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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.

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Cuckoo montage 2017

Announcing the Cuckoo Class of 2017

22 Jun 2017

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

Oystercatcher. Photograph by John Proudlock

Help fill the gaps for the European Atlas

12 Jun 2017

With the breeding season in full swing, can your birdwatching help fill important gaps in the European Breeding Bird Atlas? Submit your records with breeding evidence to BirdTrack to help this project.

Cuckoo and Nightingale Appeal

New Cuckoo and Nightingale Appeal

09 Jun 2017

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.

Cuckoo by Robin Lee/BTO

Cuckoos are go

05 Jun 2017

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.

Walk for wildlife walkers

Walk for wildlife this summer

31 May 2017

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. 

Mallard by Jill Pakenham

Waterbirds in the UK 2015/16

25 May 2017

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

Peckham the Cuckoo by BTO

The Cuckoos are back

23 May 2017

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.

Yellow Wagtail by Jill Pakenham

Bird Indicators just published

18 May 2017

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.

Barn Owls in 2017: update from Colin Shawyer

17 May 2017

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

Satellite Tracking Cuckoos

Four tagged Cuckoos back in UK

09 May 2017

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.   

YBOTY 2016 winner George Dunbar, with BTO CEO Andy Clements and TV presenter Mike Dilger (Image by SBOT)

Calling all young birders

05 May 2017

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.

Cuckoo locations 27.4.17

Cuckoos complete desert crossing

27 Apr 2017

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.

House Martin by Doug Welch

House Martin Survey 2017

19 Apr 2017

House Martins are in trouble and we are calling on members of the public to follow and record the nesting activity of House Martins to help us understand why. If you have House Martins breeding nearby, please take part in the House Martin Survey.

Mistle Thrush by Jill Pakenham

GBW annual results

13 Apr 2017

The Garden BirdWatch annual results, just published, show mixed fortunes for our garden birds in 2016. Good numbers of Red-listed Song and Mistle Thrushes provided a winter highlight, whilst Greenfinches were seen in the lowest number of gardens ever.

Blackbird. Photograph by Tommy Holden

Garden BirdWatch annual results 2016

13 Apr 2017

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

State of UK Birds 2016 cover

The State of the UK's Birds 2016

11 Apr 2017

More than one quarter of UK birds are in need of urgent conservation effort with Curlew, Puffin and Nightingale joining the growing list of threatened species – but there is good news for some. Read the full SUKB report.

Cuckoo by Colin Brown/BTO

The Cuckoos are coming

29 Mar 2017

The first of our tagged Cuckoos is well on his way and has crossed the Sahara, the Mediterranean and Spain. Selborne is on the southern edge of the Pyrenees but will he be the first back to the UK? Follow them as their journeys unfold.

Willow Tit carrying food by Edmund Fellowes

Find the Gap

28 Mar 2017

BTO has just launched a new web-based tool for filling the gaps on the map for the new European Breeding Bird Atlas (EBBA2), the most ambitious continental scale atlas of breeding birds ever produced. Learn how to help Find the Gap.

Wheatear by Vic Froome/BTO

Spring migration underway

21 Mar 2017

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.

Bird identification videos from BTO

Help with bird ID

21 Mar 2017

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. 

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