Publication Year
Featured Publication
State of Nature Report
Red Kite. Jill Pakenham

State of Nature report 2019

The current state of nature

2019 |

An overview of how the country’s wildlife is faring, looking back over nearly 50 years of monitoring to see how nature has changed.

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Latest Publications

Peer-reviewed papers
Cuckoo - Edmund Fellowes

Breeding ground correlates of the distribution and decline of the Common Cuckoo Cuculus canorus at two spatial scales

Cuckoos: England’s loss is Scotland’s gain

2018 | Denerley, C., Redpath, S.M., van der Wal, R., Newson, S.E., Chapman, J.W. & Wilson, J.D. Ibis

The Cuckoo is quickly declining from the English countryside, but this new study using BTO data shows that despite its decline in the south of the UK, it is increasing in the Scottish Highlands, the population is increasing.

Peer-reviewed papers
Training a BBS volunteer, by David Tipling

Overcoming the challenges of public data archiving for citizen science biodiversity recording and monitoring schemes

Opening up biodiversity data - challenges and opportunities

2018 | Pearce-Higgins, J.W., Baillie, S.R., Boughey, K., Bourn, N.A.D., Foppen, R.P.B., Gillings, S., Gregory, R.D., Hunt, T., Jiguet, F., Lehikoinen, A., Musgrove, A.J., Robinson, R.A., Roy, D.B., Siriwardena, G.M., Walker, K.J., Wilson, J.D Journal of Applied Ecology

Public data archiving (PDA), where data are made freely available on demand through recognised data repositories, is increasingly being required by funders and journals to promote ‘open data’. However, this rapidly developing area brings with it some potential risks, particularly to the maintenance and operation of long-term citizen science monitoring schemes. What are the solutions? 

Waterbirds in the UK 2016/17: The Wetland Bird Survey

2018 | Teresa M. Frost, Graham E. Austin, Neil A. Calbrade, Heidi J. Mellan, Richard D. Hearn, David A. Stroud, Simon R. Wotton and Dawn E. Balmer.

Peer-reviewed papers
Grey Partridge, by Jill Pakenham

Species contributions to single biodiversity values under-estimate whole community contribution to a wider range of values to society.

Valuing biodiversity - the importance of looking at multiple species and values

2018 | Hiron, M., Pärt, T., Siriwardena, G.M., Whittingham, M.J. Scientific Reports

<p>The valuing of biodiversity for human benefit has become an important principle for those involved in making decisions about the management of natural resources.&nbsp;There is, however, a need to understand just what ‘valuing’ biodiversity really means, and to determine which species within a community contribute to which values and to what degree. Few studies have attempted to score species objectively across the different ways of valuing nature and biodiversity, so this paper provides some valuable insight.</p>

Peer-reviewed papers

One hundred priority questions for landscape restoration in Europe


We present the results of a process to attempt to identify 100 questions that, if answered, would make a substantial difference to terrestrial and marine landscape restoration in Europe.

Peer-reviewed papers
Bird ringing by David Tipling

Estimating mortality rates among passerines caught for ringing with mist nets using data from previously ringed birds.

Estimating mortality of birds caught for ringing with mist nets

2018 | Clewley G., Robinson R.A., Clark J.A. Ecology and Evolution

The benefit of the information accrued when capturing wild animals for study needs to outweigh the potential risk to individuals that are caught. New BTO research, just published, assesses the potential effects of capturing wild birds.

The Breeding Bird Survey Report

The Breeding Bird Survey 2017

2018 | Harris, S.J., Massimino, D., Gillings, S., Eaton, M.A., Noble, D.G., Balmer, D.E., Procter, D., PearceHiggins, J.W. & Woodcock, P.

Peer-reviewed papers
Greenfinch by Jill Pakenham

Effects of winter food provisioning on the phenotypes of breeding blue tits

Does garden feeding shape populations?

2018 | Plummer, K.E., Bearhop, S., Leech, D.I., Chamberlain, D.E., Blount, J.D. Ecology and Evolution

Feeding wild birds is a popular pastime and many of us provide seed and other foods to help our feathered friends. But what impact does all this food have? 

Peer-reviewed papers

Rapid progression of ash dieback in the coppice of Bradfield Woods, Suffolk

2018 | Fuller, R.J., Casey, D., Melin, M. & Hill, R. Quarterly Journal of Forestry

Peer-reviewed papers
Blue Tit nest with eggs by Moss Taylor

Tritrophic phenological match-mismatch in space and time

Caterpillars and caterpillar-eating birds: out of synch in space and time?

2018 | Burgess M.D., Smith K.W., Evans K.L., Leech D., Pearce-Higgins J.W., Branston C.J., Briggs K., Clark J.R., du Feu C.R., Lewthwaite K., Nager R.G., Sheldon B.C., Smith J.A., Whytock R.C., Willis S.G., Phillimore A.B. Ecology and Evolution

The increasing temperatures associated with a changing climate may disrupt ecological systems, including by affecting the timing of key events. If events within different trophic levels are affected in different ways then this can lead to what is known as trophic mismatch. But what is the evidence for trophic mismatch, and are there spatial or temporal patterns within the UK that might point to mismatch as a driver of regional declines in key insect-eating birds?

Peer-reviewed papers
Whinchat, by Edmund Fellowes

Spring migration strategies of Whinchat Saxicola rubetra when successfully crossing potential barriers of the Sahara and the Mediterranean Sea.

Crossing barriers: does flexibility provide resilience in a changing world?

2018 | Blackburn E., Burgess M., Freeman B., Risely A., Izang A., Ivande S., Hewson C., Creswell W. Ibis

Migratory barriers, such as the Sahara Desert, are thought to present a challenge to small migrant birds like Whinchat, but how much do we really know about the strategies these birds use when crossing barriers and can these strategies provide resilience to future changes in barrier width that might arise from changes in climate and land-use?

Peer-reviewed papers
Cuckoo and Reed Warbler, by Moss Taylor

Characteristics determining host suitability for a generalist parasite.

What makes a good host for a parasitic Cuckoo?

2018 | Stokke B.G., Ratikainen I.I., Moksnes A., Schulze-Hagen K., Leech D.I., Møller A.P., Fossøy F. Scientific Reports

The Cuckoo is a generalist avian brood parasite, known to have utilized at least 125 different bird species as a host within Europe. Despite this, individual female Cuckoos are thought to be host-specific, preferentially laying their eggs in one – or a few – host nests. This&nbsp;raises the question of what makes a good host.

Peer-reviewed papers

A review of raptor and owl monitoring activity across Europe: its implications for capacity building towards pan-European monitoring

2018 | Derlink, M., Wernham, C., Bertoncelj, I., Kovacs, A., Saurola, P., Duke, G., Movalli, P. & Vrezec, A. Bird Study

Peer-reviewed papers
Starlings by Allan Drewitt

Covariation in urban birds providing cultural services or disservices and people.

Shaping positive engagements with urban birds

2018 | Cox D.T.C, Hudson H.L., Plummer K.E., Siriwardena G.M., Anderson K., Hancock S., Devine-Wright P.,Gaston, K.J Journal of Applied Ecology

There is growing evidence that interactions with birds in our towns and cities can provide people with feelings of being connected with nature; such interactions can also have positive effects of human well-being. Within the field of ecosystem services such forms of benefit are known as ‘cultural services’. However, not all interactions between people and birds are necessarily positive. Birds are sometimes responsible for disease transmission, for the contamination of water sources, for aggression, damage to property and for causing unwelcome noise and smells. These interactions are known as ‘disservices’.

BTO books and guides

Nestboxes: Your Complete Guide

2018 | Dave Cromack

Written by Dave Cromack and drawing on the BTO's expertise, this new book provides the perfect guide to building, erecting and monitoring nestboxes for a broad range of bird species.

Peer-reviewed papers
Greenfinches, by Jill Pakenham

Health hazards to wild birds and risk factors associated with anthropogenic food provisioning

The health hazards to wild birds associated with garden feeding.

2018 | Lawson, B., Robinson, R. A., Toms, M. P., Risely, R., MacDonald, S., Cunningham, A. A. Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society B

The provision of supplementary food for wild birds at garden feeding stations is a widespread practice in the UK. These additional resources have been shown, through research, to be of benefit to wild birds, but there is still a great deal that we do not know about the wider implications of such provisioning. Wherever individual birds congregate, the risk of disease transmission is increased, and the high densities of birds often seen at garden feeding stations might contribute to the emergence and spread of infectious diseases.

Peer-reviewed papers
Ring-necked Parakeet

Can climate matching predict the current and future climatic suitability of the UK for the establishment of non-native birds?

Does climate change bring us invasive species?

2018 | Border, J.A., Johnston, A. & Gillings, S. Bird Study

Non-native species are becoming a more common sight, but is this linked to the changing climate? A new BTO study investigates whether it's possible to predict which non-native species are likely to establish in the UK.

BTO books and guides

Flowers of the Brecks Part One: Heath & Grassland

2018 | Mike Crewe

BTO books and guides

Birds of the Brecks

2018 | Su Gough

Peer-reviewed papers
Peregrine by Nathan Guttridge

The breeding population of Peregrine Falcon Falco peregrinus in the United Kingdom, Isle of Man and Channel Islands in 2014

Breeding Peregrines on the up thanks to growth of lowland populations

2018 | M. W. Wilson, D. E. Balmer, K. Jones, V. A. King, D. Raw, C. J. Rollie, E. Rooney, M. Ruddock, G. D. Smith, A. Stevenson, P. K. Stirling-Aird, C. V. Wernham, J. M. Weston & D. G. Noble. Bird Study

The return of breeding Peregrines to former haunts, and the colonisation of urban sites such as industrial buildings and cathedrals, has not gone unnoticed by birdwatchers. It is only now, however, with the publication of the results from the latest national Peregrine survey, that we can put figures on the changing fortunes of this stunning bird of prey.



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