Garden BirdWatch (GBW)
Garden BirdWatch monitors the changing fortunes of birds and other garden wildlife through its network of 'citizen scientists'. Observations collected by BTO Garden BirdWatchers are analysed by BTO researchers and published in leading journals. BTO Garden BirdWatchers have charted the decline of the House Sparrow, the rise of the Woodpigeon, have discovered that urban birds get up later than their rural counterparts and have alerted conservationists to the impact of an emerging disease in Greenfinches. Find out more about the project here
The Early Bird Survey
Thank you to everyone who took part in our Early Bird Survey last week. It's been a huge success with over 3,500 submissions from 149 different areas. Blackbird definitely wins the Early Bird title arriving, on average, about 11 minutes after daybreak, closely followed by Robin and Blue Tit. You can see the initial results here.
He who shall hurt the little Wren, shall never be beloved by men
You can probably identify a Wren quite easily but how much do you actually know about them? For instance, did you know that they were once the focus of a festive season hunt? Or that their population numbers often plummet during the winter? To find out more about this fascinating bird and how you can help them during the winter, read on.
Help monitor the health of garden wildlife
A new project to monitor the health of garden wildlife went live this summer. Called Garden Wildlife Health, the project allows you to submit observations of sick, dead and diseased wildlife and to (optionally) send carcasses to project vets for post mortem examination. You'll need to register with the project in order to access the online system (which you can do here). The project has also faciliated a small number of changes to our existing GBW Online system. Click here to find out what these changes are and what they mean to your weekly recording. Garden Wildlife Health is a joint project between the Institute of Zoology, BTO, Froglife and the RSPB. More information appears on the project website (www.gardenwildlifehealth.org).
Keep telling us about your unusual-looking garden birds
The BTO Abnormal Plumage Survey and Big Garden Beak Watch projects are still on-going. If you see a bird with unusual-coloured plumage or a deformed beak in your garden, please let us know so that we can keep a record of these individuals. We are particularly interested in knowing where these birds are seen, the kinds of abnormalities that they experience and whether their behaviour differs from 'normal' individuals.