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article imageBig Garden Bird Watch is on

By Tim Sandle     Jan 30, 2016 in Environment
This week over one million people in the U.K. are taking part in the 'Big Garden Bird Watch,' an example of mass participation of citizen science in action.
Big Garden Bird Watch takes place during the last weekend in January each year in the U.K. The idea is a simple one; the importance in relation to wildlife conservation is high. The event is organised by the charity Royal Society fro the Protection of Birds (RSPB). The RSPB was founded as the Plumage League in 1889. The society received a royal charter in 1904.
The requirement for those taking part is to stick up their bird feeders, make a cup of tea or coffee, select one hour during the day and then record the numbers and types of birds that descend into their gardens. For those without gardens, the same exercise can be carried out in local parks.
Although any bird can be recorded, the ones expected and of greatest interest to the RSPB are:
Male blackbirds
Female blackbirds
Blue tit
Male and female chaffinch
Coal tit
Collared dove
Dunnock
Goldfinch
Great tit
Greenfinch
House sparrow
Long-tailed tit
Maggpie
Robin
Starling
Woodpigeon
Of the birds listed, the robin was declared the national bird of Britain in a poll run during 2015.
Some of the birds have declined in numbers over the years and the information provided by amateur ornithologists is of importance in working out how to conserve particular types of bird. For example, starlings and song thrushes, which have declined by 80 percent and 70 percent respectively since the survey began in 1979.
This year the results will different because December was the warmest and wettest month in the U.K. in more than a century.
If you are in the U.K. and wish to take part, you simply submit your findings to the RSPB on-line.
More about big garden bird watch, Birds, bird watching
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