Counting birds of a feather in your garden

Take part in the family friendly event and count the birds in your garden. Pics: RSPB Images
Take part in the family friendly event and count the birds in your garden. Pics: RSPB Images

Fifers are being encouraged to take part in the world’s biggest wildlife survey this weekend.

People the length and breadth of the country will be observing the feathered friends that visit their gardens as part of the Big Garden Birdwatch.

The annual event is organised by the RSPB and has been taking place for the past 36 years, asking people to count the birds which visit their garden to help create a ‘snapshot’ picture of bird numbers in the UK.

It’s a fun and educational activity for the whole family to enjoy together and, even if it’s too chilly to go outside, don’t worry; you can still take part in this citizen science project indoors.

The charity wants to hear from you – whether you’ve seen several exotic species, just a few of the most common birds, or even no birds at all.

Last year, almost 40,000 people in Scotland spent an hour watching their gardens or local parks to record the birds they saw, including 3549 in Fife.

House sparrows held on to the top spot as the most counted bird in 2014 and were also the most counted bird in Fife.

In 2015, for the second year running, the RSPB is also asking participants to log the other wildlife they see in their outside spaces, to help build an overall picture of how important our gardens are for giving nature a home.

Keith Morton, species policy officer for RSPB Scotland, said: “We’ve had some exceptionally mild weather over the past year and this could have a real impact on the birds and wildlife we see in our gardens and green spaces this winter.

“We’d like as many of you as possible across the country to take part so that, together, we can build an even greater understanding of how our birds and wildlife are doing this winter, compared to previous years. Whatever you count, no matter the number, it will be really important to RSPB Scotland.”

If you’d like to get involved this year, it couldn’t be easier.

Just spend one hour counting the birds you see at any time this Saturday or Sunday.

People are asked to note the highest number of each bird species in their garden or local outside space at any one time.

Visit www.rspb.org.uk/birdwatch.