Monday, July 15, 2024

Montauban. Count the birds in your garden to help science

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Maria Gill
Maria Gill
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Next weekend, the National Museum of Natural History releases its annual winter count of garden birds. Everyone can participate and send 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 Bird Conservation League have invited young and old to come to the park to count the birds there and help scientists protect them better.

At Tarn-et-Garonne, Jill Pichard, an ornithologist from the Natural Science Society of Tarn-et-Garonne (SSNTG), was responsible for this national initiative. “If you have a private garden, that is ideal! But not all of us are so lucky, so know that it is entirely possible to count in a public garden, at your workplace or even on your balcony,” he explains. This census is intended as a way to raise The level of awareness and provision of information about the evolution of common bird species.Thanks to the information feedback that is made several times each year, this makes it possible to “map and identify trends”.

With or without binoculars, Saturday 29 and Sunday 30 January 2022, you can watch the birds in your garden for an hour and observe everyone who has 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: some 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.oiseauxdesjardins.frJill Bechard explains. In a fun, educational and family-friendly way, this issue is very easy to participate in. A great way to enjoy learning about the different species that evolve in our environment.”

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This type of count can be multiplied as many times as desired during the year over shorter observational periods. Hence it is easy to observe the birds for 10 minutes each week at the same time as the birds congregate around a feeder installed in the garden. The results obtained in a very simple way are reported on the “Bird Garden” website.

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

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