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
Garden butterfly boom
At the beginning of this summer, the fate of many of our butterfly species was uncertain. Thankfully, after a very slow start at the beginning of the summer, the weather improved and most of our garden butterflies responded spectacularly. Species like Peacock, Small Tortoiseshell and Meadow Brown all had dramatic increases but for others, like Holly Blue, the change in the weather came too late.
Garden BirdWatch Appeal - work has started
Thanks to the generosity of BTO Garden BirdWatchers we have raised in excess of £50,000 through the Garden BirdWatch Appeal, taking us beyond our target. The Appeal is being used to fund a young scientist to explore the wealth of information collected through Garden BirdWatch. The first piece of work has already been commissioned. Dr Kate Plummer is busy analysing your Blackcap observations to discover more about their wintering habits and to find our why Britain and Ireland have been such important wintering destinations for central European Blackcaps.
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.