BTO Training Courses

We are offering a 20% discount on Bird ID and BTO Surveys courses for new BTO members (offer available within the first year of your membership) - join today to take advantage of this great offer.

First 2016 dates/venues available now. More to come (especially 1-day workshops)! 

Why go on a BTO training course?

Two surveyors. Mark Collier  
A BTO training course
will increase your confidence
in carrying out survey work
and show you how easy and
how much fun it can be!

Taking part in BTO surveys is both fun and rewarding and you have the knowledge that the information you provide is both scientifically valid and feeds into conservation. To help you get the most from your surveying we run a range of training courses designed to increase your skills and to ensure that you have the confidence that you are doing the survey correctly. All of our courses focus on taking part in BTO surveys, guiding you towards the survey that best fits your current level of confidence and experience, as well as developing your skills in bird identification and survey techniques. All of our courses comprise indoor taught sessions and outdoor practicals, putting what we have learned into practice. 

What courses are being offered? 

Scenery. Su Delve
Many of our residential courses
are held at Field Studies Council
centres, which allow us to benefit
from their beautiful, varied and
bird-rich surroundings for our
outdoor practical sessions.
Near Dale Fort, Pembrokeshire.

As in previous years, we are continuing to increase the number and range of courses we are offering. For 2015 we are pleased to offer residential courses on BTO Surveying, Bird Identification, Ringing Courses and Nest Records Courses. Our 1-day workshops are designed to cover one or two different surveys, such as Breeding Bird Survey (BBS), BirdTrack, Wetland Bird Survey (WeBS) and Bird ID, so have a look at our training programme to find a course to suit your needs. 

Find out more about our BTO Surveying courses (PDF, 701.56 KB)

Find out more about our Bird ID for BTO Surveys courses (PDF, 757.14 KB)

Do I have to be a BTO member to attend a course?

All of our courses are designed for BTO members and volunteers who either already take part, or are thinking of taking part, in a BTO survey. You do not have to be a BTO member to attend a course or, indeed, to take part in a BTO survey, however you will be entitled to 20% off the cost of a course in your first year of BTO membership. 

Is it possible to attend a BTO course in a professional capacity

In 2015/16 we are able to offer further Bird Survey Techniques for Ecological and Environmental Professionals courses aimed specifically at those working within the professional sector. We are also able to provide bespoke training. More details about our professional training programme. 

Residential courses v. 1-day workshops 

Our 2½-day residential courses are based at Field Studies Council (FSC) centres or other similar centre. These make an ideal venue, allowing valuable practical experience in beautiful, bird-rich areas. The extra time available on residential courses allows us to look in more depth at the techniques we are covering, have longer practical sessions and to cover a wider range of surveys. The cost of these courses includes full board from supper on the first night, breakfast, lunch and supper on the second day, and breakfast and lunch on the final day. Accommodation for 2 nights is also included in the price and offers excellent value for money. The fantastic locations of the centres and the more relaxed timing of these courses allow us to explore the local areas as well as providing a stunning background for learning and socialising.

Our 1-day workshops run from 10am until mid afternoon (usually about 4.30pm). Indoor theory and brief outdoor practical sessions help everyone to understand the topics covered and to get some helpful practical expereience. The price does include tea and coffee, but participants are asked to bring a packed lunch. Each venue does vary, however, and some offer a café facility, so check with us beforehand.

All courses are led by experienced BTO staff and members, all of whom have extensive experience of BTO surveys and the different methodologies that are used, as well as all being keen and experienced birders and trainers. This combination of skills allows the leaders to gently encourage and direct participants in bird identification and surveying as well as creating a great environment for participants to learn from each other's experiences. Everyone who comes on a course will receive a survey pack, providing all the fieldwork forms needed for the outdoor sessions, a copy of the course notes and a specially produced CD of bird songs and calls. Practical sessions are carried out in small groups, so that there is a high level of tutor to participant help.

More details of courses, venues and prices.