How many birds do you have in your garden?
PUBLISHED: 08:27 25 January 2019 | UPDATED: 08:41 25 January 2019
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Nature lovers in Suffolk are being asked to take part in one of the country's most popular citizen science events this weekend.
The RSPB’s Big Garden Birdwatch takes place from Saturday January 26 through to Monday January 28 and this year marks the 40th anniversary of the initiative, which asks people to spend one hour watching and recording the birds in their garden or local green space, then send their results to the RSPB.
The organisation says around half a million people join Birdwatch each year and over the past 40 years, hundreds of thousands of people have volunteered their time providing the RSPB with over 8 million man-hours of monitoring garden birds an astonishing 130 million records of birds.
The RSPB’s Eastern England communications officer, Fabian Harrison, said: “For years now the people of Suffolk have been contributing to the Big Garden Birdwatch.
“Every January, over 9,000 people in our county take part in the count, helping us form an idea of how our wildlife is faring and what we need to do to help it. We need you again, in your thousands, to count the wildlife that’s counting on you this weekend.”
For four decades, Big Garden Birdwatch has highlighted the winners and losers in the garden bird world. It alerted the RSPB to the decline in the number of song thrushes, starlings and house sparrows and the increase in the collared dove and wood pigeon populations.
As well as counting birds, the RSPB is once again asking participants to log some of the other wildlife they have seen throughout the year. This year, people are being asked to look out for badger, fox, grey squirrel, red squirrel, muntjac deer, roe deer, frog and toad.
To take part in the Big Garden Birdwatch 2019, watch the birds in your garden or local park for one hour at some point over the three days. Only count the birds that land, not those flying over and record the highest number of each bird species you see at any one time – not the total you see in the hour.
Once you have recorded the birds that make a visit, submit your results online at www.rspb.org.uk/birdwatch