RSPB Scotland's Molly Martin shared 5 ways you can take part in Big Garden Birdwatch at University or College.
Five ways to take part in Big Garden Birdwatch as a student
When you’re a student, it can be quite hard to feel attached to your new home or even city. Having to move every year, and possibly to live with new people each time, it’s difficult to get settled. One way I found to help deal with this was to take comfort in the familiar things. Wherever you’re living, there will be birds, and Big Garden Birdwatch is a fab opportunity to spend time with familiar species, songs, and behaviours of your local wildlife.
Somewhere you might find yourself sitting for long periods of time, perhaps already gazing out of the window, is the library. If your library looks out onto a green space, or if you prefer to use a local library or café as your work space, this is perfect for Birdwatch! Get in early and nab yourself the best seat, and take an hour break to watch the birds. Ideal study set-up.
Have you ever thought about birdwatching as a great way to get to know people? If you’re part of a union or society that has an interest in nature, science, photography, or just trying out new things, why don’t you pitch Big Garden Birdwatch for your next activity? You could find somewhere to all do it together, or do it individually and compare results.
If you’re lucky enough that your campus has a nice green space, why not do the Birdwatch there? The uni I attended had a lake and small area of woodland, so I spent a (pretty chilly!) hour of my final year on a bench watching the birds, and explaining to passing dogwalkers that yes I was cold, and no I hadn’t seen an eagle yet. This is also a good way to encourage friends to Birdwatch with you; with a flask of tea and some biscuits, I tempted out a first time Big Garden Birdwatcher!
You can even do your Big Garden Birdwatch… in your Garden! If your student home has a garden, then perfect, you’re already set up! Remember to put out feeders at least a few weeks before the event to encourage more birds, and how about inviting your housemates to join. Even if they’re not as interested in birds as you might be, it’s a good way to put washing-up feuds behind you, and spend some quality time together which doesn’t cost a penny!
A lot of students might have part-time jobs, so how about fitting in an hour of birdwatching to your lunch break? Or you could take your hour before you head off to work; the birds will be up early and you can join them! Don’t forget, Big Garden Birdwatch also runs on Monday, so that’s another option if you work weekends.
There’s still time to get involved with #BigGardenBirdWatch! Sign up here http://bit.ly/2YkdcUn
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Reading rooms in libraries can be convenient for birdwatching (if students could spend at least 10-15 minutes per day).
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