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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 in flight by Edmund Fellowes

Cuckoo 161321 south of the Sahara

13 Jul 2016

Cuckoo 161321 has crossed the Sahara desert earlier than any of our previously satellite-tagged Cuckoos. He is currently in Mali on the southern edge of the desert. All twelve of the Cuckoos we are following have left the UK and are spread across five different countries. Follow and sponsor them here.

Turtle Dove by Mike Weston

Breeding Bird Survey report

06 Jul 2016

The 2015 Breeding Bird Survey (BBS) report has just been published and contains some interesting results. From the continued decline of the Turtle Dove, now down by 93% in the UK since 1994, to the upward trend in Willow Warblers in Northern Ireland, the falling number of Yellowhammers in Wales, and the huge increase in the populations of some warblers in Scotland. Thank you to the dedicated BBS volunteers who make this possible. Read the 2015 BBS report.

Garden Birds and other wildlife book cover

New GBW book published!

27 Jun 2016

Our new Garden Birds and other wildlife book has now been published! Written by the BTO's Kate Risely and Clare Simm, this book is packed with information about the wildlife you can find in your garden. Get the book free when you join Garden BirdWatch, or buy for just £14.99.

Cuckoo 161322. Photograph by Norman Wyatt

Cuckoo class of 2016

27 Jun 2016

During the last few weeks our Cuckoo team has been out fitting satellite tags to eight more Cuckoos. This will help to see how migration might differ between years. The team will also focus more closely on how the weather, in particular the Inter Tropical Convergence Zone (ITCZ) and its life giving, drought-busting rains, affects the timing of their migration. Follow them all as they head south.

Disco Tony

The Cuckoos are off

17 Jun 2016

The first of our tagged Cuckoos is on his way south. Disco Tony has left his breeding area in Wales and is currently in the New Forest, Hampshire, completing the first leg of his long journey south. During the last two weeks we have tagged a further eight Cuckoos and will launch these on our website in the next few days – You can follow all of them as their journeys unfold.

Great Spotted Woodpecker by Ben Dalgleish

Gardeners' World Live

13 Jun 2016

We're going to be at Gardeners World Live later this week promoting the Garden BirdWatch survey. If you're going along, look out for the BTO stand in the Gardening for Wildlife section. Come and say hello, or have a go at our ID quiz!

Goldfinches by Paul Newton

Want to attract Goldfinches? Sunflower hearts are the answer!

09 Jun 2016

Between November 2015 and February 2016 an amazing 5,183 households across Britain and Ireland took part in our Goldfinch Feeding Survey to help determine what it is about our gardens that Goldfinches are attracted to. A preliminary analysis of the data shows that sunflower hearts were overwhelmingly the preferred option, with nyger seed coming second. Natural foods were also taken with teasel and thistle the favourites. Thank you to everyone who took part!

Spurn Migration Festival

Spurn Migration Festival

01 Jun 2016

Tickets are now on sale for the fourth annual Spurn Migration Festival. As a partner of the event BTO will be there, come and meet us and take part in the walks and talks, experience a bird ringing demo at this top migration site, and see bird migration in action. Get your ticket for Spurn Migration Festival now.

Colin Shawyer on Barn Owls in 2016

25 May 2016

Widely recognised for his work on the study and conservation of owls and raptors, 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 regular contact with Barn Owl experts across the country and oversees the annual monitoring of over 3,000 Barn Owl nest sites.

Good vole numbers predicted for 2016

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Visitors enjoying a bird ringing demonstration

Upcoming events

19 May 2016

This weekend we will be out and about, with teams at Scotland’s Big Nature Festival at Levenhall Links, the Royal Welsh Spring Show in Builth Wells and at the Norfolk Bird and Wildlife Fair at Mannington Hall. If you're attending one of these events then look out for the BTO stands and ringing demonstrations.

Yellow Wagtail by Jill Pakenham

BirdTrack research appeal

17 May 2016

Many summer migrants are declining and need our help, yet important knowledge gaps remain. Bridging those gaps is a fundamental aim of our BirdTrack research project. This will deliver new insights into bird population and distribution changes, habitat use, and migration patterns across a range of species in the UK and beyond. With your support, the BirdTrack research project can unlock the insights needed to answer some of the most pressing questions about our summer migrants.

Life Cycle Spring 2016

Life Cycle Issue 3

17 May 2016

The spring 2016 edition of Life Cycle, the BTO magazine for nest recorders and ringers, is now available online. This edition includes interpretation of the results from the 2015 breeding season (produced from data collected by nest recorders and CES and RAS ringers) and articles focusing on species including Starlings, Dippers, Wood Warblers, Stonechats and Wheatears.

2015 YBOTY winners

Spurn Young Birder of The Year

13 May 2016

The BTO have teamed up with Spurn Bird Observatory Trust and Next Generation Birders to find their Young Birder of The year. The winner will be decided in a final round of birdwatching at Migfest 2016. Might you have what it takes to be young birder of the year? Find out here

Common Cranes by Luke Delve

2014/15 WeBS Report

11 May 2016

The latest BTO/RSPB/JNCC Wetland Bird Survey report is published today, summarising the efforts of thousands of volunteer counters between July 2014 and June 2015. Explore waterbird numbers at a wetland site near you and view the latest species trends on the updated WeBS Report Online interface. Read the report to find out which waterbirds have recently been Red listed, the story behind the rapidly increasing Crane index, waterbirds making use of milder conditions in Finland, and much more.

Cuckoo David

The Cuckoos are back

09 May 2016

All of our satellite tagged Cuckoos have made it back to their breeding sites. For Vigilamus this coincided with heavy snow and a temperature of minus 5, proving too much for him to cope with, whilst for David it marked the completion of four whole migration cycles. Catch up with all of the birds here.

Location of BTO satellite-tagged Cuckoos on 6 May 2016

Five Cuckoos safely home

06 May 2016

Five of our satellite-tagged Cuckoos have made it safely back to their breeding grounds. Stanley, Coo, Peckham, Larry and David are all back but sadly it looks like the cold spell last week claimed Vigilamus. Welsh Cuckoo Disco Tony is still on his way back and is currently in northern Spain. Keep an eye on the maps to see if he joins David back in Wales over the coming days. 

2015 online ringing and nest recording report

05 May 2016

The online ringing and nest recording report has now been fully updated to include 2015 data. You can look up NRS totals by individual counties, view the top counties for nest recording, and see timing of breeding and moult per species.

Nuthatch in the hand. Photo by Dawn Balmer

2015 Preliminary Online Ringing & Nest Recording Report

05 May 2016

The preliminary 2015 Online Ringing and Nest Recording Report is now live! The report contains the details of the >48,000 nest records and almost 986,000 ringing records recieved so far. The pages showing the timing of breeding and moult for the 15 most commonly recorded species have also been updated. The final report will be published in the summer once all submissions have been received; the longevity records and ringing totals by species will also be updated at this time.

Location of BTO satellite-tagged Cuckoos on 29 April 2016

Too cold for our Cuckoos?

29 Apr 2016

Our satellite-tagged Cuckoos have been faring well during their spring migration this year with all seven which arrived at their wintering grounds managing to make it as far as Europe. Norfolk Cuckoo Stanley and Yorkshire Cuckoo Peckham are back at their breeding grounds. The recent cold spell may just have been too much for Yorkshire Cuckoo Vigilamus however, who faced heavy snow showers on his arrival on the north York moors. Find out more on our Cuckoo tracking pages

Bird Table 85 cover

Bird Table questionnaire prize draw winner

28 Apr 2016

We are pleased to announce that Dr Cowley has won the prize draw from the recent questionnaire looking at the Garden BirdWatch magazine Bird Table. Thank you to everyone who has filled the questionnaire in so far. If you are a Garden BirdWatcher, and haven't taken part yet, there is still plenty of time to do so.

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