Scots are being urged to look out for shy or unusual birds being driven into gardens in search of food by the cold weather.
As part of the Big Garden Birdwatch being held this weekend, RSPB Scotland hopes people will spend one hour recording which birds visit their gardens or local parks.
The conservation charity wants bird-watchers to look out for sightings of species such as redwing, fieldfare, brambling and waxwings.
It said snow and ice could see the creatures that normally feed on invertebrates or berries venturing into gardens in their search for food. Keith Morton, of RSPB Scotland, said: "Sudden changes in the weather can be difficult for birds, particularly as until now it has been fairly mild. Species such as fieldfares, brambling and redwing arrive in Scotland from Scandinavia in the winter and are often spotted feeding on berries, so to hear that they appear to be struggling to find food naturally is concerning.
"Fortunately, these usually shy birds will use gardens in bad weather and make use of the extra help provided by humans to get enough energy to endure the freezing winter nights. It will be interesting to see if those taking part in the Big Garden Birdwatch notice an increase in these colourful birds. The survey is a fun and easy way to learn more about local wildlife whilst at the same time contributing to an important piece of citizen science."
Last year, more than 53,000 people in Scotland took part in the event, with the results used to help build a picture of garden bird populations across the UK. Those wanting to take part can join in by spending one hour at any time over the weekend, noting the highest number of each bird species seen at any one time, then submitting the results to the RSPB.
Fieldfares are large, colourful thrushes who stand very upright and move forward with purposeful hops. They spend the winter in flocks of anything from a dozen or two to several hundred.
The redwing is most commonly encountered as a winter bird and is the UK's smallest true thrush, but its creamy strip above the eye and orange-red flank patches make it distinctive. They feed in fields and hedgerows, rarely visiting gardens, except in the coldest weather when snow covers the fields. Only a few pairs nest in the UK
Waxwings are plump birds, slightly smaller than a starling, with a prominent crest. It is reddish-brown with a black throat, a small black mask round its eye, yellow and white in the wings and a yellow-tipped tail.
A brambling is similar in size and shape to the chaffinch, the male has a black head in summer, and an orange breast with white belly.