Take part in Citizen Science to engage with the natural world and make a difference
Photo credit: Edmund Fellowes / BTO
Biodiversity is in crisis and we need to know what is happening to species and find out why. Only by doing this can we devise solutions and then test the effectiveness of these through ongoing monitoring. Most of the biodiversity monitoring in the UK is carried out by volunteers, working in partnership with a far smaller number of scientists. Anyone can be a ‘citizen scientist’ and help to collect this much-needed evidence.
So how can you get involved and help? Well there are multiple ways you can participate through citizen science. Read on to find out how you can record the birds in your garden, follow the nesting attempts made by breeding birds, or take part in surveys across the wider countryside. You too can make a difference for the UK’s birds.
Find out how you can use your interest in birds and the natural world to help deliver the evidence that supports conservation action and policy decisions.
BTO Garden BirdWatch
Stay connected to nature, learn about your garden wildlife and contribute to important scientific research without leaving your home. Garden BirdWatch is designed to find out how, when and why birds and other animals use our gardens. Participants send in weekly lists of garden birds and other wildlife, which are analysed by scientists working under the BTO’s urban and garden ecology research programmes, to investigate the links between changes in wildlife populations and factors such as garden management, food, weather and urban structure.
Participation is free, with records submitted through a simple online system, and over time you will not only contribute to our understanding but also build up your own online diary of garden wildlife observations.
Photo credit: Paul StancliffeFind out more
Do you think you might have birds nesting in your garden? Could you take a closer look and find out? By monitoring nests through the breeding season you could gather hugely valuable information. It starts with watching the behaviour of birds in your garden and local area; have you seen a Robin carrying moss, a Blackbird with worms or Blue Tits investigating a nest box? Next you need to locate the nest. Whether it’s a Blue Tits in a box, Blackbird in a shrub or House Martins under the eaves, all you need to do is check the nest at regular intervals and then record what you see online. By following the code of conduct it is possible to enjoy a privileged and intimate insight into the lives of birds without impacting the nesting attempt.
The information collected through Nesting Neighbours helps BTO scientists to build up a detailed picture of bird breeding success and what may be affecting it, so participation in Nesting Neighbours is both enjoyable and very rewarding.
Photo credit: David TiplingFind out more
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