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France invited to count birds during confinement

People in confinement in France are invited to take part in the national bird counting campaign to help bird welfare group la Ligue de Protection des Oiseaux (LPO).

To respect confinement rules, this should be done at home, or as part of your permitted one-hour daily outdoor trip for exercise - while still staying at least two metres away from other people.

Children are also invited to take part, and the activity has been described as a potential welcome break from home working or hours of watching television.

To participate, you are invited to take 10 minutes per day to observe an area of your garden, or outdoor area near you, to notice and count the birds that you see during that session. You should only count the birds that are still (such as on a branch), not any that are flying or in the air.

Your chosen area can be in the countryside or in a town, as long as you respect confinement rules.

The LPO has provided an online sheet to help you identify the birds you may see. It is available on the campaign’s website, oiseauxdesjardins.fr, here, along with all the information required to take part.

The sheet includes drawings and other characteristics (such as shape and colour) to help you identify the birds, such as a blue tit, a goldfinch, a red-breasted robin, or a green parakeet.

You can then submit your daily count to the LPO on its website (free sign up is required on the site).

The LPO holds regular national bird counts to help it keep track of the state of bird populations in France.

Read more: Annual garden bird count in France this weekend

The LPO has also reminded bird watchers and gardeners to not cut or trim your hedges or trees at this time of year, especially from April to July.

This is because in the Spring, many birds - including the blackbird and the chaffinch - come to make their nests in Europe. 

Trimming trees and vegetation can damage the nests and make it harder for the birds to find space. It can also expose eggs or baby birds to harsh sun and the elements; and put them at risk of attack from other animals, such as domestic cats.

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