THE hugely popular Garden Bird Survey (GBS), co-ordinated by Bird Watch Ireland, is about the start again for this coming winter and they are keen to get people involved.
The survey, which helps to keep track of the fortunes of Ireland's garden birds, attracts over 1,000 submissions each year and provides invaluable information from all counties of Ireland.
As the Irish countryside changes, gardens are becoming increasingly important havens for many species and it is vital to know how their populations are faring. The GBS does this not only by giving us a good idea of how our garden birds themselves are doing, but also by providing an indication of how the environment is faring in general.
Garden birds are among our most familiar and easily observed bird species. They are easily attracted to feeders and bird tables and can be watched from the comfort of our own homes.
The way the survey works is very straightforward: Between December and February each year, Bird Watch Ireland asks members of the public to keep note of the highest number of each bird species visiting their garden every week. They also ask for information on the size of the garden being surveyed, the kinds of food, if any, being offered to the birds, and so on.
Taking part is fun, easy and an ideal way to get to know your garden birds better; it also makes an ideal school project.
There are two ways for you to send on records. You can use their online version of the survey, which allows you to submit your records electronically via their online surveys section at www.birdwatchireland.ie. You register your details on the site, then follow the on-screen instructions. Alternatively, and as in previous years, you can download the current Garden Bird Survey form, print it, fill it out over the course of the winter and return it to Bird Watch Ireland by post or fax on or before April 1 of next year. A full set of instructions is included with the form.
The results of the GBS are published each year in the winter edition of 'Wings', Bird Watch Ireland's quarterly membership magazine. If you have a question about garden birds or about the survey, please contact them at Tel: 01-2819878 Fax: 01 2810997 or email: email@example.com