Here are just some of the previous appeals which you have generously supported:
Help ensure BTO remains an excellent prospect for support in a volatile funding environment.
Donate now to fund vital research to ensure Cuckoo and Nightingale don’t become sounds of the past.
Make a donation to help ensure that our voice is at the heart of post-Brexit decision-making on birds and their habitats.
Help fund a research team who will harness BirdTrack data to understand declines in key summer migrant species.
Help fund our urgent package of research into the rapid decline of Curlew in the UK.
Since opening a BTO office in Scotland, ten years ago, we have seen how much more closely staff can work with birdwatchers and with conservation and decision-makers, simply because there is a BTO office within the country. We now plan to provide the same impetus in Wales.
We want to understand why many population changes are taking place and BTO long-term datasets are the key to unlocking some of these mysteries. We have a mass of evidence from our wide range of surveys – Breeding Bird Survey, Bird Atlas 2007-11, Nest Record Scheme, Ringing, Garden BirdWatch and BirdTrack – which show how bird populations are changing - but what we need to find out now is - why?
Thanks to our community of BTO Garden BirdWatchers we already know a lot about the birds and other wildlife using gardens but, with the importance of gardens only just now being recognised, there are some key questions that remain unanswered. With your help we can tackle them.
The decline shown by the Nightingale is so great that the species would qualify for the Red List as a Species of Conservation Concern. We now plan to fund further research to investigate why these declines continue – whilst there are still sufficient birds to study.
Thanks to all those who supported this appeal. With your help we managed to fund the work needed to complete the Nightingale and Chats surveys, support Nightingale and Cuckoo tracking, develop BirdTrack to increase the number of people using it and begin a project looking at timing of moult using ringing data.
Help us to understand why farmland bird populations are struggling, despite conservation action, and find management solutions that work to help reverse their declines.
The Nightingale population declined by a staggering 53% between 1995 - 2008 (Breeding Bird Survey Data) and the Bird Atlas 2007-11 indicates that their range is continuing to contract towards the extreme south-east of England, despite massive, local conservation efforts in traditional coppice and
The chat survey has been started in Wales to bring a special focus on the relationship between the birds and the habitats and landscapes that sustain them, and will be followed by full survey of the UK.
Our summer migrant birds face incredible challenges in their daily lives but none more so than their annual journeys to and from Africa, to escape the British winter and reach warmer climates, returning again in spring. However, numbers of our summer migrants, such as the Cuckoo and Swift, are declining and we need to understand why.
During 2007, the BTO ran a UK-wide survey of breeding Little Ringed and Ringed Plovers, the first national survey for these species since 1984. This was successfully completed thanks to support by Anglian Water.
The Nightingale population declined by a staggering 53% between 1995 - 2008 (Breeding Bird Survey Data) and the emerging picture from Bird Atlas 2007-11 indicates that their range is continuing to contract towards the extreme south-east of England, despite massive, local conservation efforts in
In spring 2009, jointly with the Swiss Ornithological Institute, ‘geolocators’ were attached to 20 Nightingales in the UK; these tiny devices, weighing just 1g, contain a clock and light sensor which make it possible to determine where in the world they are at any given time. In June 2010 one of these birds was recaught, allowing our scientists to download the data collected over the winter months.
Between 2007 and 2011 tens of thousands of volunteer birdwatchers recorded in the winter and breeding seasons for Bird Atlas 2007-11. All areas and habitats were covered, from villages, towns farmland and fens to remote mountains and far-flung islands. This stock-take of our birds is already revealing fascinating changes in the status of our birds and will shape the direction of conservation action over the coming decades.
Using radio-tags supplied by Biotrack, two Hawfinches in Perthshire became the first to be successfully radio-tagged in 2007. Hawfinch is now listed as a priority under the UK Biodiversity Action Plan but their ecology is poorly known and this project has helped us to develop the study of some aspects of their ecology.
Although easy to hear, Nightingales are very difficult to observe. Radiotracking, equipment supplied by Biotrack, has enabled the collection of useful information on their behaviour, requirements and responses to changing habitat quality.
During summer 2011, 20 Nightjars were tagged in Thetford Forest in order to discover the poorly known migration routes and wintering areas of our breeding population; supported by Biotrack. Following advances in GPS tracking technology, 30 high resolution loggers have been deployed since 2015, which have yielded an extremely detailed wealth of migration data for the nine individuals recaught to date.
During the winters’ of 2012/13 and 2013/14, thousands of volunteer birdwatchers took part in the BTO’s Wintering Thrushes Survey. Individual donations and BTO Corporate Members supported their efforts looking at how thrushes use the countryside throughout the winter; providing the evidence needed to assess the importance of the UK for the five wintering thrush species.
The 2010 Garden Nesting Survey asked people to check their gardens for nesting activity by birds, and the responses have revealed a fascinating picture of the birds that use our gardens for nesting. The participation of thousands of BTO volunteers was supported by Gardenature and the John Spedan Lewis Foundation.
In June 2011, the BTO embarked on a ground-breaking Cuckoo Satellite-Tracking project to determine their stop-over points, migration routes and wintering grounds. The project has been generously supported by Essex & Suffolk Water, Sound Approach, Opticron and Wildsounds. Subsequent years have seen further groups of Cuckoos tagged, and work continues.
Making the most of BirdTrack data
We have been working to produce useful summaries for bird reports using data from the millions of annual BirdTrack records.
Migration blog – Winter
As we get ever closer to the end of autumn the pace of migration steadily slows, and as the daylight hours shorten so does the variety of birds on the move.