Take part in a project

BBS volunteer. David Tipling
Make your birding count - volunteer and support BTO surveys, schemes and projects

From expert ringers and ecologists, to patch birders, garden enthusiasts and Cuckoo sponsors - we have a range of projects to suit your skills and time available.

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View all current projects or view the list of completed projects.

Arctic Tern Photographer Jeremy Moore

BirdTrack

BirdTrack is a free and convenient way of storing your bird records online. BirdTrack lets you keep up to date with what others are seeing, view the latest trends, and contribute your data to BTO science

Learn more

Time / skill needed:
  • There is no minimum time commitment.
  • Ideally you will have fairly good bird identification skills.
Blue Tit on garden feeder

Garden BirdWatch

Help track the changing fortunes of our garden birds alongside 12,000 other Garden BirdWatchers

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Time / skill needed:
  • Minimum of 20 minutes per week recommended.
  • Can identify common garden birds by sight.
Chiffchaff by Paul Newton

Breeding Bird Survey

BBS monitors the population changes of 117 breeding bird species across the UK thanks to the dedication of almost 3,000 volunteers who survey their randomly selected 1-km square each spring.

Learn more

Time / skill needed:
  • Undertake three site visits between April and June - a recce and two morning visits, along with data entry.
  • Able to identify UK breeding birds by sight, song and call.
Gardenwatch logo

Gardenwatch

Take part in citizen science in the UK's biggest nature reserve - our gardens. Help us understand how gardens can help our wildlife thrive.

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Time / skill needed:
  • A minimum of 20 minutes spent on each Gardenwatch mission is recommended.
  • Able to identify our 10 most common garden birds by sight.
Long-tailed Tit nest. Photograph by Elspeth Rowe

Nest Record Scheme

The Nest Record Scheme gathers vital information on the breeding success of Britain's birds by asking volunteers to find and follow the progress of individual birds' nests.

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Time / skill needed:
  • A few minutes on a nest in a garden to a full time project in the field.
  • Count eggs and chicks in nests by following the Code of Conduct.
WeBS counting. Photograph by Teresa Frost

Wetland Bird Survey

The Wetland Bird Survey (WeBS) monitors non-breeding waterbirds in the UK.

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Time / skill needed:
  • One visit per month, preferably on the Sunday Core Count priority date.
  • Identify waterbirds that regularly occur at your allocated WeBS site.
Greenfinch in the hand having its wing measured, by Dawn Balmer

Bird Ringing Scheme

Bird ringing generates information on the survival, productivity and movements of birds, helping us to understand why populations are changing.

Learn more

Time / skill needed:
  • It usually takes a year or more, ringing regularly with qualified ringers, to obtain a ringing permit.
  • Basic bird identification skills and reasonable dexterity are required.
Cuckoo. Alan McFadyen

Cuckoo Tracking Project

Help us follow Cuckoos on migration and discover why they are in decline.

Learn more

Time / skill needed:
  • Follow our Cuckoos on the map below - use the controls to animate or step through their movements.
Lapwing. Photograph by Howard Stockdale

Northern Ireland Lowland Breeding Wader Survey

Help investigate whether Northern Irish lowland grasslands are supporting breeding waders.

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Time / skill needed:
  • It is expected that each survey visit may take up to 3 hours, depending on the size of the site.
  • Ability to identify four species of wader (Curlew, Lapwing, Redshank and Snipe) and identify breeding behaviours (displaying or territory defence).
Woodcock - Graham Giddens

Woodcock Survey

Help monitor Woodcock in Britain and Ireland by claiming a square.

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Time / skill needed:
  • Four visits at dusk between April and end of June each year.
  • Confident identifying Woodcock.
Song Thrush. photograph by Amy Lewis

English Farm Woodland Bird Survey

A new survey for 2019 plans to provide data on how birds have colonised woods planted in farmland.

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Time / skill needed:
  • Four morning visits are required between mid March 2019 and 15 July 2019.
  • Able to identify birds by sight and sound. Ideally You have experience with other BTO surveys or bird territory mapping.
Common Pipistrelle - Amy Lewis

Norfolk Bat Survey

Norfolk Bat Survey offers anyone in Norfolk the opportunity to borrow automated equipment to record bats in the local area.

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Time / skill needed:
  • Putting out a detector in the evening and collecting it in the morning.
  • Anyone can take part.
Grey Heron. Photograph by John Harding

Heronries Census

Annual survey of all Grey Herons, Little Egrets, Cormorants and scarcer herons nesting in the UK

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Time / skill needed:
  • Each visit requires 10 minutes to 1 hour excluding travelling time.
  • Suitable for beginners - identify herons/cormorants and count occupied nests.
Dipper by Edmund Fellowes

Waterways Breeding Bird Survey

The Waterways Breeding Bird Survey is an annual survey of breeding birds along rivers and canals.

Learn more

Time / skill needed:
  • Undertake three site visits between April and June - a recce and two morning visits, along with data entry.
  • Able to identify UK breeding birds by sight, song and call.
Nuthatch. Photograph by Edmund Fellowes

Nest Box Challenge

Nest Box Challenge gathers valuable data on breeding birds by asking volunteers to monitor the birds in their garden through the breeding season

Learn more

Time / skill needed:
  • A few minutes each week to monitor the nests in your garden.
  • Able to access nests to count eggs and chicks, following the Code of Conduct.