Notes on nature


We're about more than just birds (though obviously we like them a lot).

Notes on nature

We love nature... from every little bug on a blade of grass to birds, butterflies, otters and oaks!
  • An hour for nature: make it one to remember

    When it comes to the Big Garden Birdwatch, the beauty of it is that it’s super simple. That’s the key – but there are still ways you can make the experience your own.

    • First of all, it doesn’t have to be a big GARDEN birdwatch! You can wrap up warm and go to your local park for an hour. Also, you don’t have to do it in your own garden. You could do it at a friend’s house, or a relative’s… just make sure they know you’re coming round!
    • Birdwatch snacks. Make your hour of watching birds even more fun with a special snack for the occasion. Cookies, flapjacks, what’s your favourite? If you’ve ordered your Big Garden Birdwatch pack, you’ll find a Birdwatch Bites recipe in there. Make sure you’ve got a flask of tea or coffee too.
    • Remember to get your garden ready for the birds too. Make sure your feeder is topped up. Check your fridge for leftover scraps you can put out (you’ll find lots of tips on our bird feeding advice page), and if it’s really cold, break the ice on your bird bath – birds aren’t great ice skaters.

    Share the experience

    Even though it might feel peaceful and quiet in your home, remember you’re doing it with half a million people. Make your Big Garden Birdwatch even more fun by finding out what other people are up to. Just use #BigGardenBirdwatch on social media and join in the conversation.

  • Simple steps: how to take part in Big Garden Birdwatch

    Joining in with the Big Garden Birdwatch isn’t just a really fun thing to do: it’s really easy too! Here are some simple steps you can take to really get the best out of it – for you, for us and for nature.

    House sparrow. Image by Ben Andrew (

    1. Decide on a good place to spend an hour watching your garden on 27, 28 or 29 January 2018.

      Is there one particular window that gives a good view? Get yourself nice and comfortable, and why not have a hot drink and a snack within reach too. Don’t forget somewhere that will allow you to make a note of what you spot during your hour’s watch! Check our website for a useful counting tool to help you keep track of what you see. If you don’t have a garden then don’t worry. Just head over to a local park or other favourite green space: you can join in there.

    2. Now comes the interesting bit!

      Sit back and spend an hour watching the birds that come and visit. We need to know the maximum number of each bird species that you see at any one time. In other words, if you see, say, a group of four starlings together, then later on you see a group of two and then maybe after that just another one, then the number of starlings that you would submit to us is four. We do it this way to reduce the likelihood of people just double-counting the same birds.

    3. Now we want to hear all about it.

      Visit the Big Garden Birdwatch website and tell us what you’ve seen.

    4. And… that’s it.

      We told you it was simple! We hope it will also be a fun experience, and we are very grateful to RSPB citizen scientists like you, who are helping us find out more about garden wildlife. It really does play a significant part in our mission, making sure that we do everything we can to give nature a home.

  • Ways to make your garden as bird-friendly as possible

    Most people know that an easy way to attract birds to your garden is to put out some food. But have you thought about other ways to make your outside space more bird-friendly?

    To create a true bird paradise, you have to play the long game. We’re talking about planning and planting trees, shrubs and plants that will harbour all sorts of wildlife. Some birds will be happy to munch on seeds, nuts and fat that you give them, but some only eat insects. And they all need places to nest, hide and forage.

    If you think it sounds complicated, it doesn’t have to be. Check out our ways to give nature a home in your garden – no matter how much space you have, there are things you can do. It’s the perfect time of year to plan a little project.

    Birds also need to drink regularly and most like to bathe every day, even when it’s cold outside. A bird bath is good, but a pond is even better and provides refreshment and homes for all sorts of creatures. It’s not as difficult as you think!

    While hedges, trees and shrubs provide ideal nesting places for lots of species, some have more specialist requirements. You can help birds that like to nest in holes by providing a nestbox. Buy one from our shop or find out how to build your own.