The Big Schools' Birdwatch is a great way for children to get outside and involved in nature, and it fulfills a useful tool in helping the RSBP record how birds are faring across the UK.

The birdwatch takes place during the first part of the Spring term up until 21 February. Since the launch, over a million school children have taken part, many creating havens for birdlife in their outdoor school spaces. The most commonly spotted bird in the 2021 Birdwatch was the woodpigeon, knocking the blackbird into second place with the house sparrow coming in at number three.

Rachael White, RSPB Big Schools’ Birdwatch Co-ordinator said: “For over 20 years, Big Schools’ Birdwatch has provided children an opportunity to contribute to a UK-wide citizen science project which can deliver valuable curriculum learning. The birdwatch is a great way to monitor the impact of nature friendly changes in school grounds too. Has the wildlife-friendly planting increased the numbers of birds you see? It’s easy for teachers to deliver and does not require lengthy planning and preparation time.”

You can find resources to help you identify and record birdlife in your playgrounds, gardens, parks and local countryside here, including counting sheets and pictures of the most common birds found in Britain this time of year. There's even a recipe for making your own birdcake!

Find out more about the Big Schools' Birdwatch at rspb.co.uk.

Here are our ten favourite bird-spotting books for fledgling ornithologists...with thanks to Angela Harding for this stunning feature image of blackbirds in the winter, taken from Birds.