Thanks to the BTO's Cuckoo Tracking Project we are learning more about Cuckoo migration. There are still important questions to answer, so we have fitted four more Cuckoos with satellite tags this spring. Senan, Valentine, Tennyson and Nussey join eight existing birds, all of which should make their way south during the next few weeks. Follow their exciting journeys.More Details
Robinson, Sherwood and Thomas have all made northerly flights during the last few days, undertaking the very first leg of the long journey back to the UK. The average spring arrival date for Cuckoo in the UK is 19 April - they have a long way to go yet, follow their progress here.
The latest State of birds in Wales report shows mixed fortunes. Urban populations of House Sparrow, Feral Pigeon and Collared Dove show increases, along with woodland bird populations, whilst both lowland and upland farmland birds continue to fall. Welsh House Martins are holding their own but Starlings are in steep decline. Read more here
The latest update of the Indicator for Terrestrial Breeding Birds in Scotland has just been published. More than 80% of woodland bird species have shown marked increases. Farmland birds are up 14%, whilst the trend for upland birds shows a decline of almost 20%. Chiffchaff and Blackcap show some of the largest increases, with Dotterel and Curlew showing serious falls in numbers. Read more here.
The latest updates of the UK and England bird indicators based on population trends of wild birds were published today. These indicators are part of the government’s suite of biodiversity indicators and show how the fortunes of birds of farmland, woodland, waterways and wetlands, and marine and coastal areas have fared between 1970 and 2017.
The five Marsh Awards for Ornithology, and the Dilys Breese Medal for communication, were handed to six very deserving recipients at a glittering ceremony at the launch of the Natural Eye 2018 exhibition in the Mall Gallery, London. Dr Juliet Vickery (Ornithology) and Louis Driver (Young Ornithologist) were amongst those honoured. Read more here.
The latest BirdTrends report makes for interesting reading, and suggests that Swift could potentially be moved from the amber to red list as a bird in need of conservation action when the list is next updated, and a move from green to red for Greenfinch. It’s not all bad news, 23 species have shown a doubling in population size over varying periods of time. Read more here.
We've just launched a brand new data entry system. The new system is designed to make entering your weekly records easier by phone and tablet. In addition to this, we're now asking whether or not you'd record other wildlife if you saw it. This is a small but important change. You can find out more about the importance of this in an article by Kate Risely. To make this easier you are able to set your preferences by clicking 'edit my details', which is just below your GBW number on the right-hand side of the screen.
We hope that all of our Garden BirdWatchers will like the new system. We are incredibly grateful to the commitment and records provided by our volunteers and as such we are always open... read more
Issue 8 of LifeCycle includes an article launching a new national project exploring variation in post-juvenile moult in Blue Tits and one introducing an exciting new project to create a Eurasian African Bird Migration Atlas. It also contains articles on ringing and nest recording on the MOD estate, ageing Reed Buntings, monitoring Woodpigeon nests, ringing without mist nets and nest boxes for Shags.
Are there Tawny Owls calling in your area? By listening out for them in your garden or nearby green space you could help us to understand their calling behaviour and distribution, and to discover the impact of urbanisation and artificial lighting.
It's easy to take part - just listen for 20 minutes during at least one evening between now and 31 March 2019. You can listen from your garden, local park or woodland. You can even listen whilst lying in bed with the window open! All information is valuable, even zero counts.
The Tawny Owl Calling Survey is still running, and it's not too late to take part. It's really easy to contribute to the survey and we want as many people as possible to get involved. We think our Tawny Owl population is in decline - but we need better data.
Join us between September 20 and 23 at New Scientist Live at Excel in London. This amazing event, dubbed "The world's greatest science festival" has something for everyone, from naked mole rats to record-breaking cars. There will be fascinating talks by a wide range of scientists and presenters alongside a host of exhibitors offering brilliant interactive activities. We'll be there and we hope to see some of you there too.
High pressure will be over Scandinavia for at least the next day or two, which will bring a hint of easterly airflow towards Britain and, any birds tempted by the good conditions to the north east of us might find themselves over the North Sea and heading towards our shores. Check out the latest BTO migration blog.
The announcement of the winning images in Bird Photographer of the Year underlines the many ways that birds can inspire us. Thanks to the competition organisers, this year's competition has also raised funds for BTO that will help us to deliver a world that is inspired by birds and informed by science. See here for more
We are excited about attending the upcoming Birdfair. If you are going to be there come and say hello to us in Marquee 3, join one of our free guided walks and look out for BTO talks. We'd also like you to visit our video booth to tell us what BTO means to you, and don’t forget the bird ringing demo. See you there from 17-19 August!
The UK’s mammals present particular challenges for monitoring; they live in a wide variety of habitats, vary enormously in size and can be very difficult to see, but as the latest paper from BTO scientists shows, Britain’s army of volunteer bird surveyors could come to the rescue.
Raymond was the last to successfully cross the desert during the early hours of 8 August. This means that all fourteen tagged Cuckoos that we are currently following have survived the Sahara and are now spread from Senegal in the west to Chad in the east. Read their blogs and follow them as they make their way to the Congo basin.
Come and meet the team at Countryfile Live, Blenheim Palace. We will be there 2-5 August and would love to say hello. There will be members of staff from our Garden BirdWatch Team and bird ringing demonstrations throughout the day, weather permitting. You can find us in the Wildlife Zone close to the pontoon.
Unlocking the science to reveal the state of nature
David Noble takes a sober look at the latest State of Nature Report.
What effect might annual releases of non-native gamebirds be having on native biodiversity?
Henrietta Pringle reveals the work behind a recent paper on gamebirds and predation