Health & Safety
Ringers should not put themselves in a position that would place themselves, or others, in danger. The BTO does not take any responsibility or liability for any actions and subsequent consequences from the activities of ringers.
BTO has produced general guidance relating to health safety for all BTO fieldworkers. This page includes information on access permissions, visiting nests, diseases and working in remote areas.
BTO carries insurance for liabilities to third parties for loss, damage or injury, and can provide written confirmation for any landowner requesting it - ourfacilities.management [at] bto.org.
Two leaflets that are particularly relevant to ringers are available below.
Occasionally, bird ringers might accidentally catch bats in mist nets. A small number of bats in the UK have been found to carry a form of rabies. More information about the risks, and action to take if bitten or scratched by a bat, can be found on the bats and rabies page.
Ringers may also be impacted by outbreaks of Avian Influenza in commercial premises when temporary ringing suspensions may be put in place. Ringers will be informed when suspensions are in operation.
Please note: this is not relevant to the current outbreak of AI in wild birds. Please refer to this page for additional guidance relating to that outbreak and to the general health and safety page for guidance information for fieldworkers.
One bird, twelve journeys, 60 000 miles and invaluable scientific data: PJ the Cuckoo has left an incredible legacy.
Tackling the challenge of avian influenza
Director of Science James Pearce-Higgins discusses Highly Pathogenic Avian Influenza and BTO's role in the response to the current outbreak.