Just for Fun: Grab Your Binoculars Because The Big Garden Birdwatch Starts Today
The RSPB’s Big Garden Birdwatch starts today! We’re celebrating with some fascinating facts about the feathered friends you might spot in your garden. Plus, we take a look about how Stikins can help your little ones spot their school kit!
Celebrating the Bird Garden Birdwatch
The Big Garden Birdwatch helps to monitor the UK’s bird population. Each year the public helps to create a snapshot of our birdlife, which identifies species that are thriving as well as those that need help. This year’s Birdwatch runs from 28th-30th January. All you have to do is count the birds you see in the space of an hour, from your home or in your local park. Last year over a million people took part and counted more than 17 million birds. The top ten birds were:
- House Sparrow
Topping the report for an 18th consecutive year, house sparrows are an extremely adaptable species and maintain close proximity to humans to exploit our waste. They've been found in factories, warehouses, and zoos - along with the 80th floor of the Empire State Building and 2000ft underground in an English coalmine.
- Blue Tit
These colourful acrobats line their nests with aromatic plants such as lavender, mint, and curry leaves. Norwegian scientists have suggested this may be to create a safer environment for their chicks as these plants kill bacteria.
Best known for murmurations of up to 100,000 birds where they swoop and dive in unison before roosting for the night. They mimic sounds from their surroundings, including other birdcalls, car alarms, and human speech patterns.
You can hear the familiar song of the blackbird from the end of January until the middle of July. Blackbirds are especially fond of singing after it rains.
You might recognise woodpigeons by their familiar cooing call or the clatter of wings as they take off. They have a distinctive waddle when they walk; this is down to their feathers, which weigh more than their entire skeleton.
With a melancholy autumn song and a cheerful spring song, robins are one of few birds to sing (almost) all year round - from dawn until late at night. They will burst into song in complete darkness if disturbed and sing at night in the presence of street lights and flood lights.
- Great Tit
A woodland bird that has happily adapted to man-made habitats. Great tits are extremely vocal birds (especially around bird feeders) and have up to forty different songs and sounds.
In the 19th century, thousands of goldfinches were sold every year. They have a colourful appearance and pleasant song, which made them popular as caged song birds. One of the RSPB’s earliest campaigns was against the trade in goldfinches.
Thought to be amongst the most intelligent animals in the world. Magpies can use tools, store food across seasons, create appropriate food portions for their young, imitate human voices, perform counting tasks for food, and can recognise and remember individual human faces.
- Long-tailed Tit
With a tail bigger than their body and distinctive pink colouring, these highly sociable birds form small flocks of around 20 birds. They split off into pairs to breed but, if a nest fails (usually due to high predation), they will join the nest of a related pair as “nest helpers” to improve the chances of that nest surviving.
Help Your Kids “Kitwatch” With Stikins Name Labels
It can be difficult to tell one species of bird from another. Likewise, it can be difficult for kids (and adults) to tell the difference between one item of school kit and another.
Most school kit is either identical or very similar in appearance. When thrown into the school environment, which relies on shared spaces like classrooms, cloakrooms, and changing rooms, it becomes all too easy for kit to get mixed up. Name labels make it simple for your child to spot their own kit amongst everyone else’s stuff.
Stikins are bright white name labels, printed with a bold black font. This colour combination ensures your personalisation stands out and is easy to read. This not only makes it easy for your child to identify their own kit but also makes it easy for items to be returned if they do go missing.
As stick on name labels, Stikins can be applied onto fabric and non-fabric items. This means you can label items of school uniform (including P.E. kit) as well as other bits of school kit. Simply stick each label firmly onto your items and the job is done!
When labelling fabric items, apply Stikins onto the wash-care label and not directly onto the fabric itself.
Stikins are available in packs of 30, 60, 90, or 120 name labels. You can order online at any time or give us a call during office hours to order by phone. We print and post Stikins every week day (Monday to Friday) up to 3pm. Order by 3pm and we’ll despatch your name labels same day. Order after 3pm (or over the weekend) and we’ll despatch them on the next working day. Delivery is free and uses Royal Mail’s first class service as standard.