Garden BirdWatch (GBW)

Garden BirdWatch monitors the changing fortunes of birds and other garden wildlife through its network of 'citizen scientists'. Observations collected by BTO Garden BirdWatchers are analysed by BTO researchers and published in leading journals. BTO Garden BirdWatchers have charted the decline of the House Sparrow, the rise of the Woodpigeon, have discovered that urban birds get up later than their rural counterparts and have alerted conservationists to the impact of an emerging disease in Greenfinches. Find out more about Garden BirdWatch.

Latest GBW News

Garden Bird Feeding Survey 2016-17

Garden Bird Feeding Survey results 2016-17

The results of the Garden Bird Feeding Survey (GBFS) 2016-17 are now available! Mild weather conditions meant a quiet winter on the feeders, until a cold snap in late January, early February saw more birds flocking into gardens, including high numbers of Goldcrest. In total 236,126 birds were seen using garden food sources, by the 241 garden birdwatchers taking part. Our unofficial national bird the Robin pipped the Blue Tits and Blackbirds to the post as the most recorded species, being seen in 100% of gardens.

Hummingbird hawk-moth, by Jill Pakenham

Hummingbird Hawk-moths galore in gardens

Hummingbird Hawk-moths have been seen in a record number of gardens so far this season, particularly in the south and east of England. They were seen in 2% of gardens in June compared to an average of 0.5%. This species does not normally over-winter here, and the population is replenished each year by new migrants. As such, numbers can vary considerably from year to year. It has been particularly warm this June in eastern parts of England – more than 2.5°C above average according to the Met Office – and warm air drawn up from the south may have helped to carry them to our shores. Find out more.

Blackbird. Photograph by Tommy Holden

Garden BirdWatch annual results 2016

The results are in and we can announce that Blackbirds were the most commonly seen bird in gardens during 2016, recorded in 90% of gardens on average throughout the year! The winter was a good one for thrushes, with Song Thrush, Mistle Thrush and Redwing all seen in good numbers. Unfortunately it wasn’t all good news in 2016 and we witnessed our lowest ever counts of Greenfinches and from October onwards counts dropped below one per garden on average for the first time. Explore the GBW annual results further