The Ringing Scheme

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 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


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.

Jackdaw by Jill Pakenham

RAS results now online

For the first time, the full suite of national RAS results are now available online. The new web pages allow you to view the national survival trends, along with brief interpretation of the national results, for each of the 50 species that we currently have enough data to produce trends for. In addition, summary tables show the number of active and historical projects that contribute to the trends and the mean survival and re-encounter rates by species. More information about the results can be found on the Explanatory notes page.