Do you watch birds in your garden?

Robin Cleean jiarg
Robin Cleean jiarg

Yes? Then, please join our Garden Birdwatch scheme.

Since 2000, the scheme has given hundreds of participants the pleasure of getting to know their garden birds better - and yielded valuable data about the island's garden birds. It's a great example of 'citizen science'.

How much time will it take?

You can dedicate as much or as little time as you want each week, as long as you keep it consistent across the year. You might choose to do 30 minutes every day, a morning every weekend or simply keep an eye open all week. It’s up to you. Of course, you may need to take a break for a week or more if you go away on holiday!

What should I record?

We would like you to record the maximum number of a given species seen at any one time during each week. You do not need to ‘add up’ the number you see in a day or week. For example, if you saw two Blackbirds together on a Monday, one on each of Tuesday and Wednesday, none on Thursday, three on Friday and one on each of Saturday and Sunday, then your count for the week would be simply the three from Friday.

When do I send you my records?

The survey is organised by quarter (i.e. four periods per year). Once you have recorded your observations for the last week in any quarter (i.e. the last column on the form), please return your form to Manx BirdLife so we can enter your records into our database.

Before the end of that quarter, we shall send you a new form so that you will be able to continue recording your garden birds for the next quarter without interruption.

Do birds flying over my garden count?

Please only record a species as present in your garden if it was using it in some way. You should ignore birds flying high over the garden. However, if you judge flying birds to be using the garden, for example a Sparrowhawk hunting through your garden, it should be included.

How much does it cost to participate?

Taking part in the garden birdwatch is completely free. If you wish to make a donation towards the costs of the scheme, we suggest a nominal annual donation of £5 to cover our costs of postage and printing.

How do I sign up?

To sign up, please email your details (full name and postal address) to:

'enquiries | at | manxbirdlife | dot | im'

and state 'Garden Birdwatch', or call us on 01624 861130.

We will send your first quarterly recording form, then automatically send each quarter's form out to you thereafter. You will also receive an occasional Garden Birdwatch report with an analysis of the latest island-wide data.

The data you provide will be recorded on our conservation database. Together with observations from many others, it will help us to piece together a detailed picture of the health of the island's garden bird species.

We look forward to your contribution to this long-running study. Thank you.

And a big thank you to our sponsor

Manx Ornithological Society

Since 2016, the Garden Birdwatch scheme has been kindly sponsored by the Manx Ornithological Society (MOS).