The world’s largest garden wildlife survey returns this month, with hundreds of thousands of people watching and counting the UK’s garden birds over the last weekend in January for the RSPB’s Big Garden Birdwatch.

Nearly 700,000 people took part in 2022, counting 11 million birds. In Cornwall, nearly 10,500 people joined in. 

This year’s event takes place on January 27, 28 and 29.

People in Cornwall are asked to spend one hour watching and recording the birds in their garden, balcony or local park, then send their results to the RSPB.

This year marks the 44th Big Garden Birdwatch. Starting in 1979, it helps give the RSPB a snapshot of how our garden birds are doing in the UK.

Over that time, 172 million birds have been counted and nearly 11 million hours spent watching garden birds.

Last year, the house sparrow was top of Cornwall’s rankings as the most commonly seen garden bird. The starling and blue tit completed the top three.

To take part in the Big Garden Birdwatch 2023, watch the birds on your balcony, in your garden or in your local green space for one hour at some point over the three days. Only count the birds that land, not those flying over. Record the highest number of each bird species you see at any one time – not the total you see in the hour.

The parallel event, RSPB Big Schools’ Birdwatch, takes place during the first half of spring term, January 6 to February 20. In 2021, it celebrated its 20th anniversary of connecting children with nature in their school grounds. Since its launch, over a million school children and teachers have taken part. Further information can be found at

For a free Big Garden Birdwatch guide, which includes a bird identification chart, text BIRD to 70030 or visit