Another year gone and once again its time to count the birds in our gardens during the Action for Wildlife, Birds On The Edge and Jersey Evening Post Great Garden Birdwatch. Few things show us more how the environment around us, our own living-space, is faring than looking at the birds that have chosen to live alongside us. If all is well there it shows that our environment is healthy while, conversely, obvious declines in bird numbers suggest that all is not well at home.
Analysis of sightings from the previous 15 years of this survey makes it very obvious that not all our favourite garden birds are faring so well and that populations are changing dramatically. But, how exactly do we know. Well, through as many people as possible counting them. And not just birdwatchers but everyone who likes birds because, let’s face it, everyone does like birds. And they are often easy to count because they can be pretty obvious especially when they come into our gardens to the food we put out for them. Data shown by the survey are very important in highlighting what is happening in our wider environment and, while not covering the whole countryside, results do bring home to everyone wider concerns. Just think, if the birds are doing badly in our gardens where we feed and protect them, what is happening out there in the rest of the world.
So, please, over this weekend follow the guidelines printed below or in today’s JEP and tell us what birds you see. We can add up all the counts (we have 15 years’ worth already) and easily pick up changes that are happening right in front of us. Will there be even fewer greenfinches than last year and will wood pigeons have finally taken over our bird tables? We call this ‘citizen science’ so consider yourself all citizen scientists!
And don’t forget. For this survey, squirrels can consider themselves birds so please count them too if you see any.
How to enter the survey
Counters should note the highest number of each species of bird that are seen together at one time during that period – not the total number which enter your garden over the period of the watch.
Survey forms and a handy identification guide will be published in the JEP on Thursday the 2nd and all data received will be passed on to La Société Jersiaise to add to their records and included in Birds On The Edge bird monitoring analyses.
Completed forms can be posted in or delivered to the JEP. You can also send in your records online through this website here from the weekend.
Download the record form here