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
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?
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...
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
Curlews and godwits - the vanishing tribe
Collaborative research led by the BTO investigates reasons for recent losses in curlews and godwits worldwide and identifies conservation measures which could be put in place to halt the declines.
Unravelling the mysteries of Nightjar migration
New research involving the BTO has revealed important information about the migration routes and wintering grounds of the Nightjar for the first time. Their main wintering area is now known to be...
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
When the BTO began ground-breaking Cuckoo tracking research in 2011, we had very little idea where these birds spent the winter or how they got there. Our latest research not only reveals this...
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 BTO is involved in new research showing that young birds are the trend-setters when it comes to migration. It had generally been believed that the flexibility of individuals to respond to warmer...
Crossing the Sahara desert: migratory strategies of the Grasshopper Warbler
Although a quarter of Europe’s breeding bird population crosses the Sahara on spring and autumn migration, when, where and how species prepare for and recover from this difficult and dangerous...
A pan-European, multipopulation assessment of migratory connectivity in a near-threatened migrant bird
Protected areas help rare duck adapt to climate change
Data from the Wetland Bird Survey have contributed to new research showing how Europe's winter population of Smew has redistributed north-eastwards due to milder winter conditions in the last 25...
Might migrants introduce West Nile Virus?
Although not yet found in Britain, West Nile Virus (WNV), which can cause serious illness and even death in humans, has been reported as close as southern France. WNV can be carried by wild birds and...
Out of Africa: declines in migrants linked to UK breeding grounds
Recent research on declines in Afro-Palaearctic migrants has primarily focussed on conditions in these species’ wintering grounds. However, population changes could also be influenced by...