News and events

RSPB Big Garden Birdwatch 2021, what will you spot in your garden?

It’s the 42nd RSPB Big Garden Birdwatch this weekend so let’s grab some binoculars and get bird spotting! According to the RSPB, across the UK nearly 9 million hours have been spent watching garden birds since the Birdwatch began in 1979 and there have been more than 137 million birds counted! Want to join in the fun? Check out how to take part here.

So what birds might you see this weekend? Below are just some you may spot from your garden, window or balcony this weekend and if you would like to attract more birds into your garden, read on for some top feeding tips!

  • The European robin, known simply as the robin or robin redbreast in Ireland and Britain, is a small insectivorous passerine bird that belongs to the chat subfamily of the Old World flycatcher family.
  • The common blackbird is a species of true thrush. It is also called the Eurasian blackbird or simply the blackbird where this does not lead to confusion with a similar-looking local species. It breeds in Europe, Asiatic Russia, and North Africa, and has been introduced to Australia and New Zealand.
  • The common wood pigeon is a large species in the dove and pigeon family. It belongs to the genus Columba and, like all pigeons and doves, belongs to the family Columbidae.

 

  • The Chaffinch is a common and widespread small passerine bird in the finch family. The male is brightly coloured with a blue-grey cap and rust-red underparts. The female is much duller in colouring, but both sexes have two contrasting white wing bars and white sides to the tail.
  • The Eurasian blue tit is a small passerine bird in the tit family, Paridae. It is easily recognisable by its blue and yellow plumage and small size.
  • Starlings are small to medium-sized passerine birds in the family Sturnidae. The name “Sturnidae” comes from the Latin word for starling, sturnus. Many Asian species, particularly the larger ones, are called mynas, and many African species are known as glossy starlings because of their iridescent plumage.

 

Feeding garden birds

If you would like to help out our feathery friends and even attract more into your garden, you can follow these useful tips below!

What should you feed garden birds?

Have any leftovers? Cooked pasta or rice is good, along with boiled potatoes! You can also feed them cheese, uncooked and of course unsalted bacon rind. Apples, pears and soft fruits are popular too!

Net-free fat or suet balls attract a wide range of species and provide a great boost of calories and mealworms or waxworms are another popular dish!

 

They also like raisins, sultanas and unsalted peanuts. Ensure the unsalted peanuts are fresh and sold for human consumption or by a reputable feed shop. To protect chicks from being fed whole nuts and choking, provide peanuts in good quality mesh feeders.

You can find out more and see a wonderful colourful guide on taking care of garden birds on the Nation RSPCA website by clicking here.

 

Fresh water is essential

Keep water bowls full of clean water and make sure bowls and feeders are placed far away from bushes and other areas where predators might hide.

Many garden birds die each year through the transmission of diseases. It’s important to clean all feeders weekly – water containers daily – and dry them before refilling.

Simple tasks like rotating feeding and drinking areas will help reduce the transmission of disease.

Keep wildlife safe from pets

When feeding wild animals in your garden, help keep them safe from cats with top tips from the National RSPCA

Place feeders up high, well above the height which a cat can access and away from cat perches such as branches and walls.

Ensure bird tables are away from any cover that cats could use for stalking prey and instead in open areas and if mounted on top of a pole use material such as metal that cats cannot climb.

 

Avoid leaving food on the ground as this can leave small mammals and birds vulnerable to cats.

Bird boxes with features like steep roofs to stop cats sitting on top of them and waiting.

Provide refuges for small mammals such as log, stone and compost piles, or purpose built refuges like toad and hedgehog houses.

 

Have fun bird spotting and dont forget to share your findings with the RSPB.

We would also love for you to share your findings with us at wooof@rspcanorwich.org

Have a lovely weekend!

EmmaRSPB Big Garden Birdwatch 2021, what will you spot in your garden?