Back in 1979, the RSPB joined forces with BBC’s Blue Peter and called on children to let the RSPB know what birds they saw in their garden. Hundreds responded, and in those pre-digital days, posted in their findings and 34 mail bags full of post arrived at the RSPB offices.
The 'one-off' activity proved so successful that it grew into the regular event it is today.
The popularity of the Birdwatch has grown year-on-year and now over 40 years later it is the world’s largest wildlife survey, with around half a million people regularly taking part. It is one of the largest citizen science projects.
Nearly 9 million hours have been spent watching garden birds since the Big Garden Birdwatch began in 1979.
The total number of birds counted as part of the Big Garden Birdwatch since 1979, is around 137 million.
There is an impressive amount of data, and the great thing about 40 years of the Big Garden Birdwatch is that we now have four decades of comparative results. Nearly 9 million hours have been spent watching garden birds since 1979 and the total number of birds counted as part of the Big Garden Birdwatch, is around 137 million. The findings provide an important insight into how our wildlife is faring.
The Big Garden Birdwatch indicated the decline in song thrush numbers. This species was a firm fixture in the top 10 in 1979, but by 2019 numbers of song thrushes seen in gardens had declined by 76%, coming in at number 20.
Many of us home schoolers will be taking part this week. I will be recording all the birds visiting my bird food station and looking out for my friendly robin.
Don't forget to record your time and what you have done in your diary, take photographs as you prepare your area for your evidence diary and you can record this as Garden Club. For those of you taking part- you can add the time as science to the diary.