How to find a ringing Trainer

In order to sign up as a ringing trainee, you need to have found a Trainer who has agreed to train you. The Find-a-Trainer map shows the location of all the Trainers who are currently taking on new trainees. This document shows you how to sign up the Bird Ringing Scheme and how to access the Find-a-Trainer map.

To access the Find-a-Trainer map, you must be registered as a BTO volunteer. If you are a BTO member, or participate in other BTO surveys, you will already be registered; if you need to register, you can do so here. Once you have signed up, go to and log in to your My BTO account by clicking on the orange ‘Login to My BTO’ button and entering your username and password when prompted to do so.

Screenshot showing how to login to My BTO

Once logged in, at the top of the page under ‘current projects’ you will see the surveys that you are already signed up for (if any). Further down the page you will see a section called ‘Sign up for Projects’. Scroll through the projects until you find the Bird Ringing Scheme and click on ‘Sign up’. You will then need to read and agree to the general survey Terms and Conditions.

Screenshot showing the Ringing Scheme logo / sign up location

Once you have agreed to the Terms and Conditions, you will be shown the following screen. Before you can contact a Trainer you will need to complete a set of questions about your interest in ringing. Your answers to these questions will be sent to the Trainer(s) you contact. From this screen you can either choose to answer these questions straight away or to return to the My BTO page.

Screenshot of webpage to take you to questions for ringing trainers

If you click ‘Return to My BTO’, you will be taken back to the My BTO homepage, where you will see the Bird Ringing Scheme in the ‘My Pending Projects’ section. Once you are ready to answer the questions, click on ‘Continue process’.

Screenshot showing how to get back to the questions for ringing trainers

If you click on ‘Go to questions’ you will be shown additional information and conditions relating to participating in the Bird Ringing Scheme. If you are happy to continue, please select ‘Yes’ in the dropdown menu under ‘Additional terms agreed’. Once you confirm that you are over the age of 18, you will be taken to the questions. If you are under 18, please contact us at ringing.licensing [at] as we will need to direct you to a Trainer who has been approved to train people under the age of 18.

Screenshot showing additional terms

Once you have completed the questions about your interest in ringing, click ‘Submit’. You will then be taken to the Find-a-Trainer map, where you can find a Trainer in your area. If you can see a red pin, this indicates your current location, based on information from your web browser. Zoom in to your local area and click on the blue pins to see the name of the Trainer each pin relates to and what training they can provide (some will only be able to train for specific species groups e.g. Owls and Raptors).

Screenshot showing Find-a-Trainer map

Once you have located a suitable Trainer, click on the orange ‘Contact’ button. You will be taken to a page containing an email to the Trainer you have selected. The answers you provided to the questions are pre-populated and you can edit the start of the email to include additional information if you wish to. Please note, to give them time to respond to you, you can only contact one Trainer every two weeks.

Screenshot of email to Trainer

If you don’t want to contact a Trainer immediately, you can find the map again on the My BTO home page; the link is located at the bottom of the menu on the left hand side of the page.

Screenshot showing location of link to Find-a-Trainer

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