Northern Ireland news

Join the RSPB Big Garden Birdwatch to see if our 'garden birds are flying high'

The RSPB said the blue tit is among the birds that the public should be on the look out for this weekend. Picture by Ray Kennedy, RSPB images

PEOPLE are being urged to spend an hour in the outdoors this weekend to help gather an annual snapshot of birds in gardens.

The Royal Society for the Protection of Birds (RSPB) is calling on people to take part in their birdwatching survey to create a picture of how some favourite birds are faring.

More than 17,000 people across Northern Ireland participated in last year's Big Garden Birdwatch counting almost 130,000 birds, with starlings topping the list followed by house sparrows, chaffinches, blue tits and blackbirds.

The RSPB wants to see how these figures will change following a positive year for some birds such as greenfinches and long-tailed tits.

Joanne Sherwood from RSPB NI said: "At this time of the year your garden has the potential to be a vital source of food and shelter for the garden birds we all know and love, from the flock of starlings at the feeder to the robin perched on the fence.

"The Big Garden Birdwatch is all about enjoying the wildlife that comes to you and it’s really as simple as spending an hour looking out the window.

"At the end of your hour, send us your results to tell us what you saw.

"This helps us get a picture of bird numbers across Northern Ireland and the rest of the UK."

The survey results will allow the RSPB to monitor trends and understand which birds are struggling and are in need of help.

To take part in the RSPB Big Garden Birdwatch, simply spend an hour over the weekend watching birds in your garden, outdoor space or local park, record the sightings and submit the results to

Enjoy reading the Irish News?

Subscribe now to get full access

Northern Ireland news