Professional Courses

Bird Survey Techniques for Ecological and Environmental Professionals

Tailored to your needs.

BTO are renowned for the exceptionally high quality of our data and analyses, and we have been developing and using the bird survey methods, such as Point Counts, Transects and Territory Mapping, used by ourselves and others since the 1960s.

We are recognised as the experts in survey methodology and we also have huge experience in training people to use these survey methods through our established training programme.

What is the difference between BTO training courses for professionals and volunteers?

The Bird Survey Techniques Training for Ecological and Environmental Professionals course is carefully tailored to the needs of the ecological/environmental professional, with the focus on current methodologies being used in the field. These methods vary from the methods used by BTO volunteers undertaking BTO surveys, so the topics covered are very different to our volunteer courses.

In addition, a good knowledge of the rationale behind the methodologies and their strengths, weaknesses and caveats is required in order to decide which method is the best in which given situation – this is not covered in the volunteer courses, yet forms an integral part of the professional courses.

Forthcoming dates

We hope to be able to offer the following course in early 2020, and will announce dates and location once they are finalised. To register interest, please email training [at]

A 2-day certificated training course in bird survey methodologies involving indoor taught theory sessions and with plenty of practical outdoor practice covering:

  • Overview of BTO surveys
  • Scoping and data sources
  • Distance sampling methodology and analysis – point counts and transects
  • Territory mapping methodology and analysis
  • Survey selection, design and set-up
  • Application of ornithological methods to the EIA process

Numbers on these courses are strictly limited to a maximum of 20. There will be a minimum of 2 expert trainers with the group, maintaining a high trainer-to-participant ratio.

To register interest in a Bird Survey Techniques for Professionals course, please email training [at]


We are able to offer the two days of intensive training at a special price of £700 (incl. VAT).

Group bookings of two or more are eligible for a discount, please email training [at] for further details.

If there are sufficient bookings on any individual course we may be able to accept up to two unwaged individuals at £500 (incl. VAT) for the full 2-day course, on a first-come, first-served basis. Please email training [at] for further details or to register interest in this offer.

Booking terms and conditions

Payment must be received, in full, 4 weeks before the course starts. If full payment is not made at the time of booking, a deposit of £100 will confirm a place until 4 weeks before the course. Cancellations 4 weeks or more before the start date will be reimbursed in full. As places are strictly limited, no refund is possible if we receive notice of cancellation 4 weeks or less before the course start date. VAT invoices for the balance will be issued on receipt of the deposit.

Lunch and refreshments are included – please advise of any dietary requirements on booking. Accommodation is not included for these courses but we will provide local accommodation options with your booking information.

To get the most from the course, we recommend that you are able to identify most of the common resident UK woodland bird species by sight and, ideally, by sound. These courses are not suitable for complete beginners to birdwatching. Please bring your own binoculars, notebook and pen.

If you would like any further information about the scope of the course, please contact Nick Moran, Training Manager, on 01842 750050 or email training [at]