Watch the birdie

We hear lots of talk about global warming, carbon footprints etc etc but did you know that the birds in your very own garden or local park can act as a really good monitor of environmental change?

For over 30 years now the RSPB have been asking people to literally count the birds in their garden. The information collected has revealed some sad results, like the fact that we've lost more than half our house sparrows, and three-quarters of our starlings. 

So why not get outside this weekend for the Big Garden Birdwatch.  All you need is a pen and a piece of paper and one hour of your time spent either in your garden or in a local green space on either Saturday 29 or Sunday 30 January 2011. 

Then you watch the birds and write down the highest number of each bird species that you see.  Dont worry you won't get your wagtails mixed up with your Jackdaws because there is a very handy bird ID sheet on the RSPB website.

You can also ask questions, and share your tips for a brilliant birdwatch on their Big Garden Birdwatch online community group.

If you are a teacher or youth leader you could get the whole class to take part in the Big Schools' Birdwatch which runs between 24 January to 4 February 2011.

Go on register now and get the whole family outside.