Light blue birds silhouetted against a darker blue background

How to take part in Big Garden Birdwatch

To play your part in the world’s largest bird survey this January, just follow the simple instructions below.


  1. Pick a time
    You can choose any hour between 28 and 30 January 2022. So whether you’re an early bird or a night owl, you can still take part.

  2. Tell us what you see 
    Count the birds you see in your garden or from your balcony*. Ignore any birds that are still in flight. To avoid double-counting, just record the highest number of each bird species you see at any one time – not a running total.
  3. Submit your results
    OnlineYou can submit your results online at
    By post: If you’d rather send your results by post, you can download a submission form below

Every count is important so, if you don’t see anything, please still submit your result. Finding out which birds don’t visit your area is as important as understanding those which do!

Bearded man in dressing grown and furry hat standing outside house ready to take part in big garden birdwatch at dawn, Bedfordshire
Early risers welcome
two men spotting birds in the rain. one in a blue jacket holding an umbrella, one in a red jacket holding a spotter's guide
Have fun spotting
woman seen from above and behind adding birdwatching results on a tablet
Send us the results

How does Big Garden Birdwatch help?

Thanks to people like you taking part in the Big Garden Birdwatch, we now have over 40 years of data and this has helped increase our understanding of the challenges faced by wildlife.

It was one of the first surveys to identify the decline of song thrushes in gardens. This species was a firm fixture in the top 10 in 1979. But by 2019, those numbers had declined by 76% – coming in at number 20. And did you know that house sparrow sightings have dropped by 53% since the first Birdwatch in 1979? However, in the past 10 years their numbers have grown by 10% showing that we are beginning to see some signs of recovery.

Results like these help us spot problems. But, more importantly, they are the first step towards putting things right.


Mother pointing to a bird, Big Garden Birdwatch event, Cambridgeshire

Bring the birds to your patch

Birds on a feeder | The RSPB

Our top tips on making your garden an attractive place for birds to stop for a snack. Whether your space is big or small, we've got ways you can give garden birds a helping hand.