Intrepid birders surveyed four locations on campuses in Exeter, Penryn and Falmouth this January for the RSPB Big Garden Bird Watch.

Students, staff, and local community members spent an hour identifying and counting birds, helping us understand the health of our garden bird populations.

Overall, we saw 26 different species!

Some highlights:

At Streatham Campus, despite the mud and building works, we saw Goldcrests (one of our smallest birds) fighting in treetops of Lower Hoopern Valley and colourful Chaffinches and Goldfinches in the gardens of Reed Hall.

Our birders in Fox Rosehill Gardens near Falmouth campus were visited by the Mistle Thrush, a bird which has sadly been declining in Britain since the 1970s and is a species of conservation concern.

Penryn Campus was the only place where we recorded Nuthatches, a beautiful small woodland bird which hides nuts and seeds in tree crevices to be eaten later.

Birds are crucial for the dispersal of plants as they consume fruits and then dispose of the undigested seeds as they fly!

Species sighted on our campuses help control populations garden pests like slugs, insects, other birds, fish, and frogs. Some birds scavenge dead animals and create holes in wood which in turn becomes great habitat for insects, small, mammals, and other birds. Birds are a vital part of our ecosystems and sadly many are under threat due to habitat loss and increases in pesticide use.

Our contributions to the RSPB Big Garden Birdwatch are an important part of understanding what is happening to our birds at a national level. Thank you so much to everyone who took part!