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Big Garden Bird Watch 2020

Big Garden Bird Watch 2020

Our first post of 2020!! We are getting back into the swing of things after the Christmas fun and chaos. One thing I really look forward to once the children are back at school after the Christmas break is starting to prepare for the Big Garden Bird Watch. If you follow me over on Instagram - you will know that we take great pride in doing our bit to help the local wildlife. 

We have enjoyed making feeders for the birds - 

Big Garden Bird Watch 2020

Oh and do check out this fabulous hands on learning Tuff Tray all about Birds too. The children had so much fun with this one.

What is the Big Garden Bird Watch?
It's an event that takes place annually between the 25th and the 27th January, where half a million people come together to help the birds. During that weekend you are asked to spend 1 hour counting the birds you see of each species. You can do this in the comfort of your own home, looking out the window or take to the great outdoors and find a spot and do it there. 

Why does this event take place?
During your bird watch you will collect information on the birds that you see. You can then transfer this information over on the RSPB website. This data helps build a picture of how garden birds are faring across the UK. This information is vital for conservation efforts. This is a completely free event that anyone in the UK can take part in. 

Where do we submit our findings?
It's really simple to gather the data and it provides a great opportunity for the children to come back and submit their information themselves on the website too! You submit your data to the RSPB here. Within your Bird Watch pack you will also have the change to send your findings back via post if you wish to. 

Before logging off play the fun quiz, answering questions about yourself to find out which Garden Bird you are

Big Garden Bird Watch 2020

By taking part in the Big Garden Bird Watch you become a Citizen Scientist! 

What is a Citizen Scientist?
It's when an individual comes together with lots of other members of the public to gather large volumes of data for research. How cool is that?

To make this event even more fun the RSPB will send you a free guide pack with a picture chart which makes it really easy and visual for the children to take part with little support. You can register online here for your guide pack.

Guidance of how to record your findings:

  1. Only count the birds that actually land in your chosen spot. Whether that's looking out of your garden or sitting in an open space and observing outside. 
  2. Don’t count any birds that are flying over.
  3. Only count the largest number of a species of bird that land at any one time. For example if you see a group of 6 starlings together then towards the end of the hour you see a group pf 4 starlings - write 6 as your final count. This will avoid counting the same birds over and over again. 
  4. Where female and male birds aren't shown as an option to record separately it's because they look similar so you count them together. They only show male and female for that species in the chart if they look different.

You are also invited to share information about other wildlife you see. RSPB are asking you to share over the last year and roughly how often you have had sightings of - badgers, foxes, frogs, grass snakes, muntjacs, great crested newts, grey squirrels, hedgehogs, moles, red squirrels, roe deer, slow worm, stag beetles, stoats and toads you have personally seen. 
I work with a large group children. Could I look at doing this event with them?
In addition to this event - on the 21st February RSPB also run a Big Schools Birdwatch.
Each year educators up and down the UK take part. They turn their classes into conservation scientists and they do their bit to track the birds they see within the grounds of their setting. 
You can register your interest in this event from as early as 24th September and until 2nd February 202. By registering your interest you can request that a school information pack is sent to you to aid you with your research. You can register for The Big Schools Birdwatch here.

From the menu you can select whether you teach early years, infants, juniors or seniors which means the packs will be tailored for the age of the children taking part. You can submit the results of your watch anytime between 6th January - 21st February. 

The great thing about taking part in this is that the RSPB will share the results of you survey so you can see how your class has contributed to the research.

Big Garden Bird Watch 2020 RSPB

While I am on the subject of RSPB I would love to share with you that we have been supporting this charity now for over 15 years! We have a membership with them and paying just £5 a month we help support the wildlife in our local areas and afar. 

We get sent magazines each quarter that are jam packed full of information about wildlife which my children love looking through! They are timeless too, so once they have been read we keep them and often return to them at later dates. 

Being a member also gives us unlimited entry to 170 nature reserves! The learning opportunities at the Nature Reserves are fantastic. So much to observe and learn! I love how they really consider the children and offer plenty of natural play opportunities from mud kitchens, wooden sculptures, story trails, bug hotels, musical instruments, climbing trails plus so much more. 

They run some fantastic events so be sure to check them out too! 

Big Garden Bird Watch 2020 RSPB

Something else we love doing is collecting the Nature pin badges. They're only £1 which makes a lovely treat at the end of an hour or more exploring and your money goes on to support a worthy cause. We have 43 of these now!

So what are you waiting for? Sign up for your Big Garden Bird Watch packs now to take part and become Citizen Scientists.
You can share your photos with us too if you wish. We love seeing what you get up too. You can get in touch with us across all social media platforms. The links for these are below. 

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