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Blackbirds top of the class again in RSPB's Big Schools' Birdwatch

Last modified: 07 April 2015

Male blackbird

Image: Andy Hay

More than 4,000 pupils and teachers across Wales counted the birds in their school grounds for one hour of one day in the first half of Spring Term (5 January – 13 February 2015).  The survey is part of RSPB’s annual Big Garden Birdwatch – the biggest garden wildlife survey in the world. This year over 28,000 people across Wales took part in this citizen science survey over one weekend at the end of January.  

81% of Wales’ schools that took part in the Big Schools’ Birdwatch survey reported seeing blackbirds making these the most spotted species in playgrounds. House sparrow moved from number two to three, while the blue tit was replaced this year by the carrion crow – the poor blue tit dropping five places to number eight.

Sarah Mitchell, RSPB Cymru Youth and Education officer, said: “It’s encouraging that so many children and teachers continue to take part in Big Schools’ Birdwatch. This fun, interactive and educational activity available to schools across Wales and the UK not only enthuses children about wildlife, but supports the curriculum and helps us to help give nature a home for future generations to enjoy.”   

Big Schools’ Birdwatch has been running for over a decade and helps to track numbers of birds in school grounds, providing an insight into how species are faring and inspiring children to give nature a home.  Participating schools received a certificate and a free wildlife poster once they completed the activity and sent in their results.

This survey is a part of the RSPB’s Giving Nature a Home campaign, aimed at tackling the housing crisis facing the UK’s threatened wildlife. The charity is asking people to provide a place for wildlife in their own gardens and outside spaces – whether it’s putting up a nest box for birds, creating a pond to support a number of different species or building a home for a hedgehog.

To find out how you can give nature a home where you live visit:


Follow all the latest RSPB Cymru news on Twitter via@RSPBCymru

How you can help

Find out what birds are visiting your school grounds by getting involved in our annual Big Schools' Birdwatch.