Big Garden Birdwatch

Created March 24, 2020, 1:05 p.m.
Updated March 24, 2020, 1:05 p.m.

For over 40 years, the RSPB has asked the public to count the birds in their garden. With over half a million people now regularly taking part, coupled with 40 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. For four decades, the Big Garden Birdwatch has highlighted the winners and losers in the garden bird world. It was one of the first surveys to alert the RSPB to the decline in the number of song thrushes in gardens. This species was a firm fixture in the top 10 in 1979, but by 2019 numbers of song thrushes seen in gardens had declined by 76%, coming in at number 20. Your results help us spot problems, but more importantly, they are also the first step in putting things right. This is why it's so important that we count garden birds.


Through citizens counting the birds in their garden, Big Garden Birdwatch allows the RSPB to monitor trends and helps in understanding how birds are doing.

How to participate

Watch the birds for one hour between 25 and 27 January to watch the birds in your garden or local park.

Only count the birds that land in your garden or park, not those flying over. The same birds may land more than once, so you can avoid double counting by recording the highest number of each bird species you see at any one time – not the total number you count over the hour.

Tell us what you saw - Every count is important, so don’t worry if you don’t see anything. Observing which birds aren’t around is as important as seeing the ones that are. 

Needed equipment

Survey Sheet

Active from 01/01/1979
Garden Birds Local
Science Topics
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