The Big Garden Bird Watch is approaching (26th-28th January 2019). This event which for the last few decades has helped improve some species of birds population rise. Whilst helping to record what birds we find over here in the UK. We all know that feeding the birds year-round helps but what else can?
2018 showed that House Sparrows are the most likely bird you will see in your garden.
What is the Big Garden Bird Watch?
Well the best way to think of it is as a weekend long census for birds! The event has been happening since 1979 which has given charities like the RSPB (Royal Society for the Protection of Birds) and the BTO (British Trust for Ornithology) 39 years worth of incredibly valuable data.
Last years data showed for example - House sparrows are the most likely bird you will see in your garden despite the fact their numbers are still in significant decline. Siskins & Bramblings are up, these are winter visitors so it is more usual to see them at this time of year. Recorded sightings of goldfinches are up by 11%, which could be due to the amount of sunflower hearts available in peoples gardens! A good year for Greenfinches, these have declined by 60% since 1979 but are up by 5%. Blackbird sightings down by 18% - however this may be down to it being fairly mild last January so the Blackbirds and Robins were finding food in the field hedgerows rather than looking for food in our gardens. Robins down by 12%
The RSPB is asking people to download a pack and note the different species of birds you can see within your garden over one hour. You can request your free pack here...
Although there have been some impressive rises in populations for some types of birds, other species have been less lucky. Last year saw serious declines for various species including sparrows and blackbirds. Other species such as chaffinches and greenfinches have had equally bad news with numbers falling drastically since the 1990s.
Last year we suffered an incredibly dry summer which meant that our feathered friends found it harder to eat insects as the ground was too tough to break through. Its likely that this extreme weather might have caused further decline as food becomes harder to source for all sorts of wildlife in tougher conditions. This is one reason why taking part in the 2019 Big Garden Bird Watch is an extremely useful thing to do.
The dry weather, particularly in the summer, of 2018 might have severly impacted on the number of blackbirds we find in our backyards.
What Can We Do About It?
Where once it was thought feeding should be limited to the cold winter months it is now commonly known that all year feeding is definitely the most beneficial. Natural food levels for birds cannot always be guaranteed meaning birds and their young become reliant on the food we can provide.
A blue tit being back some grub for their young!
Another helping hand we can extend is to site nest boxes in our gardens. This offers a warm and safe environment for birds to raise their offspring away from predators. Naturally birds find gaps in woodland, buildings or hedgerows to build their nests. Due to deforestation and other factors such as urban development however an ever increasing amounts cannot find places to live. This is one of the reasons why nest boxes have become so popular in the pursuit of helping rise the population of birds.
You can view our range of nest boxes here. If you need help with installing please don’t hesitate to call us on 01664 823230 or see the guide below.
This article was written by Hilary Wiles. If you have any questions or queries about the article you can email contact Hilary by email on firstname.lastname@example.org