The Ringing Scheme

Ringing aims to monitor survival rates of birds and collect information about their movements. This information provides vital support for conservation efforts as it helps to understand how these processes influence population sizes over time; identifying the mechanisms is the first step in reversing declines. You can help by looking out for ringed birds and reporting them

Visit the Online Ringing and Nest Recording Report to see how many birds are ringed and recovered for the whole Ringing Scheme, covering Britain & Ireland, as well as broken down by country and county. This is also the place to find longevity records.

Visit our “Demog Blog” to find the breaking news on ringing and Ringing Surveys to see how ringers are focussing their efforts to provide information on population size, breeding success and survival through our Constant Effort Site (CES) and Retrapping Adults for Survival (RAS) projects. 

Many of our ringers are also nest recorders, find out more information on nesting success by visiting the Nest Record Scheme.

Go and look at the Population Dynamics and Migration and the ecology of migrants pages to see how information from ringing combines with other BTO surveys to provide fascinating insights into the lives of birds.

If you want to find out more about why ringing and nest recording is important you'll find it explained in Demographic Monitoring: A Strategy to Increase the Contribution of Ringing and Nest Recording to Conservation Science


Latest Ringing News


Chaffinch abundance and productivity were low in 2015. Photograph by Jill Pakenh

2015 NRS & CES preliminary breeding season results

Information collected by BTO volunteers shows that numbers of many resident bird species, and some migrants, increased in 2015. However, the spells of cool, wet weather that much of Britain & Ireland experienced in late-spring and summer left many birds struggling to breed, with more northerly populations faring particularly badly. See the Nest Record Scheme and Constant Effort Sites scheme preliminary breeding season report for details.

Life Cycle Issue 2 cover

Life Cycle Issue 2 available online

Issue 2 of Life Cycle, the BTO magazine for ringers and nest recorders, is now available to download as a PDF or to read online. This autumn edition includes guides to mist-netting coastal waders and farmland birds as well as articles on making the most of your data. For those already looking forward to the start of the next breeding season, there is an article on finding Robin nests, and for those interested in more exotic species, there is a piece on ringing in South Georgia. We hope you enjoy these and all the other articles in this edition.

Icelandic-ringed Black-tailed Godwit seen in Norfolk in 2014. Photo Ruth Walker

2014 Online Ringing & Nest Recording Report

The 2014 Online Ringing and Nest Recording Report is now available. By popular request, and as a result of the new database, ringing records are now summarised by bird recording areas, rather than by (old) counties. Excitingly, there are also new pages showing the timing of breeding and moult for the 15 most commonly recorded species. The longevity records have also been updated to include birds re-encountered in 2014. For the first time, the report also includes Nest Record Scheme data in the form of totals for each country and county.