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. It is a national volunteer project aimed at keeping track of changes in the breeding populations of widespread bird species in the UK. Wild bird populations are an important indicator of the health of the countryside, and knowing to what extent bird populations are increasing or decreasing is fundamental to bird conservation.

Latest BBS news

Goldfinch, Edward Fellowes

Can you help with BBS 2016?

Can you spare just two mornings during April-June to count birds on a local 1-km square for BBS? Information collected by you will help us monitor the changing populations of UK birds and will be widely used for bird research and conservation. We have a fantastic team of Regional Organisers (RO) covering most regions to help you get started with BBS, and online video tutorials talking you through how to enter your data. 

Why not get in touch with your local RO now to find out where the nearest available BBS square is?

BBS form, David Tipling

New video tutorials for BBS Online

Tutorial videos have been created for the BBS Online system and cover three aspects of the online system:

Logging in and entering data

Mapping and editing your route  

Editing data

All three can be found on the BBS-Online webpage, along with further information on the online system. Remember, when entering data; using the tab button on the keyboard to move from one data entry box to another is quicker than clicking with the mouse. Thanks for taking part in the BBS.

Grasshopper Warbler. Photograph by Amy Lewis

Recording detectability in BBS

Volunteers are able to optionally record how birds were first detected (visually, by call or by song) on their BBS square. This was introduced, for the first time in 2014, and will help us to calculate the differences in detectability between males and females, and birds that are seen or heard. To find out more please read about the methods here.