Counting birds in the garden for a good cause, as well as for fun

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Jersey’s annual Great Garden Birdwatch returns this weekend for the 22nd year. It is hoped that as many people as possible will help to build up a picture of the health of the Island’s bird population. By Action for Wildlife Jersey and Birds On The Edge

It is Great Garden Birdwatch time again when we get to count the birds in our garden for a good cause and not just because it’s fun.

By way of a recap, last year 265 households counted their birds and sent in the results. That’s pretty good and it gives us lots of birding records to look at and analyse. Across the gardens, there were lots of different species reported, some probably seen in just one or two gardens.

Those birds are fun and interesting, but they might not be able to tell us much about how our birds are doing and population trends. In order to do that, since the project started, we’ve concentrated on a group of 16 species.

These 16 (known as THE 16) have decent populations but they are also pretty well-known and their identification is, hopefully, straightforward. This group includes our best-known garden birds such as robin, blackbird, blue tit and great tit, chaffinch, house sparrow, wood pigeon and collared dove.

Please help Action for Wildlife Jersey by taking one hour on Saturday 4 or Sunday 5 February to count the highest number of each species seen in your garden and complete the form provided.

Note the highest number of each species of bird that you see together at one time during that period – not the total number which enter the garden over the course of the watch.

Try to get up early as the best time to see the most birds is early in the morning when they are really hungry.

Put out a varied spread for the birds including sunflower seeds, peanuts, sliced apples and brown bread.

If you have a cat, please keep it indoors, if possible, while you do the count so that birds can feed undisturbed.

Use the JEP guide below to help you identify common garden birds.

Once you’ve counted the birds on your chosen day fill out this form which will automatically return the results to the survey coordinator.

Please return the results form by 24 February.

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