Bird Watch 2024: Czech avian experts seek public help this weekend

Residents who have an hour to spare are encouraged to participate in the annual Bird Watch event that charts the Czech Republic's avian populations.

Expats.cz Staff

Written by Expats.cz Staff Published on 06.01.2024 11:51:00 (updated on 06.01.2024) Reading time: 2 minutes

The sixth annual Bird Watch census is now underway in the Czech Republic over the weekend, and residents across the country are encouraged to observe birds at feeders from their windows, balconies, gardens, parks, and other locations through Sunday.

Organized by the Czech Society for Ornithology, the event aims to gather information about the bird species that winter in the Czech Republic near human settlements and how this population changes over time.

Last year, over 28,000 participants across the Czech Republic observed more than 517,000 birds, with the most common species being sparrows, blackbirds, titmice, bluebirds, and garden doves.

No previous experience or pre-registration is required to participate in the bird census. Participants simply need to dedicate an hour of their time between designated times to observe birds from a single location and record the results on the official Bird Watch website.

The website provides guidance on how to accurately record the number and species of observed birds, including materials with species depictions for those who are less familiar with bird identification.

"Those who are not sure that they can recognize the most common species of birds will be helped by the materials (published on the website) with the depiction of the species," the Czech Society for Ornithology's Eliška Konopáčová says in a press release.

"If it happens that you cannot determine the species, that is also fine and we will enter this observation as 'unknown species'."

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The absence of birds at the feeder during the counting hour is also important information for ornithologists. Data collected during the census will help researchers understand the distribution of bird populations and identify areas where certain species may be missing.

Various factors influence the variety of bird species observed, such as the surrounding buildings, vegetation, water sources, feeder location, food offered, and current weather conditions. Ornithologists recommend providing sunflower seeds as the most reliable type of food for birds at feeders, among other suitable options.

The Czech Society for Ornithology has been organizing the Bird Watch census since 2019, and collaborate with colleagues from Bavaria, Austria, and Switzerland to develop cross-border comparisons. Similar public events are conducted in the United States, Britain, Ireland, the Netherlands, and other countries.

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