Blackbird

2.753

91.63

-31.2

4

Blue tit

2.737

81.55

12.2

5

Woodpigeon

2.018

70.29

909.1

6

Chaffinch

1.445

40.39

-51.8

7

Robin

1.443

86.53

-27.8

8

Great tit

1.399

56.72

55.5

9

Goldfinch

1.300

28.38

NA

10

Collared dove

1.205

47.96

330.2

11

Magpie

1.146

52.65

186.6

12

Dunnock

0.905

45.72

13.1

13

Long tailed tit

0.809

22.10

NA

14

Feral pigeon

0.761

19.57

NA

15

Carrion crow

0.756

27.68

NA

16

Jackdaw

0.713

20.22

NA

17

Coal tit

0.565

29.89

NA

18

Greenfinch

0.461

18.02

-53.9

19

Wren

0.348

28.94

NA

20

Common gull

0.337

7.35

NA

6. In 2014, as a new part of the Big Garden Birdwatch, the RSPB asked participants to tell us about some of the other animals in their garden including badgers, squirrels and hedgehogs. Slow worms and grass snakes joined the list in 2015 with foxes and stoats added to this year's list.

Last Updated: Tuesday 28 August 2018

Tagged with: Topic: Big Garden Birdwatch