BirdTrack

BirdTrack is a free and flexible way of storing your bird records online. Whether you are a casual birdwatcher or a serious lister, BirdTrack is a great system and an excellent tool for keeping an eye on what others have been seeing around the country.

Stake your claim to your BirdTrack patch and see how your records develop over months and years - and how your rank against others improves. Seen an interesting species whilst on the move? BirdTrack is great for casual records as well.

Visit the dynamic BirdTrack homepage to learn more.

Southbound

3 Jul 2014
BirdTrack reporting rate for Cuckoo

One of many valuable outputs from projects that use satellite tags to follow migratory species' journeys is the opportunity to compare actual departure dates with the patterns apparent in the BirdTrack data.

Take Cuckoo, for example. In mid May, about 20% of complete lists feature Cuckoo. The reporting rate then plummets to less than 3% by late June. One explanation for this pattern could be that Cuckoos are harder to detect later in the season as males stop calling, rather than because birds are actually leaving the country. However, the BTO's fascinating tracking work on Cuckoos shows that by late June, male Cuckoos are indeed heading south. The autumn migrations of 35 Cuckoos were followed in 2011–13, revealing that the average first date for a bird's tag to transmit from the Continent is 28 June. In the first year of the project, one bird had even left Britain by 3 June! These figures tie in closely with the timing of the disappearance of Cuckoos from BirdTrack complete lists.

When in Rome

12 Jun 2014
Rock Bunting with nesting material (code 'B') by Frank McClintock

If you are travelling to continental Europe this summer your bird sightings can provide important data for the European Breeding Bird Atlas, which will run until 2017. Your records can easily be submitted for use in this Atlas via BirdTrack’s global data entry tool and will be especially valuable if you include any evidence of breeding that you notice. For example, adding the code 'B' for nest building when logging a record of this Rock Bunting, right, would provide evidence of probable breeding at that location.

For detailed information about how to contribute to this Atlas and to discover areas particularly need your records, please visit the European Breeding Bird Atlas project.