Our friends at the RSPB are also on a mission. From the 28-30th January they are inspiring families to take part in the Big Garden Birdwatch 2017, by simply counting the amount of birds that fly into their gardens! They've shared their top tips for brilliant bird watching...
"This is citizen science on a huge scale. From humble beginnings in 1979, the Birdwatch has grown to involve more than half a million participants every January.
So what does it involve?
Picture the scene: it’s a crisp, cold January weekend, you’re tired from a busy festive season. All you want to do is sit down, relax and maybe stare out of the window while the kids are occupied. Perfect, that’s all we want from you. Image credit Ben Hall - rspb-images.com
Simply count the birds that land in your garden for one hour using our handy website counter (it gets switched on for the weekend itself) or a trusty pen and paper. Then tell us what you see. By counting the birds where you are, you’re helping our scientists paint a picture of our wildlife with data from every corner of the UK. For the fourth year running we’re also asking about other wildlife such as slow worms, stoats and stag beetles. We then share this information with partner organisations. We know that sitting still for an hour is a struggle for most kids so we’ve also got some other activities
to keep them occupied if the number of feathered visitors dies down at any point.
- Prepare – get some food and water out for the birds at least three weeks before the weekend. Most garden birds are cautious and will take a while to discover a new food source.
- Get a good view – make sure the feeding spot you choose is in good view of a window so you don’t have to guess what’s there when they land out of sight.
- Get refreshments – have a drink and a snack of your choice ready, you don’t want to jump up and scare the birds away mid-watch!
- Binoculars – they’re not essential but they really help with the counting, not to mention they help you appreciate how beautiful our birds really are.
Sign up for your free pack right now at rspb.org.uk/birdwatch
and get counting! Good luck!"