RSPB BIG GARDEN BIRDWATCH 25-27th JANURY 2013

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BLUE TIT

Recycled Window Feeder: Basic Muesli, Wild Bird Seed, Rasins, Grated Cheese (Mild Cheddar), Suet & Dried Mealworm Sprinkles

In 1 hour we had at least 13 plus…Blue Tits, Great Tits, Robins, Female, Male and Blackbirds, Collard Dove, Feral Pigeon, Wood Pigeon

Environment: We live in a small suburban estate set back off the main drag. Our first floor flat is at the back of the building closest to 900 yards of Beech Trees, Wooded Area and Hedge growth. We have a large family of Robins with at least 3 juveniles and two parents from last year. A large family of Blue tits and Great tits. As well as a well established family of Squirrels in one of the larger tree trunks. We have screech owl and a cuckoo. other from Foxes and Deer that we have not seen but heard sometimes on the early hours of the morning.

Here are some of the photos we took of our Big Garden Birdwatch at this time we had 4-5 inches of Snow, food was short, not a lot of berries about. We made sure the ground feeding birds have Fat Balls, Apples, Banana, Pears, our own home baked Bread. We have placed a recycled Ice-cream tub of water on the ground under our window for birds and wildlife to bath and drink from.

We have recycled old empty margarine pots and good old shoe laces for our feeders. Small birds are more attracted to Yellow. We sit and observe from our bedroom window, which our “hide”.

Since we have taken these photographs for our Big Garden Birdwatch, we have changed our feeders to two small yellow margarine tubs and have taken the fat ball out of the nets and do not hang them up at all. We will take further photos to update as and when.

N.B Please be aware not to use nets to hang fat balls as the birds and other wildlife can get caught up in the nets. We crumble the fat balls for ground and table feeding birds and other wildlife.

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WHY WE ARE COUNTING BIRDS?

To understand why we’re asking you to count birds, we need to rewind the clock and start at the beginning!

It’s 1979 and we’re looking for a simple winter activity that our junior membership can get involved in. As it’s likely to be cold and the evenings dark, we think a weekend activity in the garden would be best.

So, we asked our members to count the birds in their gardens, all at the same time, so we could work out the UK top ten most common garden birds.

Biddy Baxter – the editor of Blue Peter at the time – liked the idea so much that she featured the survey on one of the programmes. We had only expected a few hundred children to take part, but thanks to Biddy’s coverage, we actually got over 34,000 forms!

And that’s how our ‘one-off’ activity grew into the regular event it is today. Although it wasn’t until 2001 that we invited adults to join in the fun, too.

Find out more about the history of the world’s biggest wildlife survey as Gemma Butlin, RSPB Media Manager, talks to Peter Holden, the creator of Big Garden Birdwatch:

HOW YOU HAVE ALREADY HELPED

For over 30 years, we’ve been asking you to count the birds in your garden – and you’ve been brilliant at it.

With over half a million people now regularly taking part, coupled with over 30 years worth of data, Big Garden Birdwatch allows us to monitor trends and helps us understand how birds are doing.

As the format of the survey has stayed the same, the scientific data can be compared year-on-year, making your results very valuable to our scientists.

With results from so many gardens, we are able to create a ‘snapshot’ of bird numbers across the UK. Let’s take a look at some of the population changes you’ve helped us see. All changes are from 1979 to 2012:

SIGNIFICANT CHANGES BETWEEN 1979 – 2012

While these changes can seem scary – we’ve lost more than half our house sparrows and some three-quarters of our starlings – it isn’t all doom and gloom.

Your results help us spot problems, but more importantly, they are also the first step in putting things right. And this is why it’s so important that we count the garden birds.

The more people involved, the more we can learn, so please encourage your family, friends and neighbours to take part and make 2013 the best ever Big Garden Birdwatch!

1979 – 2012

* Starlings have suffered one of the steepest declines (80%) of any bird in our survey

* Blue tit numbers have increased by 20% from 1979 to 2012

* We’ve lost two-thirds of our house sparrows

* Robins have suffered a population decline of 32%

* Woodpigeon numbers have increased a massive 800%

Written By Lizzie & Joshua Copyrighted (c) 2013.

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