Sarah Harris

Job Description

BBS National Organiser


Sarah is responsible for managing the BTO/JNCC/RSPB Breeding Bird Survey incorporating the Waterways Breeding Bird Survey and assisting with the coordination of the Regional Network - our network of volunteer Regional Representatives, Organisers and Ambassadors.


BSc (Hons) Countryside Conservation, Aberystwyth University, Ceredigion, 2005-2008
A’ Permit bird ringer, 2008
Coastal Powerboat Level 2 certificate, 2011

Interests & Responsibilities

Sarah is responsible for the national coordination of the Breeding Bird Survey (BBS), which involves working closely with the Regional Network to ensure effective delivery of the scheme. Responsibilities include maintenance of databases, production of reporting outputs, BBS promotion and liaison with the volunteer network and the BBS Partner organisations (JNCC & RSPB).

Sarah also works in partnership with Butterfly Conservation and the Centre for Hydrology and Ecology in order to coordinate the Wider Countryside Butterfly Survey (WCBS) on BBS survey squares.

Sarah has always been interested monitoring birds (and other taxa) and making that data available as widely as possible for use in research and conservation.

Other Information

Prior to undertaking her current role, Sarah has worked as Estate and then Ornithological Warden on the Calf of Man Bird Observatory, which involved various bird monitoring and ringing activities. This was followed by the role of Assistant Warden on Skomer Island and then onto the position of White-tailed Eagle Officer on the Isle of Skye - plotting all White-tailed Eagle nests and territories across Skye and neighbouring islands.

Sarah is a very keen birder, bird recorder and has been a ringer since the age of 13. She is on the Rye Meads Ringing Group committee and the Spurn Bird Observatory Science and Research sub-committee. Sarah is particularly interested in Bird Observatory work, witnessing and recording bird migration, seawatching and moth recording.

Recent BTO Publications

Massimino D., Harris S.J., Gillings, S 2018. Evaluating spatiotemporal trends in terrestrial mammal abundance using data collected during bird surveys. Biological Conservation 226 : 153-167 View at journal website (DOI: 10.1016/j.biocon.2018.07.026)
Martay, B., Pearce-Higgins, J.W., Harris, S.J. & Gillings, S. 2018. Monitoring landscape-scale environmental changes with citizen scientists: Twenty years of land use change in Great Britain. Journal for Nature Conservation 44 : 33-42 View at journal website (DOI: 10.1016/j.jnc.2018.03.001)
Hayhow D.B., Ausden M.A., Bradbury R.B., Burnell D., Copeland A.I., Crick H.Q.P., Eaton M.A., Frost T., Grice P.V., Hall C., Harris S.J., Morecroft M.D., Noble D.G., Pearce-Higgins J.W., Watts O., Williams J.M. 2017. The State of the UK's Birds 2017. RSPB, BTO, WWT, DAERA, JNCC, NE and NRW, Sandy, Bedfordshire PDF icon Download Report (5.62 MB)
Harris, S.J., Massimino, D., Gillings, S.E., Eaton, M.A, Noble, D.G., Balmer, D.E., Procter, D. & Pearce-Higgins, J.W. 2017. The Breeding Bird Survey 2016. Research Report no. 700. British Trust for Ornithology, Thetford PDF icon Download Report (4.08 MB)
Hayhow D.B., Bond A.L., Douse A., Eaton M.A., Frost T., Grice P.V., Hall C., Harris, S.J., Havery S., Hearn R.D., Noble D.G., Oppel S., Williams J., Win I. and Wotton S. 2017. The State of the UK's Birds 2016. RSPB, BTO, WWT, DAERA, JNCC, NE, NRW and SNH, Sandy, Bedfordshire PDF icon Download Report (2.58 MB)
Harris, S.J., Massimino, D., Newson, S.E., Eaton, M.A., Marchant, J.H., Balmer, D.E., Noble, D.G., Gillings, S., Procter, D. & Pearce-Higgins, J.W. 2016. The Breeding Bird Survey 2015. Research Report no. 687. Link to publication ISBN: 978-1-908581-69-3 23pp

Other publications

Bird and ringing reports for the Calf of Man Bird Observatory, the Rye Meads Ringing Group and Skomer Island.