Both across the country and here in Devon, house sparrows topped the rankings in the RSPB’s Big Garden Birdwatch results last year, despite wider national decline.
As a UK wide citizen science project, the initiative has been recording the winners and losers in the garden bird world for over four decades, with half a million people expected to take part this January.
This year, people across Devon are set to get involved, spending just an hour of their time recording the birds and other wildlife found in their gardens or nearby green spaces.
In Devon alone, 78 species of bird were recorded as part of 2019’s campaign, with blue tits and starlings joining house sparrows to form the county’s top three most sighted birds. A common garden bird thanks to the provision of winter food and nest boxes, blue tits are on the rise across the country, with an 8% increase in the population since 1979.
Allowing the RSPB to monitor important bird trends, the data collected during the Big Garden Birdwatch will create a ‘snapshot’ of bird numbers across the UK and how they have faired since the project began over 40 years ago. Taking place this year from the 25th to 27th of January, the event is a great opportunity to connect with nature.
Encouraging participants to share their Big Garden Birdwatch stories, the RSPB is asking How will you #BigGardenBirdWatch? hoping to showcase some of the best examples of how people take part from building their own birdwatching den and baking wildlife themed cakes to making bird feeders and putting up nest boxes.
For your FREE Big Garden Birdwatch pack, which includes a bird identification chart, plus RSPB shop voucher and advice to help you attract wildlife to your garden visit www.rspb.org.uk/birdwatch