We're counting down the days until this year's Big Garden Birdwatch – the world's largest garden wildlife survey. You can take part between 26th–28th January 2019 by counting the birds in your garden and letting us know what you saw.

Over the last 40 years we've learnt a lot from the data you've sent us. Take a look at some of our top stats...

RSPB Big Garden Birdwatch

34,000 people took part in the first Big Garden Birdwatch in 1979. The survey began as a children’s event in partnership with TV programme Blue Peter.

Big Garden Birdwatch participants

Over 8 million hours have been spent watching garden birds since the Big Garden Birdwatch began in 1979.

RSPB Big Garden Birdwatch

In 2018, a staggering 8 million birds were counted during the Big Garden Birdwatch and 130 million birds have been counted since the Birdwatch began.

house sparrow

House sparrows toppled the list once again in 2018, with 1,034,239 sightings. But numbers have fallen 57% since 1979. Photo: Ray Kennedy (rspb-images.com)


93% of gardens see the blackbird, the UK’s most widespread garden bird. But a milder winter meant fewer blackbirds were seen in 2018. Photo: Grahame Madge (rspb-images.com)


There has been a 79% decline in starlings since the Big Garden Birdwatch began 39 years ago. Photo: Ben Andrew (rspb-images.com)

Long-tailed tit

There has been a 52% rise in long-tailed tits between 2006 and 2016. Photo: John Bridges (rspb-images.com)


Robins were seen in 83% of gardens in 2018. Photo: Chris Gomersall (rspb-images.com)


2008 was the year in which siskins made it into the top 20 for the first time. Photo: Ben Andrew (rspb-images.com)


Goldfinches have soared in abundance over the last decade, becoming a top 10 regular. Photo: John Bridges (rspb-images.com)

Big Garden Birdwatch top three

In 1979 starlings, house sparrows and blackbirds took the top spots. In 2018 it was house sparrows, starlings and blue tits. Photo: Louise Greenhorn (rspb-images.com)


In 2017, there was an “irruption” of waxwings when hundreds of these pretty birds turned up in UK gardens. Usually found feasting on berries in Scandinavia, these winter visitors come to the UK when there is a lack of food in their native countries. Photo: Andy Hay (rspb-images.com)

Yellow-rumped warbler

Sometimes some very unusual visitors turn up. In 2014, a yellow-rumped warbler, which usually spends winter in South America, turned up in a garden in Durham. That’s quite a wrong turning to make! Photo: iStock

As the Big Garden Birdwatch approaches, will be bringing you everything you need to know to prepare for the event. Find out more and sign up.