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
Two of the Chinese Cuckoos that were tagged in Beijing, northwest China, by a team led by BTO scientist Dr Chris Hewson, have made it to the east coast of Africa, providing brand new information for science along the way. One of them via a non-stop flight across the Indian Ocean, the other by crossing the Gulf of Oman and a flight across the deserts of Oman and Yemen. Where will they go next? Follow the Chinese Cuckoo project.
The autumn edition of Life Cycle, the BTO magazine for nest recorders and ringers is now available online. Issue 4 contains the second in our two-part series on mist-netting waders as well as a guide to monitoring Tawny Owls and articles on tracking Nightingales, how your NRS data is informing conservation policy, a look at the impact of climate change on ducks (and what volunteers can do to help) and much more.
The autumn edition of Life Cycle, the BTO magazine for ringers and nest recorders is now available online. Issue 4 contains the second in our two-part series on mist-netting waders as well as a guide to monitoring Tawny Owls and articles on tracking Nightingales, how your NRS data is informing conservation policy, a look at the impact of climate change on ducks (and what ringers can do to help) and much more.
Special Protection Areas are designated for many species under the EU Birds Directive, including all regularly occurring migrants and the additional species listed under Annex 1 of the Directive. There were 270 such UK sites classified by January 2016 covering 2.8 million hectares. As a result, they form a crucial pillar of the conservation of wild birds in the UK. The suite of sites was last reviewed in 2001 and the current report covers progress since then.
The review required the collation of a huge quantity of data, at the level of individual sites but also to produce population estimates at national (and indeed international) level to provide an understanding of the sufficiency of the SPA network to provide the intended level of conservation support. A large proportion of... read more
At the launch of the 2016 State of Nature Report, the Secretary of State for the Environment recognised Brexit as both a challenge and an opportunity. The Government’s priorities are transforming EU environmental legislation into strong protection for wildlife, and including better outcomes for wildlife in UK agri-environment support.
Last week, 18 experts from across Europe (UK, Denmark, Germany, Netherlands, Latvia, Lithuania, Belgium, Finland, Sweden, Norway and Poland) met over five days to discuss key marine conservation issues at our Nunnery HQ. This meeting was part of the Joint ICES-OSPAR-HELCOM Expert Group on Seabirds, concerned with seabird conservation in the North Atlantic and Baltic. Topics covered included seabird bycatch and threats to European seabirds when they are outside Europe. There was also a strategic overview of monitoring of seabirds at sea using boat and aerial surveys, with a view to generating support for establishing a regular monitoring programme.
BBC's The One Show viewers watched recently as a delighted and slightly bemused Bill Bailey was presented with a framed photograph of his namesake Bill the Cuckoo live on BBC1. Named by the One Show in recognition of Bill Bailey’s love of birdwatching, Bill the Cuckoo has been fitted with a satellite tag so that scientists from the British Trust for Ornithology can follow his movements in almost real-time.
Like Bill Bailey on his successful tour, Limboland, Bill the Cuckoo has also been on an epic adventure - from his UK breeding grounds to Africa where he will spend the winter. Bill the Cuckoo recently surprised us by flying back to Spain despite having already reached Africa. Unravelling such decisions is... read more
Fifteen year-old George Dunbar, from Cheshire, was named Martin Garner Spurn Young Birder of the Year, at the 2016 Spurn Migration Festival, ahead of four other young finalists and thirty young birders who entered this year's competition. Read more here.
New research led by the BTO has used a combination of GPS-tracking and advanced statistics to provide new insights into seabird flight heights by night and day. This study gives important information on the risk of seabirds colliding with offshore wind turbines and at a time when governments worldwide are investing in marine renewables.
David Noble, Principal Ecologist and co-author of State of Nature 2016 writes:
On 14 September 2016, the State of Nature partnership officially launched their second report (State of Nature 2016) at the Royal Society in London. Produced by a consortium of 53 diverse conservation organisations, this report provides a snapshot of the population status of almost 4,000 terrestrial, freshwater and marine species and updates the statistics in the previous and first State of Nature report in 2013. The BTO is a key player, not only contributing the population trends for most birds,... read more
Our satellite tagged Cuckoos are well on their way to their wintering grounds. Seven birds have already successfully crossed the Sahara, whilst another four are poised to do the same during the next few days. Tagged in 2015, Peckham has just started his crossing, whilst David has just completed his fifth, making him a record breaking Cuckoo. Follow our tagged Cuckoos.
The Bird Photographer of The Year (BPOTY) exhibition opens at The Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew on Saturday 10 September and is open until January 31, 2017. All of the category winning photographs will be on display, along with a selection of runner-up and commended images. The BPOTY book of the competition contains these and many more, order a copy of the Bird Photographer of the Year book today.
The Spurn Migration Festival opens this Friday evening. We will be there all weekend and look forward to meeting our members and supporters that will be there too. Come and say hello at Westmere Farm or on one of our guided walks. It’s still not too late to get a ticket; they will be available on the day at the farm.
Mute Swan Adult In Detail by Andy Parkinson won the overall title of Bird Photographer Of The Year 2015 but everyone will have their favourites. Check out the winning photographs from all of the categories and enjoy a free copy of the book if you join the BTO, or purchase it directly.
From Friday until Sunday this week we'll be at Birdfair once again and we hope to see many of you there. If you are attending this weekend, look out for our stand in Marquee 3 and check out the popular bird ringing demonstration. Several BTO staff are presenting talks and our president Chris Packham will be announcing the winners of the Bird Photographer of the Year competition. Birdfair also provides the perfect opportunity to explore the... read more
The latest Ringing and Nest Recording Report has just been published in full. Longevity records for 11 species have been broken; at the ripe old age of 36 years, 11 months and 28 days, we have a new oldest Guillemot. Just under a million birds were ringed, and almost 50,000 nest records submitted.
The Online Ringing & Nest Recording Report has been fully updated to include Ringing and Nest Record Scheme data for 2015. This year, the pages showing the timing of breeding and moult have been expanded to include an additional nine species and to show mean weights per month for each of the featured species. Longevity records for 11 species were broken in 2015. The oldest known Ringed Plover is now nearly 2 years and 3 months older than the previous record holder; at the other end of the scale, the longevity... read more
When the BTO began ground-breaking Cuckoo tracking research in 2011, we had very little idea where these birds spent the winter or how they got there. Our latest research, just published in Nature Communications, not only reveals this information, but also shows that Cuckoos’ use of autumn migration routes helps explain population declines.
Published on 20 August, this wonderful book is available for pre-order from BTO. It includes a selection of the most stunning images from the winners and short-listed photographers who took part in the Bird Photographer of the Year award 2016. Get a sneak preview and take advantage of the BTO’s special offer now.
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