How does it work?
Simply choose 1 hour between 28th and 30th
January and count the birds that you see land in your garden, local park or from your balcony. Then tell the RSPB what you saw.
Download your guide here:RSPB Big Garden Birdwatch Guide
If you enjoy your hour of being a Twitcher, have you considered making it a hobby?
You can do a lot of things to attract birds into your garden, but like for most animals (and us), food is possibly the most persuasive tool to use!
What do birds eat?
There are lots of different types of bird foods available. Some birds prefer to eat off the ground, whilst others prefer to eat from feeders and tables.
Ground feeding birds like blackbirds would prefer a broad range of foods, from fatty nibbles to mealworms
Where as birds who prefer to eat from feeders suspended in the air typically prefer things like seeds, suet, and nuts.
Birds like chaffinches and greenfinches aren't as fussy and will take scattered food, or eat from feeders, but they tend to prefer Sunflower hearts.
You can't go wrong if you buy good quality bird feed that doesn't include ‘fillers’ such as dried peas and beans that birds rarely eat.
Plus you can always make use of your food waste and put out leftovers such as some bread, fruit cake, dried fruit, unsalted pastry, or fruit such as apples and pears. Just make sure it is actually edible, and not mouldy!
Best way to feed birds?
Unless you are just scattering food for the larger birds, The safest and most hygienic way to feed them is with a suspended bird feeder. Ideally somewhere quiet, safe from people and other animals, and sheltered from the weather.
You can put your bird feeder in all sorts of places, but aim for somewhere peaceful where the birds wont be disturbed, and they wont have to compete with other animals for the food.
Remember to clean!
It’s very important to keep bird feeders clean to stop a build-up of bacteria and viruses that can spread diseases and infections among garden birds.
Wear gloves and use warm soapy water and a long bristled brush to Scrub feeders inside and out. Make sure to Do this in a bucket, not in your kitchen sink!
If it is in need of a deep clean, Use a mild, non-toxic disinfectant, and Make sure the feeder is thoroughly dry before refilling it with food. Ideally you should Clean your feeders every week.
If you want to find out more, make sure to visit the RSPB Website!