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The world’s biggest wildlife survey needs you

Published: Wed, 14 Jan 2015
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Don’t worry if you don’t know the difference between a sparrow and a starling, the RSPB still wants you to take part in the world’s biggest wildlife survey
Our Environmental Policy Unit is currently working with the RSPB in developing a 5-year Urban Biodiversity project alongside our Belfast Grounds Maintenance.
Help give nature a home by taking part.
For the past 36 years the nature charity has been asking people to count the birds which visit their garden to help create a 'snapshot' picture of bird numbers in the UK.
That’s why the charity is just as pleased to hear from you whether you've seen several exotic species, just a few of the most common birds, or even no birds at all!
Of the 127,700 birds counted in Northern Ireland during last year’s Birdwatch, house sparrows were the most commonly seen. Despite the wet and windy conditions during the two-day Birdwatch, these cheeky little birds were spotted in 66 per cent of gardens.
More unusual sightings which have been reported to RSPB Northern Ireland during previous Birdwatch surveys include red kite, great spotted woodpecker and even a peregrine falcon!
If you’d like to get involved this year it couldn’t be easier - you can even go to your local park if you don't have a garden. Just spend one hour counting the birds you see at any time during the 24th or 25th January 2015.
When the Birdwatch kicks off you'll be able to use the online bird counting tool to identify and record the birds as you see them directly on your laptop, tablet or smartphone. You can also take part with pen and paper and then enter your results on your computer or by filling in a paper survey form and posting it to the charity .Participants are also asked to log some of the other wildlife they see in their gardens – from squirrels to hedgehogs - to help build an overall picture of how important our green spaces are for giving all types of animals a home. You can register to take part in Big Garden Birdwatch 2015 now at the RSPB website
Top 10 species seen in NI gardens during Big Garden Birdwatch 2014:
  • House sparrow, Starling, Chaffinch, Goldfinch, Blue tit, Blackbird, Great tit, Collared dove, Robin and Coal tit