Montauban. Count the birds in your garden to help science

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Next weekend, the National Museum of Natural History publishes its annual winter count of garden birds. Anyone can participate and submit their results.

Why not play with the counter… the birds in your garden? Since 2013, twice a year (January and May), the National Museum of Natural History and the League for the Conservation of Birds have invited young and old to come to the park to count the birds there and help scientists to better protect them.

In Tarn-et-Garonne, it is Jill Pichard, ornithologist from the Society of Natural Sciences of Tarn-et-Garonne (SSNTG), who is at the origin of this national initiative. “If you have a private garden, this is ideal! But not all of us are so lucky, so know that it is quite possible to count in a public garden, at your workplace or even on your balcony,” he explains. This census is intended as a means of raising the level of awareness and information on the evolution of common bird species. Thanks to the feedback of information which is made several times a year, this makes it possible to “map and identify trends”.

With or without binoculars, on Saturday January 29 and Sunday January 30, 2022, you can observe the birds in your garden for an hour and observe all those who have landed there.

Fun and educational work

In order not to count the same bird twice, it is advisable to proceed as follows: keep only the maximum number of birds of the same species observed at the same time. For example, if you see 4 birds, then 2, then 3, keep only 4 birds, not 9 (4 + 2 + 3). According to the protocol, it is necessary to note the species seen in the garden, but there are exceptions: certain insects (swallows, swifts) and birds of prey (hawks, hermits) can be observed hunting above the garden. You can download a tracking sheet from the website www.oiseaudesjardins.frexplains Jill Béchard. In a playful, educational and family way, this number is very easy to participate. A great way to enjoy discovering the different species that evolve in our environment.

This type of count can be multiplied as many times as desired during the year over shorter observation periods. This makes it easy to birdwatch for 10 minutes each week as the birds gather around a feeder set up in the garden. The results obtained in a very simple way are reported on the “Bird Garden” site.

During the last counting campaign in January 2021, in the Tarn et Garonne, it was the house sparrow that came first ahead of the dove and the sparrow. Only 39 participants’ results were reported, placing the department among the worst students in France. It’s up to you to better help the scientists.

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