Who will be top of the pecking order in the Isle of Wight’s gardens?
The RSPB’s annual Big Garden Birdwatch is back on Saturday 26th and Sunday 27th January 2013, giving people on the Isle of Wight the chance to be part of the World’s biggest wildlife survey.
Last year nearly 2,000 Isle of Wight residents joined almost 600,000 people across the UK, spotting the birds in their garden to reveal which species are doing well and which are struggling.
And the conservation charity is appealing for more sets of eyes than ever before to step up for nature and help record the fortunes of our garden visitors given the extreme weather conditions our wildlife has endured over the last twelve months.
Last year’s Big Garden Birdwatch revealed that the blue tit was the island’s most common bird, followed by the house sparrow and the blackbird – will it be the same for 2013?
Samantha Stokes, of the RSPB in the South East, said: “Our wildlife has had a pretty tough time recently, 2012 was a year of extreme weather, starting with a very dry winter and fears of drought. But then we had 75 per cent more rainfall in April than average and the wettest June on record!
“With such a cold and wet breeding season, many of our garden favourites struggled to raise chicks last summer, so it will be interesting to see how their numbers are faring after a relatively mild winter.”
To take part, people are asked to spend just one hour at any time over Big Garden Birdwatch weekend noting the highest number of each bird species seen in their gardens or Local Park at any one time. They then have three weeks to submit their results to the RSPB, either online at www.rspb.org.uk/birdwatch or in the post.
Now in its 34th year, the survey provides the RSPB with an important snapshot of garden bird populations in winter and has helped to highlight some dramatic declines in UK garden birds.
Miss Stokes added: “As well as helping us track the ups and downs of garden birds, if you take part in the Big Garden Birdwatch you’ll have the perfect excuse to sit down with a cuppa and enjoy the wildlife living alongside you.
“Everyone can get involved. You don’t have to be a birdwatcher – just enjoy watching the birds as they perch on branches, hang from feeders and swoop in and out of their nests in your garden.
“By taking part, you’ll contribute to the biggest garden bird event in the world and you won’t even have to leave the warmth of your armchair!”
For more information, including further event details, and to submit your results online, please visit the RSPB website www.rspb.org.uk/birdwatch or to request a Big Garden Birdwatch pack over the phone, please call 0300 456 8330.
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