Latest news
Tennyson the Cuckoo

Meet the Cuckoo class of 2019

Tuesday, June 25, 2019 - 12:30

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
Blackcap by Adrian Dancy

Monitoring illegal bird trapping

05 Feb 2016

Bird trapping is illegal in the European Union, but still occurs in several Member States. BirdLife Cyprus and RSPB have been monitoring this activity in Cyprus for over a decade. BTO's impartiality and reputation for robust science led to staff members Ali Johnston and Nick Moran being invited to a workshop in Cyprus to discuss the monitoring protocol. The whole issue was the focus of a recent feature for Nature.

Beachy Head by Helen Crabtree

NEWS - still time to take part

19 Jan 2016

There is still time to take part in the Non-Estuarine Waterbird Survey (NEWS); you can make counts till the end of January. Some brilliant birds have been found by our volunteers, with White-tailed Eagles recorded on 25 sectors, Glaucous Gull on 7 sectors, Whimbrel and Iceland Gull on 6 sectors and one lucky volunteer recording a Gyr Falcon.

Goosander by Jill Pakenham

Fifty years counting waterbirds

15 Jan 2016

January 16th is the 50th anniversary of the International Waterbirds Census (IWC) in which volunteers from over one hundred countries will get out in search of their waterbirds, anyone can get involved via IWC or by taking part in the Wetland Bird Survey (WeBS).

Curlew. Photograph by John Harding

New project to unravel how waterbirds use the Severn Estuary

14 Jan 2016

We’re asking birdwatchers to look out for colour-ringed and dye-marked waders and ducks on and around the Severn Estuary.

We're working with the Wildfowl and Wetlands Trust on a project to understand more about the home ranges of three species of waders (Curlew, Redshank and Dunlin) and a range of duck species  on the Severn Estuary between Newport and Cardiff. As part of this work the Redshank and Curlew have been colour ringed and Dunlin and some ducks marked with yellow dye. In addition we have put state-of-the-art tracking devices on some of the Curlew, Redshank and Shelduck, which is giving us fascinating information about how birds use the estuary through the winter during both the day and the night. Work is ongoing, with the aim to mark more birds of... read more

Goldfinches by Paul Newton

Durham Garden and Urban Wildlife Conference

13 Jan 2016

Join us in Durham for a day of talks celebrating the importance of gardens and urban areas for nature. Featuring talks from the BTO Garden BirdWatch team, Butterfly Conservation, Durham Wildlife Trust and other local organisations, the conference will provide an opportunity for you to meet with others who share an enthusiasm for gardens and their wildlife and to quiz the experts! 

Curlew by Amy Lewis

New BirdTrends report

08 Jan 2016

The BTO's BirdTrends report is a one-stop shop for the latest and most comprehensive information about the population status of the common breeding birds of the wider UK countryside. The report is based on data gathered by the many thousands of volunteers who contribute to BTO-led surveys. 

Shags by Andrew Cleeve

Last chance to enter

04 Jan 2016

This week sees the last chance to submit your photographs for Bird Photographer of the Year and be in with a chance of winning £5,000. The competition closes at midnight on Saturday 9 January.

Yellow Wagtail by Jill Pakenham

Migfest 2016

04 Jan 2016

We are delighted to announce our partnership with the annual Spurn Migration Festival and look forward to working with the team on Migfest 2016.

What are Goldfinches feeding on in your garden?

03 Nov 2015

The Goldfinch Feeding Survey is now closed so thank you to everyone who took part. If you did participate and have not yet entered your data, please do so before March 31. Through the survey, we aim to understand why Goldfinches are becoming increasingly common in gardens, and how important the food we put out or the plants we grow are. So far it seems that sunflower hearts are more tempting than nyger seed, but is that really the case? 

Life Cycle Issue 2 available online

21 Oct 2015

Issue 2 of Life Cycle, the BTO magazine for ringers and nest recorders, is now available to or to read online. This autumn edition includes... read more

Life Cycle Issue 2 cover

Life Cycle Issue 2 available online

20 Oct 2015

Issue 2 of Life Cycle, the BTO magazine for ringers and nest recorders, is now available to or to read online. This autumn edition includes... read more

Breeding Woodcock decline in Britain

19 Oct 2015

Results from the 2013 Woodcock Survey show that breeding numbers and breeding range have both declined considerably since the previous survey in 2003. The rate of decline varied regionally but was least pronounced in areas that contained large tracts of continuous woodland. Further research is required to fully understand the reasons for the population change.

What's Under Your Feet project logo

BTO working with EDF Energy to see 'What's Under Your Feet'

17 Jun 2015

We know little about the distribution of soil invertebrates across Britain or which factors influence their abundance such as climate and soil type. Engaging schools in this project provides an excellent opportunity to answer these questions, and they will be getting their hands dirty in the name of science. By digging randomly selected turf samples from school playing fields, schools can hopefully provide us with the information to help us relate long-term declines in some familiar bird species to climate change.

Learn more about the What's Under Your Feet? project at the Pod website.

Managing scrub for Nightingales

29 Apr 2015

The drivers behind the staggering decline in our breeding Nightingales is unclear but what we do know is that the ones we still have predominantly use scrub habitats over woodland. If you have Nightingales, or are interested in managing scrub for Nightingales, read our Nightingale Conservation Advice Note.

Life Cycle Spring 2015

Introducing Life Cycle

15 Apr 2015

The first edition of Life Cycle, the BTO magazine for Ringers and Nest Recorders, is now available to download as a


PDF (PDF, 3.74 MB)
 or to read online. The bi-annual magazine replaces the old scheme newsletters, back issues of which... read more

The cover of the first edition of Life Cycle

Introducing Life Cycle

14 Apr 2015

The first edition of Life Cycle, the BTO magazine for Ringers and Nest Recorders, is now available to download as a


PDF (PDF, 3.74 MB)
 or to read online. The bi-annual magazine replaces the old scheme newsletters, back issues of... read more

Cold weather boost to garden bird numbers

22 Jan 2015

BBS volunteer stories

11 Sep 2014

Alan GomersallSean Morris and Nick Tardivel have all shared stories from their BBS squares – the changes taken place and what it is like to survey a BBS square. These three contrasting squares providing an insight into the variety of habitats covered by the BBS. Some of our long-standing BBS volunteers have also told us what it is they enjoy about being involved in the BBS survey... read more

CES&RAS News 2014

CES&RAS News 2014 Now Available

26 Jun 2014

The 2014 edition of the newly combined CES News and RAS News (now cunningly called


CES&RAS News (PDF, 1.55 MB)
) is available to read online. Read it to learn all about project ringing.