Time to sign up for the Big Garden Birdwatch again

With the year drawing to a close, it’s time to think again about taking part in the RSPB’s Big Garden Birdwatch – the annual survey aimed at helping the charity track the rise and fall in wild bird populations.

All you need to do is spend an hour on either January 29 or 30 (that’s a Saturday or Sunday, helpfully) recording the types and numbers of birds that venture into your garden or local park, then enter the details on the RSPB website.

You can register here, and also download an ID sheet with useful identification pictures and boxes to tick as you count off the visitors. Good luck in spotting enough wrens to fill in all 24 boxes, though!

The Big Garden Birdwatch has been running for more than 30 years, and last year well over a quarter of a million locations were monitored by volunteers like you. (We wrote about our 2008 experience here.)

The combined results have helped demonstrate startling and dramatic falls in populations of species such as the house sparrow and starling – but have also provided the information necessary to begin the process of aiding their return.

Find out more and register here.