Bird image for RSPB Big Garden Birdwatch

Council urges residents to “Watch the birdie” this weekend

17th January 2020

Fermanagh and Omagh District Council is participating in the Royal Society for the Protection of Birds (RSPB) Big Garden Birdwatch, the world’s largest wildlife survey, which is taking place from Saturday 25th January – Monday 27th January 2020.  

Last year almost half a million people across the UK, including more than 22,000 in Northern Ireland, took part in the Big Garden Birdwatch.  Of the 127,700 birds counted here, house sparrows were the most commonly accounted for.  Fermanagh and Omagh District Council supports all citizen science projects like this and will also be taking part, counting birds in our local parks and gardens and submitting the information online. 

The Big Garden Birdwatch allows RSPB to view trends and helps them monitor the bird population.   As the format of the survey hasn’t changed, the scientific data can be compared year-on-year, making the results very valuable to scientists. The importance of the survey was underlined when the RSPB was alerted to the decline in the number of song thrushes in gardens. Over the last 40 years, the number of song thrushes seen in gardens had declined by 76%.

Speaking about the survey, Chair of Fermanagh and Omagh District Council, Councillor Siobhán Currie said, “ Fermanagh and Omagh District Council is committed to preserving the rich ecology and biodiversity of the district. Initiatives such as the Big Garden Birdwatch are a very important tool in supporting the work of organisations such as the RSPB. By participating in the survey, you can help not only identify issues with regard to numbers of the various species of garden birds, but more importantly, initiate the first steps in to help rectify those issues. The RSBP need your help and it is, therefore, vital that we all take part in this survey.”

For more information about Big Garden Birdwatch 2020, how to take part and request your garden bird ID chart, visit www.rspb.org.uk/birdwatch.

Teachers and pupils are also urged to take part in Big Schools’ Birdwatch. You can submit your results any time between 6th January and 21st February 2020. Further information can be found at https://www.rspb.org.uk/fun-and-learning/for-teachers/schools-birdwatch/

For further information about biodiversity in your area and how you can help, please contact your local biodiversity officer at Fermanagh and Omagh District Council on 0300 3031777 or at biodiversity@fermanaghomagh.com