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Breeding Birds in the Wider Countryside:
their conservation status 2008

Trends in numbers and breeding performance for UK birds


• Summary of key findings

• Species list

• Using this web site

• Contents page

Spotted Flycatcher © George H Higginbotham

Spotted Flycatchers, among the long-distance
migrants that are of conservation concern, have decreased by 81% over the past 25 years: nest

losses have increased greatly

Using this web site

This web site is a one-stop shop for information about the population status of our common terrestrial birds. It is based on data gathered by many thousands of volunteers who contribute to BTO-led surveys. With one web page per species, users can quickly find all the key information about trends in population size and breeding performance over the period 1967–2007, as measured by BTO monitoring schemes.

The summary of key findings provides a brief overview of our main findings this year. For each species, we provide:

  • General information concerning species' conservation listings and UK population sizes

  • A brief summary of observed changes in the size of the population and information concerning the possible causes of these changes

  • A series of graphs and tables showing the trends and changes in population size and breeding performance over the past 39 years

  • Trends calculated from BTO/JNCC/RSPB Breeding Bird Survey (BBS) data, not only for the UK as a whole but also for each of its constituent countries (England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland)

  • Alerts that highlight population declines in any census scheme of greater than 25% or greater than 50% that have occurred over the past 5 years, 10 years, 25 years and the maximum period available (usually 39 years).

Other pages provide details of the field and analytical methods that were used to produce the results for each species and of the methods used to identify alerts. We discuss overall patterns of trends in abundance and breeding success, and compare the latest trend information and alerts with the Population Status of Birds list (Gregory et al. 2002). Four appendices list alerts and population changes by scheme, and there is also a facility to select and display your own tables of population change. A detailed references section lists almost 300 of the most relevant recent publications, with onward links to abstracts or full text where available, and is a valuable key to recent scientific work by BTO and other researchers.

You can navigate your way around the site using links from the contents page, from the species index, and between sections. Alternatively, use the drop-down menus accessible from the menu bar at the top of each page. 'Species quick links', on the right-hand side of the menu bar, provides a drop-down list (in taxonomic order) with quick access to the species accounts.

The website covers the majority of British breeding birds, over 100 species in total, but excludes (with a few exceptions) colonial seabirds, which are well covered by the JNCC's Seabird Monitoring Programme (Mavor et al. 2008), and rare species that are included in the reports of the Rare Breeding Birds Panel (e.g. Holling & RBBP 2007b, 2008).

We value your comments on this report and particularly any suggestions on how it can be improved.



This report was written by Stephen Baillie, John Marchant, David Leech, Andrew Joys, David Noble, Carl Barimore, Mark Grantham, Kate Risely and Rob Robinson. The formal citation for the report is given in the page footer.

Next page – Key findings

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This report should be cited as:
Baillie, S.R., Marchant, J.H., Leech, D.I., Joys, A.C., Noble, D.G.,
Barimore, C., Grantham, M.J., Risely, K. & Robinson, R.A. (2009).
Breeding Birds in the Wider Countryside: their conservation status 2008.
BTO Research Report No. 516. BTO, Thetford. (http://www.bto.org/birdtrends)

Pages maintained by Iain Downie, Mandy T Andrews and Laura Smith: Last updated 01.04.2009