Kate Risely



Garden BirdWatch Organiser 


Leading the BTO's Garden Ecology team and co-ordinating the programme of garden ecology surveys and research, within the Communications department.


BSc (Hons) Zoology, University of Nottingham 1998-2001 

Research Interests / Responsibilities 

I have overall responsibility for running for Garden BirdWatch, a 'citizen science' project where volunteers record birds and other taxa using their gardens on a weekly, year-round basis, as well as additional garden-based surveys.  I am interested in the research and conservation applications of our garden wildlife data.

Other Information 

Ringing trainer and 'A' permit holder, and worked in the BTO Ringing team 2004 - 2007

Organised the BTO/JNCC/RSPB Breeding Bird Survey from 2007 - 2014

Member of the New Networks for Nature Steering Group

Contribute monthly articles to BirdWatching Magazine

Selected Publications 

Plummer, K. E., Siriwardena, G. M., Conway, G. J., Risely, K. and Toms, M. P.  2015. Is supplementary feeding in gardens a driver of evolutionary change in a migratory bird species?. Global Change Biologydoi: 10.1111/gcb.13070

Eglington, S.M., Brereton, T.M., Tayleur, C.M., Noble, D., Risely, K., Roy, D.B. & Pearce-Higgins, J.W. 2015. Patterns and causes of covariation in bird and butterfly community structure. Landscape Ecology DOI 10.1007/s10980-015-0199-z

Eaton, M.A., Balmer, D.E., Bright, J., Cuthbert, R., Grice, P.V., Hall, C., Hayhow, D.B., Hearn, R.D., Holt, C.A., Knipe, A., Mavor, R., Noble, D.G., Oppel ,S., Risely, K., Stroud, D.A. & Wotton, S. 2013. The state of the UK’s birds 2013. RSPB, BTO, WWT, NRW, JNCC, NE, NIEA & SNH, Sandy, Bedfordshire. 

Morrison, C. A., Robinson, R. A., Clark, J. A., Risely, K., Gill, J. A. 2013. Recent population declines in Afro-Palaearctic migratory birds: the influence of breeding and non-breeding seasons. Diversity and Distributions, 19: 1051–1058. doi: 10.1111/ddi.12084.

Musgrove, A.J., Aebischer, N.J., Eaton, M.A., Hearn, R.D., Newson, S.E., Noble, D.G., Parsons, M., Risely, K. & Stroud, D.A. 2013. Population estimates of birds in Great Britain and the United Kingdom. British Birds 106: 64–100.

Baillie, S.R., Marchant, J.H., Leech, D.I., Massimino, D., Eglington, S.M., Johnston, A., Noble, D.G., Barimore, C., Kew, A.J., Downie, I.S., Risely, K. & Robinson, R.A. 2013. BirdTrends 2012: trends in numbers, breeding success and survival for breeding birds.  BTO Research Report 644. BTO, Thetford. www.bto.org/birdtrends

Risely, K., Massimino, D., Newson, S.E., Eaton, M.A., Musgrove, A.J., Noble, D.G., Procter, D. & Baillie, S.R. 2013. The Breeding Bird Survey 2012. BTO Research Report 645. British Trust for Ornithology, Thetford.

Risely, K., Massimino, D., Johnston, A., Newson, S.E., Eaton, M.A., Musgrove, A.J., Noble, D.G., Procter, D. & Baillie, S.R. 2012. The Breeding Bird Survey 2011. BTO Research Report 624. British Trust for Ornithology, Thetford.

Brereton, T.M., Cruickshanks, K.L., Risely, K., Noble, D.G. & Roy, D.B. 2011. Developing and launching a wider countryside butterfly survey across the United Kingdom. Journal of Insect Conservation, 15 (1-2): 279-290.

Risely, K., Renwick, A.R., Dadam, D., Eaton, M.A., Johnston, A., Baillie, S.R., Musgrove, A.J. & Noble, D.G. 2011. The Breeding Bird Survey 2010. BTO Research Report 597.  British Trust for Ornithology, Thetford.

Risely, K., Baillie, S.R., Eaton, M.A., Joys, A.C., Musgrove, A.J., Noble, D.G., Renwick, A.R. & Wright, L.J. 2010. The Breeding Bird Survey 2009. BTO Research Report 559. British Trust for Ornithology, Thetford.

Risely, K., Noble, D.G. & Baillie, S.R. 2009. The Breeding Bird Survey 2008. BTO Research Report 537. British Trust for Ornithology, Thetford.

Risely, K., Noble, D.G. & Baillie, S.R. 2008. The Breeding Bird Survey 2007. BTO Research Report 508. British Trust for Ornithology, Thetford. 

Clark, J.A., Robinson, R.A., Adams, S.Y., Grantham, M.J., Risely, K., Balmer, D.E., Blackburn, J.R., Griffin, B.M., Marchant, J.H. & Kimmel, V. 2007. Bird ringing in Britain & Ireland in 2005. Ringing & Migration 23: 156-192. 

Clark, J.A., Robinson, R.A., Balmer, D.E., Blackburn, J.R., Grantham, M.J., Griffin, B.M, Marchant, J.H., Risely, K. & Adams, S.Y. 2005. Bird ringing in Britain and Ireland in 2004. Ringing & Migration 22: 213-253.

Contact details

Email: kate.risely [at] bto.org
Twitter: @katerisely
Telephone: 01842 750050
Fax: 01842 750030
Postal address: British Trust for Ornithology, The Nunnery, Thetford, IP24 2PU, UK.