Whether you're an avid birder or someone who just loves the great outdoors, you can take part in our bird survey and help support the wildlife on our campuses.
We need the help of students, staff and the local community to find out what bird species call our campuses home – and you don't need to be an expert to take part!
By sharing your sightings, you will be contributing towards two important pieces of work at the University:
- Land Habitat Management Plan – a document compiled and used by our Estates team to guide the way we look after Newton Park campus, and ensure we are creating and maintaining healthy, sustainable habitats (similar policies are used for our other campuses).
- Bath Spa Observer – a digital mapping platform that compiles data collected by students, staff and members of the public across our campuses, providing an insight into the health of our environment.
Your observations will assist our grounds team in improving wildlife biodiversity on campus, and may be used by our academic staff and their students in teaching and research.
How you can take part
There are two ways you can contribute to our bird survey - the method you choose will depend on your identification skills and the time you can spare. You can use either or both of these methods as often as you like and at any time of year, as we're hoping to build a picture of the species that visit us through the seasons.
1. Use the iNaturalist app
iNaturalist is a smartphone app that can identify wildlife for you – perfect if you're not sure what you're looking at! Take a picture of what you see, and the app will record all the details of your sighting (photos are not required, but preferred). You can make use of iNaturalist whenever you are walking around campus, so you can participate even if you only have a few minutes free. And you don't have to stick to birds – iNaturalist can also be used to record the plants, insects and other wildlife you encounter.
2. Spend time birdwatching
If you're an experienced birdwatcher or are confident in your identification skills, a more formal survey could be the best way for you to help. Spend some time (e.g. 20 minutes or so) in one place making a note of the birds you see, then send us your findings via this form, which can be completed on the web or by using the Survey123 app.
How the data is used
The data from both sources will be shared with our grounds staff and collated by the Bath Spa Observer platform, helping us to learn what species are doing well – or not so well – and guiding our future estates work. You can browse through the recorded sightings on the Observer website.
Need a little help with your birdwatching skills? Check out these useful online resources:
- RSPB guide to birdwatching
- RSPB bird identifier
- Wildlife Trusts bird song identifier
- Merlin bird ID app
Please make sure you follow the latest guidelines when you are exploring our campuses – you can find all the latest info on our COVID-19 advice page.
Good luck and thank you for your help. You never know, you may encounter something you've never seen before!
Disclaimer: The Bath Spa blog is a platform for individual voices and views from the University's community. Any views or opinions represented in individual posts are personal, belonging solely to the author of that post, and do not represent the views of other Bath Spa staff, or Bath Spa University as an institution.
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