The Ringing Scheme

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Report a ringed bird

Ringing aims to understand what is happening to birds in the places they live and how this affects population increases and decreases, this knowledge is vital for conservation. It also gives information on the movements individual birds make and how long many live for.  You can help by looking out for ringed birds and reporting them.  

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 explainedin Demographic Monitoring: A Strategy to Increase the Contribution of Ringing and Nest Recording to Conservation Science


Latest Ringing News


Spotted Flycatcher by George Higginbottom

We have now updated the Online Ringing Reports for 2012 which reveals the fascinating journeys made by birds ringed in Britain and Ireland and later found in such far-flung places as Svalbard and Brazil. But ringing also gives valuable information on survival, so reports of local birds are equally important. A Spotted Flycatcher ringed in a Norfolk garden in 2004 which unfortunately flew into a window of a nearby house almost exactly eight years later, set a new longevity record - having flown around 60,000 miles migrating to Africa and back each year.Find out how many birds were ringed and reported in 2012 broken down by country and county.

Reed Warbler nest. Photographed by Dave Leech.

The 2013 breeding season - boom or bust?

While many people stayed indoors in the warmth, our dedicated ringers and nest recorders donned their winter clothes and started their spring fieldwork.  Find out what their impressions of this year’s breeding season are.

 CES News 25 downloadImage of RAS News 2013 front page.

RAS & CES News 2013 Now Available

The 2013 editions of RAS News and CES News are now available.  Read them to find out what we now know about how the 2012 weather effected the 2012 breeding season.  

CES logo.

Worst season for migrant warblers since CES began

The preliminary trends for CES and Nest Record Scheme for 2012 are now published.  They make bleak reading for many species but particularly the migrant warblers.

The press release recognises the great work of ringers in getting these results despite the weather.

Reed Warbler recovery map.

New and Exciting: Recovery Maps are now available for all recoveries on the Online Ringing Recoveries pages.

Choose your species in "Recovery Summaries" and find a map after the summary list.  It shows the ringing location of foreign ringed birds found in Britain and Ireland and the finding location of birds ringed here.



The Oystercatcher, one of the longest lived birds.  Photographed by Allison Kew.

Longevity records for Britain & Ireland have now been updated to include 2012 reports.



Net checking in mist.  Photographed by Mark Grantham.

Read how our CES ringers are coping with the weather.