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Goldcrest (Regulus regulus)

The smallest European bird, adults weigh just 5-6g, around the same as a 20 Euro cent coin or a 20pence coin in the UK. Unsurprisingly, they’re named after their crest of bright feathers, which is yellow on females; on males it has an orange centre. The rest of their plumage is green-brown. Look out for them in parks and gardens, particularly in conifers, holly and yew trees. Their song is so high that not everyone can hear it!


Every bird counts!

Many citizen science initiatives give people the chance to take part in scientific projects such as recording bird sightings and populations, while providing crucial information to researchers. It’s easy to join in – these are just a few projects you can get involved in.

Sovon tracks the trends of wild birds in the Netherlands. The organisation runs many ongoing projects, including a year-round garden count.

The Big Garden Birdwatch is organised by the RSPB in the UK. Spend an hour watching the birds in one location, and record the birds that land. In 2024 it takes place 26-28 January.

In the USA, the Cornell Lab of Ornithology organises many projects, including the Great Backyard Bird Count, which takes place 16-19 February.

EuroBirdwatch24 takes place 15-16 October. The biggest European birdwatching event works with over 30 partners across Europe, and in 2023 the Netherlands hosted 140 events.

The Big City Birds Citizen Science App aims to learn about five bird species and their behavioural adaptations to living in the city. The project focuses on the Sulphur-crested Cockatoo, Australian Brush-turkey, Australian White Ibis, Little Corella, and Long-billed Corella. Download the app and describe your observations.

In the Netherlands, the National Garden Bird Count runs 26-28 January 2024. Taking part is simple: count the birds in your garden or on your balcony once for half an hour, then submit your count via tuinvogeltelling.nl.

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