Have you hung out the feeder yet? If not yet, then it's time to take part in public monitoring “Ptushki la karmushki”, which is annually held by a public organization (APB).

How many birds come to the feeders? Let's count the whole country!
photo licensed from elements.envato

Such feeder counts are carried out in many countries. The more people who participate in the counts, the better it will be possible to track changes in passerine populations and, if necessary, respond to them in a timely manner. For example, thanks to public monitoring in the UK, they noticed 81% reduction in starling population for half a century of such observations.

The approach itself received an informal name "folk science", because it allows you to collect a large amount of data for analysis. If thousands of people around the country count birds year after year using the same method, small errors become statistically insignificant, and large changes in populations become noticeable.

Also, for greater accuracy, all observations from the feeders are evaluated by experts. Unreliable data are eliminated, and doubtful ones are specified by ornithologists who contact the authors of such observations.

field sparrow
birdie: paleavy verabey (field sparrow)
photo: Makoto Miharu

How to count the birds on the feeder?

It's easy and even fun, so in the action “Ptushki la karmushki” The whole family can participate with the kids.

To participate in the monitoring (which will take place on January 15 and 16), count the species and number of birds on your feeder within one hour and send the data to the organizers. To do this, you can fill out a simple form (it will work from January 15 to 18.00 January 16) or write a message on Facebook to the organizers.

Help in identifying bird species can be provided by mini determinant. At the feeder, you can take a picture of an unfamiliar bird to identify it later. Submit your photo to Telegram-chat “Tsіў-tsіў”, where they will tell you what kind it is.

Example for counting: For each bird species, on the final form, write down the maximum number of birds seen at the feeder in one hour. That is, if you saw how 4 greenfinches fed on the feeder, and then more flew in and there were 10 of them, then enter this number of greenfinches into the form.

Rooks, pigeons and crows, if they are interested in the feeder, also count.

Great tits, field and house sparrows usually fly to feeders in cities. All years of promotion they are included in top 3 typesvisiting feeders in Belarus. Other species of tits also fly in: greenfinches, hawfinches, woodpeckers, sometimes there are sightings of migratory birds.

bird of the year at the feeder

Bird of 2022 - blue tit - lives in Belarus only in Polissya, so the Poleshuks have a chance to see it on their feeders. Hang more bird canteens so that this chance is greater.

Belarus has annihilated the bird of 2022 - eight 10 facts right
photo: Andrey Sheuchyk

How to prepare for monitoring?

- So that more birds fly to you on monitoring days, hang up the feeder in advance and replenish it with unroasted unsalted sunflower seeds, - says APB Specialist for Promotions and Campaigns Sergei Rezov. - This is a general purpose bird feed. You can attach a piece of unsalted bacon to a branch for tits and yatles. But in no case do not put bread, loaf and other food from the human table in the feeder!

bird on the feeder
photo licensed from elements.envato

Monitoring participants can get bird souvenirs!

Among all those who send the results of their calculations through the form, APB will raffle bird souvenirs. Those who upload their photos and videos to a special album on VKontakte also have a chance to win gifts. An online feeder in Belovezhskaya Pushcha will help you get inspired to participate in the action and practice counting birds, from where there is a live broadcast.

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