BTO Garden BirdWatch is coordinated from the BTO headquarters at Thetford in Norfolk by a small team of staff, regional GBW Ambassadors and, at busy times of year, by volunteers. The Garden BirdWatch team deals with all the different aspects of the project, from the many jobs that make up the day-to-day running, through to other tasks like data analysis, promotion and development of new components.
Having a small team dedicated to a single project makes the whole process of managing the scheme that much easier. Of course, the most important part of Garden BirdWatch is the Garden BirdWatchers sending in information on the birds using their gardens.
Our job, here at the BTO headquarters, is to provide the material that participants need to submit their observations, to analyse and interpret the results, and to provide feedback and answer queries. This is achieved through regular correspondence, the production of a quarterly magazine and the pages on the project website.
The term 'Citizen Science' has been widely applied in North America to describe this type of project, and we feel that Garden BirdWatch is a fantastic example of how people with a general interest in wild birds can work with scientists to collect important information about the changing fortunes of our garden birds.
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