The RSPB Big Garden Birdwatch: It’s back, and it’s going to be bigger than ever!

The RSPB’s annual Big Garden Birdwatch, the world’s biggest wildlife survey, returns on Saturday 24 and Sunday 25 January 2015, and more than half a million people are expected to take part throughout the UK.

RSPB - photo credit Ben Hall

All you need to do is spend an hour over the weekend, counting the birds that appear in your garden or local park at any one time. It’s that simple!

Last year, more than 30,000 people in Yorkshire took part, and this year we’re asking even more to get involved. The more people involved, the more we can learn. So, grab a cuppa and together we can all help to give nature a home.

Bird populations are a great indicator of the health of the countryside, which is why surveys like Big Garden Birdwatch are so important. Since 1979 we’ve been collating your results, meaning we’ve been able to monitor trends, understand how birds are doing and take steps to put things right.

In 2014, the top birds spotted in Yorkshire gardens echoed the national results, with house sparrows topping the list. Other commonly sighted birds included starlings, blackbirds, blue tits and woodpigeons.

RSPB - credit Rahul ThankiWhich birds you’ll see can vary depending on where you live, what food you use and where your food is placed. But by spending a little time preparing the ideal environment, you’re sure to give nature a home in your garden. You can find lots of fun activities to try on the birdwatch website.

There are also plenty of activities taking place on our nature reserves and at various partner sites and parks throughout the region, which you can join in with, including bird ID sessions, bird feeder making and guided walks.

Last year, for the first time, we also asked you to keep an out for other wildlife, to help build an overall picture of how important our gardens are for giving nature a home – and we had an overwhelming response. So we’re asking you to do it again! We’ll be sharing the results with a number of partners, such as Amphibian & Reptile Conservation (ARC) and The Mammal Society, to help them build their understanding about the threats facing garden wildlife.

For more information, or to take part, visit rspb.org.uk/birdwatch.

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