Berry Depletion Survey
We wanted to find out how the availability of berries on different shrubs changes over the course of the winter. This part of the survey used regular counts of the berries on a shrub, or part of a shrub, to find out how quickly they disappear over the winter.
What do I need to do?
Participants selected one of the shrubs in their garden and decided whether they were going to keep track of all of the berries on the shrub or just those on part of the shrub (for example on one particular branch). The number of berries present were counted, grouped according to whether they are unripe, ripe or damaged. The process was repeated periodically (ideally weekly) throughout the winter.
If participants had different species/varieties of berry-bearing shrubs in their gardens then they were encouraged to submit additional records; having information from the same weeks at the same site for different plant species provides valuable information. Records could also be kept for different branches on the same bush, since berry depletion rates may vary with where on the plant the berries are carried (e.g. berries on the top of a shrub may be taken preferentially by birds). This form has space for records from three different plants or three different areas on one plant.
What we can learn from 25 years of watching gardens
Exploring the value of a complete quarter-century of weekly garden bird observations from BTO's Garden BirdWatch covering the length and breadth of the country.