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
The details of six Cuckoos satellite-tagged this spring in Norfolk, Suffolk, Sherwood Forest and the New Forest have now been added to our website for you to follow. Some of these are still waiting for their names to be confirmed but you can support the project and sponsor your favourite here.
Both Cuckoo and Nightingale populations have suffered staggering declines in the last 40 years. It’s more vital than ever that we push on with the ground-breaking research we have begun on Cuckoos and pull out all the stops to unearth as much as we can from the information we hold in our archives about the Nightingale. Support our new appeal here.
Locations received from Victor's tag show that he is the first of our satellite tagged Cuckoos to leave the UK this spring. Around lunch on 2 June he was still close to Elveden, Suffolk but by late afternoon on 6 June he was in central France. Follow him and the other satellite tagged Cuckoos as they make their way south to Africa. Our team have been busy tagging the Cuckoo class of 2017 - watch this space.
This summer why not get your walking shoes on and join other people committed to raising money for wildlife? There are still four Walk 4 Wildlife events left to run over the summer including a night walk in the New Forest, a 20 mile stroll in London and a three peak challenge.
The 35th BTO/JNCC/RSPB WeBS annual report Waterbirds in the UK 2015/16 shows that Mallard reaches a record low, Herring Gull is the most numerous gull on the open coast and the Velvet Scoter index reaches its highest for ten years.
The report provides an invaluable resource for anyone with an interest in waterbirds in the UK and beyond. The latest report features the results of the 2015/16 Non-Estuarine Waterbird Survey (NEWS III) as well as the latest trends and data from WeBS. Search the WeBS Report Online interface to find the latest information on status of the UK’s waterbirds and the wetlands and coastal areas used by them. View the latest report providing a summary of the results and other waterbird related... read more
The arrival of Peckham back in the country on 21 May saw all of the satellite tagged Cuckoos we are currently following back in the UK. Peckham still has to make his way back to the Yorkshire Dales, the site at which he was tagged in May 2015. Follow them all as they move around their breeding locations.
The latest updates of the UK and England bird indicators based on population trends of wild birds, were published on 18th May 2017. 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 2015. The full report shows it’s not all bad news.
Widely recognised for his work on the study and conservation of owls and raptors, biologist and professional ecologist Colin Shawyer has collaborated with the BTO on projects such as Project Barn Owl (1995-1997) and the Barn Owl Monitoring Programme (2000-2009). As founder and co-ordinator of the Barn Owl Conservation Network (BOCN), Colin is in contact with Barn Owl ringers and nest recorders across the country and oversees the annual monitoring of over 3,000 nest boxes.
In my January report, I predicted a slow start to the Barn Owl breeding season this year—a late-April first egg date for many pairs or even into May for females that were late or had double-... read more
Five of our tagged Cuckoos have now completed the desert crossing and, with Victor's recent return, there are now four back in the UK and on their breeding grounds. Peckham has a little further to go yet but we think that Bill has died after the efforts of his Sahara Crossing. Follow their journeys here.
As part of the Spurn Bird Observatory 2017 Migration Festival, the organisers once again hope to find the Martin Garner Spurn Young Birder of The Year.The competition is open to all young British birders. If you will be aged sixteen or under on Saturday 9 September 2017, and know the difference between a Meadow Pipit and Tree Pipit, and feel you can communicate this to someone else, you probably have what it takes to enter.
So far, five of our satellite tagged Cuckoos have completed the desert crossing. Selborne is back on his breeding grounds in the New Forest but, Bill, the latest of the Cuckoos to cross the desert, looks like he may have died in Morocco after his efforts. Three Cuckoos are now in continental Europe and could arrive back in the UK anytime while Peckham is in Ghana and yet to attempt his Saharan crossing. Follow our Cuckoo tracking Project.
The results are in and we can announce that Blackbirds were the most commonly seen bird in gardens during 2016, recorded in 90% of gardens on average throughout the year! The winter was a good one for thrushes, with Song Thrush, Mistle Thrush and Redwing all seen in good numbers. Unfortunately it wasn’t all good news in 2016 and we witnessed our lowest ever counts of Greenfinches and from October onwards counts dropped below one per garden on average for the first time. Explore the GBW annual results further.
Huge numbers of Redwings have been heard moving over eastern counties during the hours of darkness over the last week, and summer migrants like Chiffchaffs and Sand Martins are increasing by the day. Check what is happening and what to expect over the coming weeks by following the BTO migration blog.
This is one of the best times of the year to develop your bird identification skills. Only the earliest summer migrants are here so you have the opportunity to perfect your skills in identifying these before the other species arrive to confuse things. Get to grips with Chiffchafff quickly before the Willow Warblers arrive and perfect your Sand Martin ID before the House Martins and Swallows pour in. Check out our full range of free bird identification videos designed to help you develop your birdwatching skills this year.
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