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Help nature body count garden birds

Nature group is looking for help with spotting garden birds this winter

A NATURE group is asking residents in the Burgundy area to take part in a study into garden birds this winter to help get a better picture of how well the birds are thriving in the region.

Bourgogne Nature has set up a simple section on its website where you can click quickly to say when and where you observed a bird on a feeder in your garden.

A spokeswoman for the association said: “The data is for scientists who are working on a regional database.

“It helps with lots of things: improving our knowledge of what species are present in the region and changes from one year to the next; for species that are vulnerable it helps raise the alert over problems in places where there are particular issues; it enables conservation programmes to be put in place or impact studies, for example where there are projects such as TGV lines or wind turbine parks, to see if they have had an effect on birdlife in the area.”

To take part you need to be in the Burgundy area (not the whole of the new Bourgogne-Franche-Comté) and to create an account at (while doing so remember to click to accept the conditions générales of the site; you then receive an email link which you either click on or cut and paste into your browser.

At the site go to Participez aux E-Observations and then Enquête and Les oiseaux à la mangeoire. The study runs until March 15.

The association is especially looking to check on numbers of a specific list of garden birds (see list below). If you are unsure of what they look like you can find them on Wikipedia.

However, if you want to report other wildlife you have seen that is not listed you can also click on the separate ‘E-Observations’ link.

Bourgogne Nature recommends putting feeders out in a raised place, safe from predators and says sunflower seeds are one of the foods most appreciated. You could also try other nuts or fat balls and you should remember to also put out water daily for drinking and washing, if possible. If you start to feed birds in the winter you should continue until the weather warms up, the association says.

For more details visit: Bourgogne Nature.

Garden birds the association is looking to check on include: mésange noir (coal tit), mésange bleu (bluetit), mésange charbonnière (great tit), mésange nonnette (marsh tit), sittelle torchepot (nuthatch), verdier d’Europe (greenfinch), chardonneret élégant (goldfinch), merle noire (blackbird), rougegorge familier (robin), pinson des arbres (chaffinch), pinson du nord (mountain finch or brambling), mesange huppée (crested tit), grosbec casse-noyaux (hawfinch) and moineau domestique (house sparrow).

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