Has bird 'flu made it dangerous to watch migratory birds?
All BirdLife Partners are concerned about bird flu and its possible health risks, but it is clear that watching birds from a distance (not touching them) is safe. Nevertheless you should remember that basic hygiene is always advisable, so please wash your hands after contact with any animal, and do not touch any dead animals.
How do I view the results?
The results can be viewed in two ways: on the maps and in the tables. The maps of spring change once a week, updated with the new information submitted by participants. The results displayed in tables are updated constantly. You can check the date of the very first observation in all European countries, and, by choosing your country, you can see dates of first sightings in your region. By choosing "Show times seen" you can see how many times the species have been spotted in your country and region.
What is the purpose of the project?
The purpose of the Spring Alive project is to gather data on migratory birds as they return to Europe in the spring. Simple observations made by a large number of people provide us with a great source of information on how birds are migrating and the changes in their travels from year to year. The main advantage Spring Alive has over other surveys is its massive geographical coverage, thanks to the huge number of participants across Europe. Running from 2006 into the future, analysis of the project data may reveal trends in changes of arrival dates, and show the connection between bird arrival and climate change.
How are we going to use the information that you contribute?
Thanks to the information that you contribute, BirdLife International can build up a picture of bird numbers returning to Europe, their arrival dates, and which regions the different species are coming back to. We are not attempting to count all of the birds coming back to Europe (an impossible task) but to count a proportion of their population in the same way every year. The results can be broken down and analysed at different levels (European, country or region), providing a huge sample from which we can investigate trends. In addition, mapping the results for a particular species in any one year gives us a detailed picture of their pattern of arrival.