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.

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.
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.
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

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Time / skill needed:
  • There is no minimum time commitment.
  • Ideally you will have fairly good bird identification skills.
Cuckoo. Alan McFadyen

Cuckoo Tracking Project

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

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

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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.
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.

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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.
Dipper by Edmund Fellowes

Waterways Breeding Bird Survey

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

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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.
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.
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.
Lapwing. Photograph by Howard Stockdale

Northern Ireland Lowland Breeding Wader Survey

Investigating 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.
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.
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.