Monday, 20 November 2017

Irish Garden Bird Survey 2017/18

It’s getting to that time of year again – the evenings are getting shorter, the temperatures are getting colder, and the birds are returning to gardens across the country in search of food to get them through the winter. This is your advance warning – put your feeders out and stock up on bird seed, because the Irish Garden Bird Survey will be starting on Monday the 4th of December!

A Robin with a very festive 'beard' - photographed by Ian Wilson in Derbyshire, England, in 2014.

For anyone who hasn’t taken part before, the Garden Bird survey is very straightforward and a great way to really get to grips with what birds are using your garden over the mid-winter period. All you have to do is record the highest number of each species you see in your garden each week. So if you see 3 Blue Tits one day, and 5 the next – then 5 is the number to record for that week. Then start fresh the following Monday! If you see one species in the first week, but not in the second week, leave the column blank for Week 2.

Finches flocking onto a feeder during a cold winters day. Photo by S. Connolly

You can record the results of your garden bird survey via our online system here, or you can simply print the recording sheet at this link here and send it to us via post or email when the survey concludes in the spring. Why not print some extra copies of the recording sheet and get your friends and relatives to take part and compare your gardens as the weeks go on?

It’s worth highlighting that everyone can take part in this survey. It doesn’t matter if your garden is tiny or huge, or whether you 20 bird feeders or none – it all provides us with useful information as to how our garden birds are doing. It’s worth adding too that we’re particularly eager for gardens outside Dublin and Leinster to take part, and those in rural areas, to better inform us as to what kind of birds prefer these gardens.

Goldfinches on a sunflower-seed feeder. Photo by P. Walsh

So that’s it – time to get ready, and maybe do a practice week or two in advance of the first week (Monday December 4th onwards)!

As well as bird food, feeders and nestboxes we have plenty of other items available in our shop, many of which will make ideal stocking-fillers this Christmas - like the Robin pin badges below! 

Robin pin badges, and a variety of other species, available from our shop for €2 each or 3 for €5.

The results of last year's Garden Bird Survey have been published in our Wings membership magazine, and results from previous years can be viewed here. Who knows what winter 2017/18 will bring?

We’ll be doing a weekly garden bird blog throughout the winter, so keep an eye out for it and please do share your garden bird pictures with us on Facebook and Twitter and let us know what you're seeing in your garden as the winter goes on!


  1. If I see two blue tits an the morning and three later, do I count that as 3 or 5 ?

    1. Hi Hilary, in that example you'd count that as three. It's the highest number of the species you saw in that week, so if you saw two this morning and three later on then three is 'the number to beat' for the rest of the week!

  2. A first in 25 yrs of having Goldfinches in my garden see

    had 21 for xmas day @

  3. i had some birds still like the goldfinchs greenfinchs chaffinchs siskins starlings robins its is still alright to still feed them the weather is sillcold thank carmelegan


The Irish Garden Bird Survey is over for another winter!

Time flies when you're having fun! The 2018/19 Irish Garden Bird Survey is now over! It's been quite a mild winter overall...