The Breeding Bird Survey
The BTO/JNCC/RSPB Breeding Bird Survey (BBS) is the main scheme for monitoring the population changes of the UK’s common breeding birds.
Latest BBS report reveals changes in finch numbers
Many householders have become familiar with the sight of Siskins and Lesser Redpolls on their bird feeders in recent years, and the latest BBS figures confirm that 2012 was a great year for both of these small finches: Siskins increased by 28% between 2011 and 2012, and Lesser Redpolls increased by 25%. However, Greenfinches, which have been hit hard by the disease trichomonosis, continue to decline.
The full report contains the national population trends of over 100 of our widespread bird species - read the full report here.
Count butterflies on your BBS square!
BTO have teamed up with Butterfly Conservation for another year of the Wider Countryside Butterfly Survey. BBS volunteers can take part by making extra visits to their squares to count butterflies between June and August. Don't worry if you can't tell your rare 'blues' apart; we are primarily interested in counts of common species, and a butterfly ID chart is available. To sign up, just email bbs [at] bto [dot] org. You can find out more by reading last year's newsletter.
New maps showing BBS trends across the country
New maps showing density estimates and population change have been produced using BBS data for 49 common bird species. From Blackbirds to Yellowhammers, these maps are a new way of visualising changes in our bird populations. See all the maps here
Articles about the BBS
Interested in how BBS data can be used to produce maps of trends, and how these relate to maps from the 2007–11 Bird Atlas? Download this BTO News article: From monitoring to maps
Ever wondered how BBS distance sampling can be used to work out numbers of birds present, but not counted during surveys? Download this BTO News article: A bird recorded is worth two, three or four in the bush!