Join the Big Garden Birdwatch in your area

True thrushes (photolibrary.com) Anyone with a garden or a park nearby is urged to take part in the survey

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Thousands of people around the UK are taking part in the world's biggest wildlife survey on Saturday 26 and Sunday 27 January - the RSPB Big Garden Birdwatch.

The charity is asking you to help survey birds living in your local area, from the north of Scotland to the southwest of England; across Wales and Northern Ireland.

To coincide with the event, the BBC is bringing you live webcam action of the UK's garden birds, helpful identification guides and expert analysis of what you're seeing.

How to get involved:

Great Tit

We'd like to hear from you too, to share your sightings and pictures and to compare how our garden birds differ around the nation.

The Big Garden Birdwatch is the world's biggest wildlife survey.

Almost 600,000 people across the UK, including 90,000 pupils and teachers at schools, took part in 2012, counting more than nine million birds between them.

The survey takes just an hour of your time.

All you need to do is count the birds in your garden or a local park for one hour - then tell the RSPB what you see.

As well as bringing you closer to wildlife near you, the survey helps scientists discover which species of bird are doing well or are in decline and how different birds, such as finches, starlings and sparrows, are faring in different regions.

Disappearing starlings

For example, data collated over the past 10 years shows that mistle thrushes are seen in fewer than half the number of gardens they were seen in a decade ago.

Now in its 34th year, the Big Garden Birdwatch survey has helped highlight some dramatic declines in UK garden birds.

In the first survey in 1979, an average of 15 starlings were seen per garden, but that fell to an average of just three starlings per garden in 2012 - the lowest ever level.

House sparrow numbers have fallen by two thirds over the lifetime of the survey too.

Bird populations also differ around the country, which is why it is so important to survey the birds in the gardens in your area.

The RSPB Big Garden Birdwatch survey runs from Saturday 26 to Sunday 27 January 2013. BBC Nature is streaming live webcams of UK garden bird action, helpful identification guides and expert analysis across the weekend.

Events across England, Scotland and Wales

European green finch

Visit the RSPB website to discover Birdwatch events in your area including:

ENGLAND

Bedfordshire: Stockwood Discovery Centre, Luton

County Durham: Durham University Botanic Gardens

Essex: RSPB Rainham Marshes

Lancashire: Ribble Discovery Centre, Fairhaven Lake

Norfolk: The Forum and Millennium Library, Norwich

North Yorkshire: RHS Garden Harlow Carr

Suffolk: Lakenheath Fen nature reserve

West Midlands: RSPB Sandwell Valley nature reserve

West Sussex: Sidlesham Visitor Centre

SCOTLAND

Aberdeenshire: RSPB Loch of Strathbeg

Dumfries and Galloway: RSPB Mersehead, Southwick

Edinburgh: Gorgie City Farm

Perth and Kingross: Flatford Wildlife Garden, near East Bergholt

WALES

Ceredigion: RSPB Ynys-hir Reserve

If a site is not listed near you, then please visit the RSPB website where there are details of more locations hosting birdwatching events this weekend.

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