BTO has a long history of working on migrants, from the first use of bird rings to look at the movements of birds. Our current work on long-distance migratory species covers two complementary approaches:
- the deployment of new tracking devices to understand the ecology, movements and non-breeding locations of individuals from breeding populations, many of which are declining
- analyses of long-term monitoring data, including from bespoke surveys, the Ringing and Nest Record Schemes, to identify drivers of population change
Meet the Cuckoo class of 2019
Thanks to the BTO's Cuckoo Tracking Project we are learning more about Cuckoo migration. There are still important questions to answer, so we have fitted four more Cuckoos with satellite tags...
Our first Cuckoos are back
As part of our quest to improve our understanding of bird migration we have been satellite-tracking Cuckoos that breed here in the UK. This work has revealed the wintering grounds of UK Cuckoos in...
Bird migration - a masterclass
Steve Portugal explains why and how birds undertake long and perilous migratory journeys.
Updating information on the period of reproduction and prenuptial migration for UK and Irish species included on Annex II of the EU Birds Directive
Track our Cuckoos as they migrate
The Cuckoo Tracking Project has been revealing new discoveries about how British Cuckoos migrate, and the challenges they face. Follow and support this ground-breaking project.
Art and the written word increase engagement with migrant birds
Discover how art and the written word are increasing engagement with migrant birds and the challenges that they face
Crossing barriers: does flexibility provide resilience in a changing world?
The ability of migrant birds to travel long distances without stopping to rest and refuel enables them to cross unsuitable habitats, such as deserts and oceans. This ability is likely to be a major...
Bird Ringing Scheme
Bird ringing generates information on the survival, productivity and movements of birds, helping us to understand why populations are changing.
Differential migration of chiffchaffs (Phylloscopus collybita and Phylloscopus ibericus) in Europe and Africa
Avian migration strategies may include intra-specific variations, also known as differential migration. These migratory adaptations between conspecifics are particularly important given their...
Flight Lines: Tracking the wonders of bird migration
By pairing artists, storytellers and photojournalists with the researchers and volunteers studying our summer migrants, we are able to tell the stories of our migrant birds, and the work being done...
Curlews and godwits - the vanishing tribe
The study synthesised expert knowledge to determine the severity of various threats both in the breeding and non-breeding sites of the birds across all the major global flyways. Threats differed...
Unravelling the mysteries of Nightjar migration
The advent of geolocators allowed Nightjars to be tracked for the first time in 2009. These give daily locations accurate to around 100 km, meaning they are more than appropriate for tracking...
Samantha works on a range of projects examining the affect of climate and habitat change on bird populations, with a particular focus on migrants and waders.
Chris is a Senior Research Ecologist in International Research Team where he works on the ecology and conservation of Afro-Palaearctic migratory birds and of forest birds across the world. Projects primarily focus of population changes, habitats and migration strategies of these species.
Cuckoo declines linked to different migration routes to Africa
Cuckoo migration routes. Infographic by Nigel Hawtin Like many migrant birds, the Cuckoo is in long-term decline as a breeding bird in Britain, and has been on the Red List of Birds of...
Results from the first GPS tracking of roof-nesting Herring Gulls Larus argentatus in the UK
Survival of Afro-Palaearctic passerine migrants in western Europe and the impacts of seasonal weather variables
Are white storks addicted to junk food? Impacts of landfill use on the movement and behaviour of resident white storks (Ciconia ciconia) from a partially migratory population
Do Siskins have friends? An analysis of movements of Siskins in groups based on EURING recoveries
Light-level geolocators reveal migratory connectivity in European populations of pied flycatchers Ficedula hypoleuca
Moving with the times? Why the timing of bird migration is advancing when individuals are not
The research team has been following the same colour-ringed Black-tailed Godwits for up to twenty years, with the help of over 2000 observers. Most birds hatched in the 1990s arrived in Iceland in...
Crossing the Sahara desert: migratory strategies of the Grasshopper Warbler
The data suggest that while many individuals use sites in Portugal in autumn and in Senegal in spring, they also stop and refuel at unknown sites in North Africa. Fuelling in Senegal for the north-...
A pan-European, multipopulation assessment of migratory connectivity in a near-threatened migrant bird
Protected areas help rare duck adapt to climate change
Many bird species are showing distributional change in response to global warming. New research using data collected by volunteers taking part in the Wetland Bird Survey shows that Europe's...
Might migrants introduce West Nile Virus?
West Nile Virus (WNV) is a mosquito borne virus that can cause serious illness and even death in humans. It is common across Africa and Eastern Europe, with sporadic outbreaks reported as close to...
Out of Africa: declines in migrants linked to UK breeding grounds
Scientists analysed data from the Breeding Bird Survey for 46 species of passerine and near-passerine, including residents, short-distance migrants (wintering in continental Europe) and long-distance...