A creative collaboration, bringing together two of Britain’s wild bird charities and leading writers and artists, was launched on 16 January 2020. Titled ‘Red Sixty Seven’, the project seeks to raise awareness of our most at-risk birds and secure additional funds for British Trust for Ornithology (BTO) and RSPB scientists to carry out important research, work that should help to secure a future for these species.
The project takes its name from the UK Red List of Birds of Conservation Concern, which currently contains 67 species. An artwork has been produced for each species, together with a piece by some of the UK’s leading writers, including Ann Cleeves, Patrick Barkham, Mark Cocker and Adam Nicolson. The artworks, which include pieces by Chris Packham, Daily Mail political cartoonist Paul Thomas, Carry Akroyd and a host of other renowned wildlife artists, are being sold to raise funds. A book combing the artwork and texts will be published by BTO on 14 February 2020.
The project was the brainchild of Kit Jewitt, a birder and part-time conservationist from Northumberland who has made something of a name delivering engaging fundraising projects to support conservation work on birds, both as an individual and through the Probable Bird Society.
The idea was simple; a book featuring the 67 Red-listed birds, each illustrated by a different artist with a personal story from a diverse collection of writers. And every penny from sales donated directly to Red-listed species conservation projects run by BTO and RSPB. All that remained was the small task of persuading 134 people to contribute, and to give their work for free. Red Sixty Seven is the result; 67 love letters to our most vulnerable species, each beautifully illustrated by some of the best wildlife artists around, showcasing a range of styles as varied as the birds in these pages. Our hope is that the book will bring the Red List to a wider audience whilst raising funds for the charities working to help the birds most at need.
The 67 artworks are being sold as part of the project through 67 ‘lucky dip’ tickets. By purchasing one of the 67 tickets you are guaranteed to receive one of the original artworks and limited edition prints, but you will not know which one until the tickets and artworks are drawn from a hat on Friday 14th February 2020.
A book of all the artwork and accompanying texts is also available, along with T-shirts and badges.More Details
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.
With four out of the six satellite tagged Cuckoos we are currently following now in West Africa, it is only a matter of time before one of them heads north on the final leg of the journey back to the UK. At this stage any one of them could move first, follow them as they do.
This year we are part of Walk 4 Wildlife, a series of events to enable people to help protect our planet's amazing wildlife. On 19 May, thousands of primary school children will be taking part in an attempt to break a Guinness™ World Record which currently stands at 231,635 people all walking at the same time! Why not get your school to organise their own sponsored walk for BTO's work looking out for birds? In addition, there are five very different sponsored walks across the country throughout the summer.
We currently have three Cuckoos in West Africa, two staging in Ivory Coast before they make the northward journey back to the UK, and one in Nigeria at beginning the journey to his staging area further west. During the next few weeks we expect the remainder of our tagged Cuckoos to make their way into West Africa too. Follow them as they make their way back to the UK.
Entry for the BTO Raffle closed on 1 March and the winning numbers were drawn on the 7 March. Thank you to all those who entered and made donations to support our work, and to The Nestbox Company and GardenBird who kindly donated prizes. The total raised from ticket sales and donations was a fantastic £30,000 and the winning numbers are listed on our webpage. Winners are in the process of being contacted. Thank you for taking part.
February 14 marks the start of the 20th annual National Nestbox Week, organised by British Trust for Ornithology (BTO). Putting up nestboxes during the week can provide a nesting site for our treasured garden birds, many of which are struggling after a very poor year in 2016.
Our online shop has a great range of BTO branded clothing and you can enjoy FREEPOST on all orders placed this weekend. All of the products are 100% organic cotton and are ethically made in a wind-powered factory. We've got a great selection of t-shirts, jumpers and hoodies and with free postage they're even better value for money. Take a look at our branded clothing range.
Join Garden BirdWatch now and receive a free extra book to help make 2017 your wildlife gardening year. Understand and connect with your garden's rhythms and annual cycles, and contribute your sightings to our ongoing research on garden wildlife. The project is funded through an annual subscription of £17, and for a limited time only new joiners will receive two books free (RRP £25) as well as our quarterly Bird Table magazine.
Today is the last day to take part in the BTO Winter Raffle 2016/17. Entry costs from just £1 and you can play online. The deadline for entry is 11.59pm on 1 March and winners will be drawn on 7 March. By playing you will you be supporting our work looking out for birds and you'll also be in with a chance of winning one of our fantastic prizes. This year these include a £1000 cash prize, a selection of nest boxes and £100 worth of bird food. Take a look at the prizes and full term and conditions here.
Garden BirdWatch results show that more Hedgehogs were active later in the year than usual, particularly in southern and eastern areas of the UK. They were seen in 4.1% of gardens in November, which is nearly double the average (2.4%) and numbers remained high in December. This is likely due to the mild weather conditions.
Our conferences provide a great opportunity to expand your knowledge of birds and to meet other like-minded people. Join us on 18th March in York for the Yorkshire BTO Conference or in Dunfermline on the same date for the Scottish Birdwatchers' Conference. On 15th April we are holding a Members' Day at the Nunnery in Thetford, Norfolk when we'll be providing talks and workshops for members who'd like to improve their birdwatching skills and become actively involved in our monitoring work. Visit our events page to find out more.
BTO research harnesses citizen science to make breakthroughs in bat monitoring
Bat monitoring has traditionally been challenging, because most species are nocturnal, wide-ranging and difficult to identify. Whilst the National Bat Monitoring Programme run by the Bat Conservation Trust (BCT)...
Climate change in a warming world
BTO science contributes to our understanding of future scenarios, and informing policies and conservation management strategies to help species adapt.