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

Coal Tit. Photograph by Jill Pakenham

Biggest-ever influx of one of our smallest garden birds

Coal Tits ­are seen in more gardens during the winter, and are generally recorded by at least 40% of Garden BirdWatchers in November, when they are driven to garden bird feeders by cold weather. This year is turning out to be exceptional, with Coal Tits seen in an unprecedented 70% of gardens in November! In some years they are seen in many more gardens, and research using GBW data has shown that their presence is affected by seasonal availability of tree seed crops in the wider countryside.

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.