SCHOOLS across Bromsgrove, Rubery and South Birmingham are being urged to take part in the RSPB’s Big Schools’ Birdwatch which got under way today (Monday).
The survey – which is the world’s biggest schools wildlife poll and is now in its 15th year, helps track numbers of birds in school grounds, giving the charity an insight into species doing well or not so well and providing schoolchildren with a great learning experience.
It is open to schoolchildren of all ages and their teachers who monitor the school grounds for a designated hour.
It also helps them learn about the birds’ behaviour.
A record breaking 90,000 pupils and teachers took part in the survey last year.
The results of the school event contribute to the charity’s Big Garden Birdwatch and help the RSPB build an overall picture of birds and monitor any changes in the population.
More than 70 different species of bird have been recorded in school grounds, ranging from starlings and house sparrows, to kestrels and even little egrets. Last year, the blackbird topped the list for the seventh year running – they were spotted in 89 per cent of schools which took part.
An average of seven birds were seen per school.
Starlings came second and, for the first time ever, sparrows made the top three. House sparrows were spotted at more than half of all schools.
James Harding-Morris, RSPB Big Schools’ Birdwatch co-ordinator said: “This fun and educational activity is suitable for all ages and abilities and, best of all, it takes just one lesson or lunchtime.
“Research has shown that children are increasingly disconnected from nature, which is linked to poorer physical and mental health, so this event is a great way to get young people excited about the world around them. It also provides us with valuable information on how some of our familiar birds are doing.”
Schools wanting to undertake a birdwatch can do one between now and February 12.
Visit rspb.org.uk/schoolswatch for more on the Big Schools’ Birdwatch.