Big Farmland Bird Count

Big Farmland Bird Count celebrating 10 years logo
Sophie Law

From 3rd to 19th February, the Game and Wildlife Conservation Trust are asking landowners and Gamekeepers to count and record all species of birds seen on their ground.  This is a census to determine how well conservation schemes such as supplementary feeding or growing wild bird seed are doing, and which species are benefiting from them.

Sponsored by the National Farmers Unition, alongside NFU Scotland, Perdix and Farming and Wildlife Advisory Group.  President Minette Batters, of NFU, says she “would encourage all farmers to take part so we can again pull together a vital national snapshot of the state of the nation’s farmland birds.”

Many have taken part in this census on a yearly basis including Teyl de Bordes from Selkirk in the Scottish Borders.

“We will be taking part in the Big Farmland Bird Count once again. We have done so since year one. We find it helps us gather data on the effect of over 20 years winter feeding of small farmland birds like the large mixed finch flocks. We have never had two counts with almost the same range of species seen. This shows the effect of the weather at the time. We tend to have more birds during snow events. We normally invite a different person to do the count each year. This helps us involve local birders in the work we do. The more farms take part the more valuable the data is.”

All that is asked is for you to sit for 30 minutes between 3rd and 19th February, in one part of your farm and count the birds you see in those 30 minutes.  The information is then uploaded on their website and that is it.  

If you take part in this free census, you will be entered into a prize draw to win a Moultrie Trail Camera, one of two Perdix Bird Nesting Boxes or one of three Perdix Farmland Feeders.

If you’re a landowner or keeper, you can register for the census, learn more about specific species, download information sheets and much more on their website.