RSPB Big Garden Birdwatch 2023: How to get involved as survey says birds have positive impact on mental health

The RSPB Big Bird Watch 2023 is here - here’s how you can get involved as survey reveals our feathered friends prove beneficial to mental health

The Royal Society for the Protection of Birds (RSPB) Big Garden Birdwatch 2023 is here. The event encourages people to cast an eye on their garden and tally up how many feathered friends drop by.

The big Bird Watch is very simple and the RSPB makes the event easy for anyone to get involved with. They tell people to choose an hour between January 27 and 29 and count the birds you see in your garden, on your balcony, or in your local park. The RSPB then asks you to tell them what you saw. Even if you saw nothing, it still counts.

Last year, almost 700,000 people took part in Big Garden Birdwatch, all coming together to look out for birds. Shockingly, we’ve lost 38 million birds from UK skies in the last 50 years, so it’s vital we do all we can to look after our birdlife.

As a conservation charity the RSPB depends on public support to save nature and to look after places where wildlife can thrive. You can also make a difference by taking part in Big Garden Birdwatch this weekend.

Ahead of the weekend, the RSPB has provided information on how you can make your garden more inviting for birds. The information is provided on the charities website.

A spokesperson said: “With birds facing greater challenges due to the nature and climate emergency, every Birdwatch matters. Top up your bird table and fill the bird bath to the brim. Make sure to remove old food and clean your feeders weekly, as disease can be a serious issue for some of our species.

“Greenfinch numbers have massively dropped due to a disease that spreads around contaminated feeders and water bowls, and chaffinches are now struggling. Check the RSPB website for tips to keep you and your garden birds safe.”

And you won’t just be doing wildlife a favour either - you might find your own health on the up after spending some time observing our feathered friends. A YouGov poll commissioned by the RSPB found 91% said seeing birds and hearing birdsong had a positive impact on mental health and wellbeing.

Dr Amir Khan, the president of the RSPB, told The Guardian: “Working as a GP, I know just how important accessing green spaces is for our physical and mental wellbeing. Watching the blue tits and bullfinches enjoying the feeders in my garden is a constant source of comfort for me, and being on the frontline of the NHS I am very aware that comfort is something we all need now more than ever.”

The RSPB is asking people to take an hour over the weekend to bird spot.The RSPB is asking people to take an hour over the weekend to bird spot.
The RSPB is asking people to take an hour over the weekend to bird spot.

What if I don’t have a garden?

If you don’t have a garden to watch the birds, then have no fear. The RSPB has provided tips on this.

They said: “No garden? No problem! Even a small window feeder will attract more birds to your birdwatch. And the more of you that tell us will be helping us take action to protect our birds for generations to come.”