Find out how Miranda Big Garden Birdwatches
“Exciting and amazing!” We caught up with RSPB president and wildlife presenter Miranda Krestovnikoff to find out why she loves the Big Garden Birdwatch.
What do you like about the Big Garden Birdwatch?
I love Big Garden Birdwatching with my family. It’s a real chance to sit down together and actually take a really good, close look at what’s happening outside. So often, we walk past the window and we just glance at the birds in the garden, but the Birdwatch gives us an opportunity to really concentrate for an hour, and actually see what we’ve got out there.
The thing I love about the Big Garden Birdwatch is that you never know what you’re going to get. One year we had an amazing count and we had buzzards coming over and kestrels. We had a green woodpecker hopping around on the lawn. And that’s the excitement and sense of anticipation – you really don’t know what you’re going to see.
Our Big Garden Birdwatch is a way of sitting down as a family. We’re all watching nature together. We’ll all be watching in different directions out of different windows, but we’re all pooling our results – sort of working as a family unit and really enjoying what we’ve got in our garden. And that’s what I really love about it. Often, we’re off doing our own things in life, and it’s a chance for the four of us to be together and enjoy that time with nature.
How do you get ready for the Big Garden Birdwatch?
There’s not much you have to do in preparation for the Big Garden Birdwatch, but last year we certainly stuck up another bird feeder and filled it up regularly. That’s something that’s really important to do – if you’ve got a bird feeder, make sure that it’s full.
I think a good thing to do is to check the weather forecast. We had one year when it rained incessantly and we’d picked the wrong hour to watch, so it’s quite good to look for a nice weather window. But essentially you don’t really need anything, apart from making sure you have a chair, a cup of tea and a window to look out of.
What would you say to people doing the Big Garden Birdwatch for the first time?
I think there is a great value in being involved in the Birdwatch. All the results you are submitting and everybody around the country is submitting are invaluable. They give us an idea of what’s been happening in our gardens every single year and because the Big Garden Birdwatch has been going on for 40 years, there’s 40 years’ worth of data. It’s fantastically useful when we’re trying to get a picture of, for example, how well our sparrows are doing or how well our blue tits are doing. It’s really important that everybody gets involved and everybody submits their results. You’re part of citizen science at the end of the day.