BTO Training Courses
We are offering a 20% discount on Bird ID and Survey Techniques Courses for New BTO Members (offer available within the first year of your membership) - join today to take advantage of this great offer.
Why go on a BTO training course?
A BTO training course
will increase your confidence
in carrying out survey work
and show you how easy and
how much fun it can be!
Taking part in BTO surveys is both fun and rewarding and to help you get the most from your survey work we run a range of training courses designed to increase your skills and confidence. As well as perfecting individual survey techniques through both classroom sessions and outdoors practical sessions, we also believe that it helps if you understand why BTO surveys are run the way they are and which method works best in which circumstance. The courses are relevant to anyone who is, or wants to be, involved in surveying and monitoring birds.
What will I learn?
During the Bird Survey Techniques courses (both the 1-day workshops and the longer, more in-depth residential ones) we look at general survey principles before examining several methods in more detail. Using BTO surveys as our examples for the theory sessions and out in the field, you will quickly get a comprehensive overview of survey methods and discover just how easy and enjoyable they are! The various courses are held around the country, and you can book on any course, depending on proximity to where you live, or possibly you may like to visit an entirely different part of the country to give you a chance to explore the habitats and birds of the area.
More information about courses:
When should I book?
Our training courses always prove very popular and book up quickly, so early booking is recommended – however, if you have left it a bit late it is always worth checking to see if we can squeeze you in as different venues cater for differing numbers of participants.
What courses are being offered?
As in previous years, we are continuing to increase the number and range of courses we are offering. For 2013 we are pleased to offer courses on Bird Survey Techniques, Bird Identification, Breeding Bird Survey (BBS) and BirdTrack methodology as well as Bird Ringing, Wetland Bird Survey (WeBS) and Nest Recording. View more information on Ringing Courses, and WeBS courses. We are also able to offer bespoke training, please contact us for more details.
Do I have to be a BTO member to attend a course?
All of our courses are designed for BTO members and volunteers who either already take part, or are thinking of taking part, in a BTO survey. You do not have to be a BTO member to attend a course or, indeed, to take part in a BTO survey.
Is it possible to attend a BTO course in a professional capacity?
Professional ecologists have attended many of our courses in the past. 2012/13 sees further Bird Survey Techniques Courses aimed specifically at those working in the professional sector. More details...
Bird Survey Techniques Courses (a general overview of BTO surveys and how to do them):
We offer both 2½-day residential courses and 1-day workshops.
Our 2½-day residential courses are based at Field Studies Council (FSC) centres or other similar centres. These make an ideal venue, allowing valuable practical experience in beautiful, bird-rich areas. These longer courses look in more detail at the topics covered in the one-day courses, and also investigate more specialist survey techniques, such as single-species surveys. In addition, the practical sessions are much longer and give plenty of time for everyone to really get to grips with them. The cost of the courses includes full board from supper on the first night, breakfast, lunch and supper on the second day, and breakfast and lunch on the final day. Accommodation for 2 nights is also included in the price, and offers excellent value for money. The fantastic locations of the centres and the more relaxed timing of these courses allow us to explore the local areas as well.
Our 1-day workshops run from 10am until mid afternoon (usually about 4.30pm). Indoor theory and brief outdoor practical sessions help everyone to understand the whys and wherefores of each method and to gain confidence in the target survey methods. These courses currently focus on Breeding Bird Survey (BBS) methodology and BirdTrack methodology, with a brief overview of other methods. The price does include tea and coffee, but participants are asked to bring a packed lunch. Each venue does vary, however, and some offer a café facility, so check with us beforehand.
All Bird Survey Techniques Courses are open to anyone with a basic knowledge of common bird songs and calls; these are NOT designed as bird identification courses, for which we offer:
Bird Identification Courses:
We offer both 2½-day residential courses and 1-day workshops.
on sight, knowledge of
the songs and calls will help
you separate Marsh and
Our 1-day bird identification workshops, run by Steve Piotrowski, have proved a great success. We offer both ‘Bird Identification: Beginner’s Courses’ which focus on the 50 most common birds (mostly familiar garden species) and look at how to identify birds principally by sight, as well as increasing your repertoire of species in the wider countryside. ‘Bird Identification: Improver’s Courses’ take this a stage further, and also look at bird songs and calls to help you identify common species by sound. Again, the range of species is increased and consideration of habitat is also included to help your identification skills. Either course can be attended in isolation, or the Intermediate course can follow neatly on from the Beginner’s course.
Our 2½-day residential courses have proved very popular! These courses start with visual identification of common species and move through songs and calls, increasing your confidence and repertoire. The course will involve many outdoor sessions with plenty of opportunities to observe birds in their natural habitats and put what you have learnt into practice!
All courses are led by experienced BTO staff and members, and participants will receive a survey pack, providing all the fieldwork forms needed for the outdoor sessions, a copy of the course notes and a specially produced CD of bird songs and calls. Practical sessions are carried out in small groups, so that there is a high level of tutor to participant help.
More details of courses, venues and prices.