Grab your binoculars and celebrate the 43rd Big Garden Birdwatch by recording your garden birds in the New Year. Here  is a guide on how to take part and the best birds to spot in your garden this winter

The annual Big Garden Birdwatch returns on 28th, 29th and 30th January for the UK’s largest garden-based citizen science project.

According to the conservation charity, across the UK nearly 9 million hours have been spent watching garden birds since the Birdwatch began in 1979 with more than 137 million birds counted, helping provide the charity with valuable insight.

2022 marks the 43rd RSPB Big Garden Birdwatch, which sees keen birdwatchers across the UK join the largest garden wildlife citizen science project by spending one hour tracking the birds they see in their gardens. During that time, across the UK hundreds of thousands of people have volunteered their time.

Not only is it a great way to enjoy a spot of warm, winter twitching but it is also a vital opportunity for the RSPB to keep tabs on the population of British birds.

Since the Big Garden Birdwatch started in 1979, numbers of many species have been on the decline. These studies offer a chance to find out which species are struggling and perhaps provide clues as to why, and how they can be protected.

It also supplies conservationists with data tracing those birds that are doing well.

Birds such as the house sparrow, song thrush and starling have drastically declined since the late 1980s, while collared doves, woodpigeons and coal tit numbers have increased.

The house sparrow remained at the top of the Big Garden Birdwatch rankings as the most seen garden bird with more than 1.2 million recorded sightings.

To take part in the Big Garden Birdwatch 2020, simply watch the birds in your garden or local park for one hour at some point over the three days. Only count the birds that land, not those flying over. Tell us the highest number of each bird species you see at any one time – not the total you see in the hour.

Once you have recorded the birds that make a visit, submit your results online at rspb.org.uk/birdwatch

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