Family Activity Event, pathway through foliage, Forest Farm, Wales

Monitor disease in garden wildlife

The RSPB has monitored incidence of disease in garden birds since 2001.

Our collaboration on Garden Wildlife Health

Most of the time we collaborate on research and monitoring into garden bird diseases with other organisations. 

Organisations have included Zoological Society of London (ZSL) and British Trust for Ornithology (BTO) in a project called Garden Bird Health initiative (GBHi). 

GBHi identified the emergence and followed the spread and intensity of both trichomonosis in finches and avian pox in tits, and revealed the importance of disease in the significant decline of the greenfinch population in the UK.

The GBHi was very successful, and it has now been expanded to Garden Wildlife Health (GWH) project to monitor illness and causes of death in amphibians, reptiles and hedgehogs in British gardens, in addition to continuing our valuable work investigating causes of garden bird disease.

GWH is a partnership between the RSPB, ZSL, BTO and Froglife, and funded by the Esmée Fairbairn Foundation and Defra.

This important work cannot be done without your help. We know what is happening with our garden birds entirely because thousands of people have contacted us when they have found sick or dead birds in their garden. 

Report death or illness in garden wildlife

Marsh tit with pox

If you find dead or ill garden wildlife, you can report it to the Garden Wildlife Health (GWH) database here.