Get involved in Northern Ireland

By participating in BTO schemes and surveys you can put your birding skills to good use, helping us to understand how Northern Ireland's bird populations are changing and why.

We have a broad range of participation opportunities - you can get involved in your garden, urban greenspace, at wetland sites or while out exploring Northern Ireland's wilder places.

View all current projects or view the list of completed projects.

Chiffchaff by Paul Newton

Breeding Bird Survey

BBS monitors the population changes of 118 breeding bird species across the UK thanks to the dedication of almost 3,000 volunteers who survey their randomly selected 1-km square each spring.

Learn more

Time / skill needed:
  • Undertake three site visits between April and June - a recce and two morning visits, along with data entry.
  • Able to identify UK breeding birds by sight, song and call.

WeBS counting. Photograph by Teresa Frost

Wetland Bird Survey

The Wetland Bird Survey (WeBS) monitors non-breeding waterbirds in the UK.

Learn more

Time / skill needed:
  • One visit per month, preferably on the Sunday Core Count priority date.
  • Identify waterbirds that regularly occur at your allocated WeBS site.

Robin. John Harding

Garden BirdWatch

Help with research into garden wildlife by joining our Garden BirdWatch community

Learn more

Time / skill needed:
  • As much as you like, but a minimum of 20 minutes per week recommended.
  • Can identify common garden birds by sight.

Long-tailed Tit nest. Photograph by Elspeth Rowe

Nest Record Scheme

Nest Record Scheme participants gather vital information on the breeding success of Britain's birds by following the progress of individual nests.

Learn more

Time / skill needed:
  • A few minutes on a nest in a garden to a full time project in the field.
  • Count eggs and chicks in nests by following the Code of Conduct.

Grey Heron. Photograph by John Harding

Heronries Census

Annual survey of all Grey Herons, Little Egrets, Cormorants and scarcer herons nesting in the UK

Learn more

Time / skill needed:
  • Each visit requires 10 minutes to 1 hour excluding travelling time.
  • Suitable for beginners - identify herons/cormorants and count occupied nests.

Greenfinch in the hand having its wing measured, by Dawn Balmer

Bird Ringing Scheme

Bird ringing generates information on the survival, productivity and movements of birds, helping us to understand why populations are changing.

Learn more

Time / skill needed:
  • It usually takes a year or more, ringing regularly with qualified ringers, to obtain a ringing permit.
  • Basic bird identification skills and reasonable dexterity are required.

Get in contact

Meet our team or find a regional representative to support your participation in surveys.

Meet the BTO Northern Ireland team


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