Big Garden Birdwatch

Big Garden Birdwatch provides a vital snapshot of how the UK’s garden birds are faring, taken over one weekend. Learn how to take part and everything you need to know.

A lone Starling perched on a branch.
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Big Garden Birdwatch is the UK’s largest garden wildlife survey. It’s been running since 1979, and every year, around 700,000 people take part. It takes place over the last weekend in January each year. In 2024, Big Garden Birdwatch will be back on the 26 to 28 January. We’re hoping it’ll be the biggest Birdwatch yet. 

Save the date: 26-28 January 2024

Come back in mid-December and register to take part in the world's largest garden wildlife survey. In 2023, over half a million people took part. This year, you could be one of them! 

Once you register, we'll keep you updated with top tips on how to get ready for your best birdwatch ever.

On the weekend of the Big Garden Birdwatch itself, taking part couldn't be simpler. You just spend an hour watching the birds in your garden, from your balcony or in your local park, and tell us what you've seen. If you see very few birds or none at all, that's also really useful information for us, so please do let us know. 

Why is it important?

Big Garden Birdwatch provides a vital snapshot of how the UK’s garden birds are faring, taken over one weekend. This gives a good general impression of the birds that are doing well, and the ones that are struggling. As the first Birdwatch took place more than 40 years ago, we now have a wealth of data to look back on. 

Shockingly, we’ve lost 38 million birds from the UK’s skies in the last 50 years, so it’s crucial we do all we can to look after our bird life. Big Garden Birdwatch helps to monitor how garden birds are faring. 

Also, people taking part in Big Garden Birdwatch for the first time often find it sparks a passion for nature. And then we hope they’ll start giving nature a helping hand through feeding their garden birds, putting up nestboxes and gardening in a wildlife-friendly way – actions that can make all the difference to nature. 

How do I take part in the Big Garden Birdwatch?

It’s easy – you simply watch the birds in your garden or local park for one hour, and record what you see. 

1. Count the birds you see in your garden, from your balcony or in your local park for one hour over the Big Garden Birdwatch weekend. It doesn’t matter what time of day you do your Birdwatch, but you’ll see more birds if you do it first thing in the morning. 

2. Only include birds that land, not those flying over. Count the highest number of each species you see at any one time. For example, if you saw four Starlings together, then two Starlings later, your final count will be four (not six). 

3. Go online and tell us what you’ve seen! Even if you didn’t see anything at all in your hour, please let us know. It’s all really useful information. 

What were the Big Garden Birdwatch results for 2023?

Big Garden Birdwatch 2023 attracted 540,000 nature lovers. If you were one of them – thank you. 

1. House Sprarrow

The house sparrow grabbed the top spot for the 20th year! 

This is despite more than 10 million pairs disappearing since the late 1960s. However, house sparrow numbers have remained fairly stable over the last 20 years. 

A group of three House Sparrows feeding off of a domestic birdfeeder.

2. Blue Tit

The Blue Tit has made the second spot for the third year in a row.

A Blue Tit stood on the top of a log.

3. Starling

The Starling is a non-mover at number three. 

A Starling perched on a log singing.

4. Woodpigeon

Woodpigeon numbers have soared in the last 40 years, so it’s not surprising it’s still sitting at number four. 

Two Woodpigeons perched on a garden fence, one is leaning its head towards the other.

5. Blackbird

The Blackbird stays at number five and remains one of our most common garden birds. 

A Common Blackbird perched on a moss covered rock.

6. Robin

The nation’s favourite bird maintains its sixth place for 2023. 

A Robin perched upon a moss covered branch.

7. Goldfinch

The Goldfinch stays at number seven, despite the fact it’s doing well. 

A pair of Goldfinches feeding off of a domestic bird feeder.

8. Great Tit

The Great Tit has stayed put at number eight. 

A group of three Great Tits perched on a lichen covered branch.

9. Magpie

In recent years, the Magpie has increased its numbers in urban areas. It’s a non-mover at number nine. 

A pair of Magpies perched on a moss covered log in the rain.

10. Long-tailed Tit

The Long-tailed Tit has reappeared into the top ten for 2023 – a big improvement from last year when it was at number 15. 

A pair of Long-tailed Tits, one perched on a twig and the other in flight, about to land.
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