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Why not take part in the great big bird report?

PUBLISHED: 14:47 23 January 2008 | UPDATED: 11:28 01 July 2010

A BIRD survey to discover who is top of the pecking order in British gardens is taking place this weekend. The RSPB s Big Garden Birdwatch aims to find out which birds are the most common visitors to Bromley s gardens in winter. Taking place this Saturd

A BIRD survey to discover who is top of the pecking order in British gardens is taking place this weekend.

The RSPB's Big Garden Birdwatch aims to find out which birds are the most common visitors to Bromley's gardens in winter.

Taking place this Saturday and Sunday the survey keeps an eye on how other species are faring.

Tim Webb, of the RSPB said: "The survey is fun, easy and only takes an hour to complete. It's a great way for people to contribute to a significant piece of wildlife research without even having to leave the comfort of their homes."

To take part residents should spend one hour counting birds in their garden or park and record the highest number of each bird species seen at any time.

The morning is the best time to look, when the birds are active, feeding after a cold winter night.

Nationally the house sparrow claimed the top position for the most birds seen in gardens last year but the species has shown a rapid decrease since 1979.

The starling has seen its numbers plummet from 15 per garden to an average of 3.7, a decline of 76 per cent. A lack of insects for birds to eat, and other factors such as a shortage of nest sites, have combined to reduce garden bird numbers.

Free wildlife gardening information is available from the RSPB website: www.rspb.org.uk/hfw.

For further information and online resources on the birdwatch, visit the RSPB website www.rspb.org.uk/birdwatch.

An online survey form will be available from the weekend of Big Garden Birdwatch until February 18. Alternatively, Big Garden Birdwatch forms can be obtained by phoning 0870 600 7108 (calls charged at national rate). The hotline number is operational until January 23, 2008.

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