This year, Big Garden Birdwatch celebrates 40 years of a citizen science survey that gathers invaluable information for wildlife conservation
Big Garden Birdwatch
40 years of the
What will I see?
Siskins are small, attractive finches with distinctive forked tails, yellow streaked plumage, and (on the male) a black cap. They are winter visitors, and their numbers are higher in years when conditions here are more favourable than on the continent – for example during a mild winter – or when lots of their favourite foods are available. They particularly enjoy nyjer seeds.
Waxwings Although these aren't seen in gardens that frequently, there's a chance they might be spotted if conditions are harsh in their native Scandinavia. Waxwings are instantly recognisable – about the size of a starling and with a pale, pointed crest on top of their heads. Their wings are streaked with distinctive waxy red and yellow markings, which give the birds their name. Waxwings love berries – especially rowan berries – so keep a look out if you have berry-laden trees or shrubs in your garden, and the weather is very cold.
Birds and beyond
Little Green Space January 2019