THE PEOPLE of Fermanagh are being encouraged to take part in the RSPB’s Big Garden Birdwatch again this year, which is happening this weekend.
Last year the annual survey – which takes place across the whole of the UK each January and is an important barometer of the health of our bird population, and our environment as a whole – showed the chaffinch is the most commonly sighted bird in Fermanagh.
The chaffinch has held this impressive accolade in the county for the past number of years, according to the survey, with Fermanagh regularly bucking the trend in the rest of the North, where the humble house sparrow has taken the top spot in recent years. The house sparrow was also the most commonly sighted bird across the UK.
This will be the 44th year the Bird Garden Birdwatch has taken place, and over the last four decades it has grown to become the largest wildlife survey in the world. In 2022, 14,000 people across the North took part, spotting in the region of 205,000 birds. Almost 700,000 people took part across the UK.
The survey will be taking place this year on January 27th, 28th and 29th. The RSPB NI is asking local residents to spend one hour watching and recording the birds outside their home. You don’t even need a garden, you can count the birds on your balcony, patio or even at your local park.
Only count birds that land, not those flying over head, then report the highest number of each bird you see at one time – not the total you see in an hour.
Area manager for the RSPB, Claire Barnett, said the Big Garden Birdwatch was one of her favourite events of the year.
“It offers a real chance to understand the state of garden birds in Northern Ireland and provides a great excuse to get outside and enjoy the nature around us,” she said.
“With birds now facing so many challenges due to the nature and climate emergency, every count really does matter. Regardless of this being your first or your 44th Big Birdwatch, we need you to act in protecting and preserving birds and wildlife.”
You can find out more details on how to register, and how to take part, at: www.rspb.org.uk/birdwatch or by texting BIRD to 70030.
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