BBS news archive
BTO and COVID-19
BTO statement on participating in surveys during the Coronavirus pandemic (UPDATED 23.07.2021).
23 Jul 2021
A tale of two warblers
Despite limited 2020 data due to COVID-19 restrictions, the latest BTO/RSPB/JNCC Breeding Bird Survey report highlights interesting trends.
13 May 2021
BTO CEO Andy Clements to retire
After 13 years at the helm of BTO, CEO Andy Clements has decided to step down and retire from full-time work.
15 May 2020
Breeding Bird Survey report shows mixed results
The 2019 BBS report is now available. Read about the changing fortunes of breeding birds in the UK.
07 May 2020
German Blue Tit disease identified
What is happening in the UK and how you can help us monitor wildlife disease.
24 Apr 2020
Butterflies bounce back
The summer of 2019 provided another welcome boost to butterfly populations, according to the latest results from the annual UK Butterfly Monitoring Scheme (UKBMS).
23 Mar 2020
New look BBS Online
The data entry system for the Breeding Bird Survey (BBS) and Waterways Breeding Bird Survey (WBBS) has been updated. The functionalities remain largely the same, with some small improvements of course! Guidance is available covering both BBS and WBBS data entry on the BBS Online webpage. Video Tutorials on the new look system will follow shortly.
14 Feb 2019
Upland Rovers 2019, offering holiday inspiration?
Do you live in the uplands, or could you visit during May or June? Looking for holiday inspiration?
We're looking for volunteers for BBS Upland Rovers, an initiative which encourages one-off visits to carefully selected rarely-covered upland Breeding Bird Survey squares. Visit the Upland Rovers webpage and check out the sign-up map for 2019.
Start planning your adventures!
13 Feb 2019
A northern powerhouse
The latest Breeding Bird Survey report, which has just been published, shows a 66% increase for Spotted Flycatcher during 2011–2016 and a 21% upturn for Willow Warbler in Scotland over the last 23 years. In England, both of these birds are in trouble. Read the full 2017 BBS report to find out more.
08 Apr 2018
The 2018 BBS season
Can you spare two mornings to walk a BBS 1-km square and count the birds present between April and June? Data collected is used in research and to produce annual population trends for over 100 breeding birds across the UK. If you know your birds by sight and sound, please get in touch with your Regional Organiser to find a square near you.
12 Mar 2018
Submitting BBS data for 2018
There are now three tutorial videos available, covering three aspects of the BBS Online system to help those using the online system to submit and edit 2018 data:
All three can be found on the BBS-Online webpage, along with further information on the online system. Remember, when entering data; using the tab button on the keyboard to move from one data entry... read more
12 Mar 2018
Breeding Bird Survey Report 2016
The latest BBS Report is a bit of a roller coaster ride. In the UK as a whole some of our woodland birds are having a bit of a rough ride; Willow Tit down by 80% and Wood Warbler by 57%, whilst others are reaching dizzying heights; Nuthatch up by 90% and Chiffchaff by 109%. Read more in the full 2016 BBS report.
10 Aug 2017
Breeding Bird Survey report
The 2015 Breeding Bird Survey (BBS) report has just been published and contains some interesting results. From the continued decline of the Turtle Dove, now down by 93% in the UK since 1994, to the upward trend in Willow Warblers in Northern Ireland, the falling number of Yellowhammers in Wales, and the huge increase in the populations of some warblers in Scotland. Thank you to the dedicated BBS volunteers who make this possible. Read the 2015 BBS report.
06 Jul 2016
Across continents, birds respond to changing climate
New research involving the BTO shows how bird populations are consistently responding to the effects of climate change on two continents. The study, led by the University of Durham, analysed data on abundance collected between 1980 and 2010 from 145 common species in Europe, and 380 in North America. UK data includes records collected by volunteers taking part in the Breeding Bird Survey and its predecessor the Common Birds Census, both coordinated by the BTO.
01 Apr 2016
Can you help with BBS 2016?
Can you spare just two mornings during April-June to count birds on a local 1-km square for BBS? Information collected by you will help us monitor the changing populations of UK birds and will be widely used for bird research and conservation. We have a fantastic team of Regional Organisers (RO) covering most regions to help you get started with BBS, and online video tutorials talking you through how to enter your data.
Why not get in touch with your local RO now to find out where the nearest available BBS square is?
16 Mar 2016
BBS volunteer stories
Over 2,800 volunteers contribute to the Breeding Bird Survey annually. This fantastic effort has been recognised with an insight into three BBS squares, one in the uplands of Scotland, one in the lowlands of Kent and a third in a house estate in Middle England!
We have also collected some thoughts from just some of the 150 dedicated BBS volunteers who have been involved with the survey every year for the last two decades.
11 Sep 2014
Wider Countryside Butterfly Survey
11 Jul 2013
Counting birds and the Wetland Bird Survey (Wednesday 22 September, 10am)
This course involves one online session of about 1 hour 45 minutes, with a trainer:participant ratio of about 1:30. Participants' microphones are muted during the presentations but there is a large interactive component...
Migration blog (3rd – 9th September)
With the first days of Autumn upon us and the breeding season over for many species, the focus is now on preparing for the coming winter months.