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Big Garden Birdwatch is fun, free, really easy, and only takes an hour. You can do your birdwatch wherever you like – at home, in your local park, or do it as part of a group at an RSPB event near you.

When, what, where

All you need is a pen, some scrap paper (or, a printout of this handy Big Garden Birdwatch 2012 counting sheet), and an hour to spend watching the birds in your garden, or local park, on either Saturday 28, or Sunday 29 January 2012.

Simply make a note of the highest number of each bird species seen on the ground (not flying over) at any one time, and return to the Big Garden Birdwatch page to submit your info.

Check out this video for some of the more unusual places that people did their 2011 birdwatch:

Where do you do Big Garden Birdwatch? from The RSPB on Vimeo.

How this information helps

For over 30 years, the RSPB have been asking the public to count the birds in their garden and each year more people get involved.

With results from so many gardens, the RSPB are able to create a ‘snapshot’ of bird numbers in each region – and they can see that some of our birds are disappearing in scary numbers.

We’ve lost more than half our house sparrows and some three-quarters of our starlings.

These surveys not only help highlight problems but are the first step in putting things right.