How do I take part in the count?

You should choose a location with a good view of around 2 hectares of the farm and include or be close to an area with seed mix or supplementary feeding. Spend about 30 minutes recording the species and number of birds seen in your chosen area. You should also record the habitat and cropping on and adjacent to your area. The best time to count is at first light when the birds are most active.

Do I need to be a GWCT member or donate to join the BFBC?

No, you don’t. The BFBC is free and open to anyone who wants to count the birds on their farm. 

Can I count with other people on the same farm?

Yes, you can. You have two options: you can either count together in one location, or you can count separately in different locations on your farm. The second option will give us a better idea of the bird diversity across your farm.

What is the best time of day to count the birds?

The best time is in the morning, when the birds are more active and visible. But you can count at any time of day that suits you. Try to choose a dry and calm day, or find a sheltered spot near a hedgerow or a feeder.

Can I count more than once on my farm?

Yes, you can. You can do as many counts as you like in different locations on your farm, or on different farms that belong to the same estate.

Why do I have to count the birds between the chosen dates?

The BFBC is a snapshot of the bird population on UK farms during this period. We do the count at the same time every year so we can compare the results and see how the birds are doing.

Winter is a good time to count the birds because they are easier to see and identify. The leaves have fallen from the trees and hedges, and the birds often gather around food sources like feeders or stubble fields.

Will the weather affect the number of birds I see?

Yes, it will. Bad weather like rain and wind can make it harder to see and hear the birds, so you should aim for a nice day that you are comfortable to sit outside for 30 minutes. The count lasts for three weeks, so you should have enough time to find a good day to count.

Where can I learn more about how to identify the birds?

You can find more information and tips on how to identify the birds and do the count here.

How do I submit my results to you?

Please enter your results online at www.bfbc.org.uk. This is the easiest and fastest way to share your data with us. 

What if I forget my username or password?

If you have previously submitted your results online, but you can’t remember your login details, please follow the instructions on the screen to reset them. Or you can email alole@gwct.org.uk for more help.