Our Nature Citizens were busy this week with the Big Schools’ Birdwatch. They enabled every class to join in as citizen scientists and gather local bird data for the RSPB. A superb opportunity to learn how to identify birds and attract them with a welcoming bird area.

The point of being a citizen scientist for the RSPB is to help researchers in the field to find out about the bird species in our area. Children get an enormous sense of satisfaction in joining in with national projects because their observations contribute towards the national data. The researchers cannot have access to every town or village, so our work is vital to their understanding of bird species population.

Engaging in observing birds and recording data is also another way to connect with the natural world. And this is what the Nature Citizens did:

*made posters for all classes informing them of the event and how they could take part

* set up feeders – repaired old feeders with tape and string

* provided instructions on how to make fruit feeders

* visited classes to speak about attracting birds to gardens, washing the birdbath and feeders

*looked after the equipment – binoculars, books and birdbath brush

Every class joined in with an activity. These ranged from making fruit kebabs, using bird identity charts, counting birds, reading bird non fiction books and trying to be quiet long enough to attract the birds to the feeders!

The really interesting part was to enter the data. We could access the survey on the intereactive white board on a purposefully designed form including a picture of the bird next to a number counter to click. A final score was revealed from our class data with a breakdown of the birds we saw.

Discovering the natural world through being a citizen scientist is useful and informative for everyone involved. It is real world learning and an opportunity not to be missed.