Latest Research

Blackcap. Photograph by Mark R Taylor

Garden bird feeding and a changing climate are driving evolutionary change in Blackcaps

New research using data from Garden BirdWatch has revealed that bird food provided in British gardens has helped Blackcaps to rapidly evolve a successful new migration route. This is the first time that garden bird feeding has been shown to affect large-scale bird distributions.

Wren. Photograph by John Harding

When does a changing climate impact on bird populations?

Climate change impacts are well-known but what are the drivers that bring about the changes we are seeing in our bird populations?

Blackbird nest, photograph by Herbert&Howells

Variation in habitat-specific population trends is consistent with the buffer effect

New BTO research uses data from the Breeding Bird Survey (BBS) to quantify habitat-specific trends, providing novel insights into the processes that regulate UK bird populations, and allowing population responses to environmental change to be predicted with greater accuracy.

Whitethroat, photograph by John Proudlock

Warbler breeding success across Europe varies with temperature and latitude

A long-term monitoring study involving bird ringers from five countries has investigated how changes in the reproductive output of seven species of migrant warbler vary with latitude and spring temperature. The implications for predicted changes in species distributions are also discussed.

Great Black-backed Gull, photograph by Edmund Fellowes

Understanding the risk of birds colliding with offshore wind turbines

Accurately estimating birds’ risk of collision with offshore wind turbines is a key part of the decision-making process for proposed renewable developments. However, the evidence base for quantifying the number of birds likely to avoid colliding with turbines is limited. Recent BTO-led work helping to fill this gap, improving the understanding of the impacts of offshore renewables on marine wildlife.