top of page
  • Writer's pictureLove Ballymena

RSPB’s Big Garden Birdwatch returns -let’s make it count!

The world’s largest garden wildlife survey returns, with hundreds of thousands of people watching and counting the UK’s garden birds over the last weekend in January for the RSPB’s Big Garden Birdwatch.  

This year marks the 44th Big Garden Birdwatch. From small beginnings in 1979, it has since become a much-loved annual event that helps give the RSPB a valuable snapshot of how our garden birds are doing in the UK. Over that time, 172 million birds have been counted and nearly 11 million hours spent watching garden birds.  

Over its four decades, Big Garden Birdwatch has highlighted the winners and losers in the garden bird world. It was first to alert the RSPB to the decline in song thrush numbers, which are down a shocking 81% compared to the first Big Garden Birdwatch in 1979! 

Taking place on 27, 28 and 29 January 2023, RSPB NI is asking people to spend an hour watching and recording the birds in their garden, balcony or local park. Only count the birds that land, not those flying over. Tell us the highest number of each bird species you see at any one time – not the total you see in the hour.

In 2022, top spot went to the plucky little house sparrow in Northern Ireland, with starlings coming in second. Blue tits came third, up one place from 2021.  

Claire Barnett, Area Manager, RSPB NI, said:

“The Big Garden Birdwatch is one of my favourite events of the year. It offers a real chance to understand the state of garden birds in Northern Ireland and provides a great excuse to get outside and enjoy the nature around us.

"With birds now facing so many challenges due to the nature and climate emergency, every count really does matter. Regardless of this being your 1st or your 44th birdwatch, we need you to act in protecting and preserving birds and wildlife.” 

Register online to take part from 13 December for your FREE Big Garden Birdwatch guide, which includes a bird identification chart, top tips for your birdwatch, RSPB shop voucher, plus advice on how to help you attract wildlife to your garden.

Text BIRD to 70030 or visit:


bottom of page