Welcome to the BTO

Looking out for birds? Share your interest in birds with others by being part of the British Trust for Ornithology (BTO). Volunteer surveyors, members and staff work in partnership to provide unbiased information about birds and their habitats. Join or volunteer today and make birds count.

Arctic Tern by Andy Mason

UK Biodiversity Indicators 2018

This set of indicators, published today, uses data collected by BTO volunteers. Covering the period between 1970 and 2016, the five wildbird indicators show mixed fortunes. Farmland bird populations continue to fall, woodland birds are down, some groups of breeding water and wetland birds are bouncing back, seabirds are up and down against a backdrop of decline and many wintering waterbirds are declining after several decades of increase. You can read more here.

Spotted Redshank by John Harding

Return migration is under way

July is a fantastic month for birding. Some species will have already finished breeding and will be making their way south with this years offspring to their wintering grounds. This can bring lots of rare and exciting birds to the UK, particularly around the coasts, but also to some inland locations. Check out the latest BTO migration blog

Crested Tit by Sarah Kelman

BBS data and habitat monitoring

Citizen science is increasingly recognised as one of the most cost-effective means of achieving large-scale and long-term biodiversity monitoring. Historically, changes in habitat or land cover have been recorded through two main approaches: professional field data collection and remote sensing using satellites. Might Breeding Bird Survey (BBS) data be useful for monitoring habitat as well as birds? Read more here.
BTO Cuckoos July 2018

Cuckoos crossing the Sahara

Some of our Cuckoos have begun their desert crossing, arguably the most hazardous part of their journey. It might be that not all of them make it across. Follow them all as they tackle this formidable barrier over the next couple of weeks.