Newquay Zoo staff joined in with the RSPB’s Big Garden Bird Watch recently. This has been running for over 40 years, and during that time the RSPB has collected invaluable data on native birds. The project shows how the varieties and distribution of our native birds have changed over the years by encouraging the public to record what they see in their own gardens and local parks.

As well as contributing to the RSPB’s work, we thought it would be a great opportunity to see what native species of bird we have living in and around the zoo. With plenty of trees and hedging, and being a quiet space (when we are not open), we are a busy little place for native birds. Also, the food sources that are supposed to be for zoo animals don’t go unmissed by the local wildlife.

Most people are aware that zoos are involved in some fantastic projects around the world conserving exotic species and habitats. Looking after our own wildlife and our local environment is another really important, and perhaps lesser known, part of the work of Newquay Zoo. Knowing what lives in and around the zoo is really useful to our work with our local wildlife and maintaining and creating the varied habitats that they need.

So how did we get on? Well, we recorded 23 different species, from the rooks in our rookery to the ubiquitous robins, blackbirds, blue tits and great tits. Then there were some exciting things, like a pair of greater spotted woodpeckers. It’s great to see that we have a good variety of local bird life.With spring around the corner, we’ll keep watching to see what joins us as the weather warms.

David Folland, Newquay Zoo Operations Manager

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