From: Reuters
Published January 26, 2008 11:30 AM

"Twitchers" ready to gauge UK bird population

LONDON (Reuters) - Britain's Royal Society for the Protection of Birds (RSPB) is urging Britons to spend an hour in the garden this weekend to help it measure the country's changing bird population.

The RSPB hopes up to half a million people will take part in its 29th Big Garden Birdwatch to gauge how climate change is affecting the numbers and variety of birds in Britain.

It wants the bird watching community, affectionately referred to in Britain as "twitchers," to record the highest number of each species seen in their garden over an hour.

The RSPB predicts the goldfinch will enter the top 10 for the first time since the survey began due to the mild weather as well as changing bird feeding patterns, while blue tit numbers could be down due to the summer's heavy rainfall.

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(Reporting by John Joseph, Editing by Jon Boyle)

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