How To Track And Document Wild Birds
Tracking what you see in your garden isn’t just a fun hobby, but also a valuable task that could help with conservation efforts.
With events such as the RSPB Big Garden Birdwatch, birders are encouraged to track wild birds and help with their research efforts. Recent results show both the good and the bad- from a rise in Greenfinches to a decline in Robins. Keeping a year-round record of the wild birds you see could help raise awareness of boosts and drops.
Go Old School
If you’re into journaling or crafting, you may enjoy listing your bird spots in a diary. Keeping a birding diary is simple. If you want to stick to the basics, simply note the date, time, species, and number of that species you see at any one time. However, if you want to get more creative, you can include elements such as weather, temperature, and location in the garden. This way, you’ll be able to spot patterns and routines that different breeds stick to.
Additionally, keeping notes on the specific birds may help you notice repeat visitors. Unique plumage and other elements such as injuries can help you keep track of your regulars and focus your findings on them. This is a rewarding activity that will help you feel at one with the wildlife you share your garden with.
If you want to track things even more quickly, download a tracking app! Apps such as BirdTrack will track your location via GPS, so all you have to do is make a note of what you see. Plus, it’s easier to track wild birds away from home, as you don’t need to worry about carrying a journal or notepad around.
If you’re less confident about identifying breeds, many apps require an external verification, which will guide you when inputting information. Additionally, some apps allow you to upload images and talk to like-minded birders, which is a great way to expand knowledge and find out what that elusive bird is in your garden!
Many of these apps assist ornithology experts in their conservation efforts. Providing tracking information will give us a wider understanding of our bird population.
Don’t Forget Other Wildlife
Many of these apps aren’t just centred around birds. If you can, also track other wildlife. Bats and hedgehogs are particularly important to take note of, as they aren’t as common as they once were. There are even plant-based tracking apps- including one dedicated to mushrooms!
Entice The Birds
If you want to see birds in your garden, the easiest way is to provide a reliable feeding station. Offering premium feed like Suet To Go, in clean and durable feeders, will get birds flocking to the garden. From there, all you have to do is track what you see!