RSPB Big Garden Birdwatch 2018 Twitter Analysis


What is the Big Garden Birdwatch?

It’s the world largest garden wildlife survey. It involves members of the public counting number of birds they see and of what type in the space of any given hour. With over half a million taking part and the Big Garden Birdwatch starting since 1979. Almost 40 years of data has been gathered to monitor bird numbers in the UK.

The Big Garden Birdwatch 2018 took place between 27-29th January 2018.

Why analyse tweets for the Big Garden Birdwatch?

I saw a TV advert about it and noticed that a hashtag was being associated to it. So with my previous experience scraping tweets and potentially having a positive impact on a good cause. I decided to do some analysis on the tweets tweeted throughout this event.

Also, each time I do one of these Twitter projects. I like to try and implement new things in addition to doing what I have done before. One up myself each time. That’s where the Sentiment Analysis and interactive tweet map come in.


What is included in the analysis?

  • Total number of tweets scraped
  • Total number of retweets
  • Number of original tweets
  • Top 10 hashtags used
  • Most retweeted tweet
  • Most favourited tweet
  • Top 10 user mentions
  • Tweet timeline
  • Sentiment Analysis
  • Interactive tweet map

Total number of tweets scraped

10058 tweets were scraped (including retweets) with the hashtag, #BigGardenBirdWatch, between the dates 27-29th January 2018.

Total number of retweets

5522 retweets were captured. Since retweets have a bias on the data for certain analytical measurements. These will be removed from the dataset.

Number of original tweets

Therefore, 4536 original tweets will be used to conduct the analysis.

Top 10 hashtags used

Hashtag Count
biggardenbirdwatch 3711
rspb 159
birds 58
biggardenbirdwatch 35
winterwatch 28
wildlife 24
birdwatching 20
nature 18
robin 16
holocaustmemorialday 16

Most retweeted tweet

Name: RSPB
Twitter Handle: @Natures_Voice
Tweet: Woo hoo! It’s #BigGardenBirdwatch weekend – who are you doing your Birdwatch with? 

Link to tweet:

Number of retweets: 487

I’ll include a screenshot of it. In case the link doesn’t work.

most retweeted tweet.PNG

(Screenshot taken: 30/01/2018, @Natures_Voice)

Most favourited/liked tweet

Name: Gladstone
Twitter Handle: @TreasuryMog
Tweet: It’s the #BigGardenBirdwatch this weekend. Who’s joining in with my favourite hobby?

Link to tweet:

Number of favourites: 933

I’ll include a screenshot of it. In case the link doesn’t work.

most favourited tweet.PNG

(Screenshot taken: 30/01/2018, @TreasuryMog)

Top 10 user mentions

Name Twitter handle Count
RSPB @Natures_Voice 925
BBC Springwatch @BBCSpringwatch 67
RSPB Scotland @RSPBScotland 30
RSPB in the East @RSPBintheEast 30
RSPB Cymru @RSPBCymru 26
BTO Garden BirdWatch @BTO_GBW 22
Met Office @metoffice 20
BTO @_BTO 17
Wildlife Sightings @wildlife_uk 17
RSPB News @RSPBNews 16

Tweet timeline

Tweet count between 27-29th January 2018:

Date Tweets count
2018-01-27 1812
2018-01-28 2104
2018-01-29 620

number of tweets

Tweet count between 27-29th January 2018:

tweet activity

Sentiment Analysis

Sentiment Tweets percentage (%)
Positive 40.7
Neutral 51.2
Negative 8.1

Examples of positive tweets

I also saw a squirrel today!

#rspb_love_nature #winterwatch #biggardenbirdwatch #cornwall…

@Natures_Voice ❤️ #Winterwatch
Perfect tv after #BigGardenBirdwatch Delighted to see my first redwings in the garden.

Had fun at weekend doing the (competition for perches inside as well as out! 😉 – had to relocate upstairs as ‘sitting quietly’ outside proved…challenging 😂).

This beautiful lady made an appearance at my feeder yesterday 

Here are our results from today. Love our birds! 💚

Examples of neutral tweets

I’ve submitted my RSPB #BigGardenBirdwatch results! Have you?

Spent insightful hour watching birdlife that shares a home with us at in the annual ‘ for . Spotted , , , , , , , , &

Dyson the Dove via

Our wren didn’t show up to be counted, but once I submitted the results, guess who popped out of the bushes…

Pre-Prep are tweeting for the ! We made our tasty bird feeders and counted how many birds we could see in our in the Bishop’s Arboretum

Examples of negative tweets

@paulleyshon Hi Paul, sorry to hear that – did you still manage to take part in #BigGardenBirdwatch though? Thank you.

typical that 6 long-tailed tits, wren and goldcrest show themselves in the garden the day after #BigGardenBirdwatch 🙄

The coal tit is this year’s no show on . Typically, it appeared 20 mins after count ended and hung around for the rest of the day 🙄

(The next tweet is a NSFW warning…I think?! Balls = bird feeder ball???)

Got my big fat balls out for the birds …and all I got was one lousy pigeon #BigGardenBirdwatch

Results submitted. Fewer birds than usual: blue tits, goldfinches, sparrows, robin, starlings, blackbirds, collared doves, pied wagtails and crows all put in an appearance. No show from dunnock, greenfinch, wren and long-tailed tits

As you can tell, the negative tweets aren’t that negative. It’s just disappoint being expressed, besides that NSFW tweet!

Interactive tweet map

Out of all the tweets captured. Only 10 had a latitude and longitude associated to them. So even though the numbers weren’t great. I still decided to go ahead plot the points using the OpenStreetMap and Leaflet.js.

I followed the technique used in Marco Bonzanin’s blog post about Geolocation and Interactive Maps.

Click here to see map.

NOTE: If the map doesn’t load, then you may need to allow unsafe scripts to to be loaded. They aren’t unsafe though! So no need to worry. All the scripts referenced are from reputable sources.

(Report written on 30/01/2018, updated 30/03/2018 – TK)

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