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
While most individuals disperse over short distances, long-distance dispersal is prevalent in almost all European bird species
Scotland's winter visitors: why and how do they migrate?
From geese and swans to thrushes and warblers, discover the secrets of our winter birds' migration.
BirdTrack migration blog (November–December)
With November upon us, the focus for many birdwatchers shifts away from autumn migration and towards winter birding.
BirdTrack migration blog (28th October - 3rd November)
As the nights draw in and trees take on the colours of autumn, the pace of migration slows and fewer species are on the move. Late October is still a great time to look for migrant birds, however,...
BirdTrack migration blog (21st-27th October)
With a switch to easterly winds, a flood of migrants was seen along the East coast, much to the delight of those able to get out and witness it.
BirdTrack Migration Blog (14th - 20th October)
With birds arriving from all points of the compass, the last week continued where the previous week left off: a mix of ultra-rare species and scarcer migrants arriving alongside more commoner species.
BirdTrack migration blog (30th September - 6th October)
As we reach the peak of Autumn migration many millions of birds are on the move across the globe.
Connectivity between countries established by landbirds and raptors migrating along the African-Eurasian flyway
Each year, more than two billion birds migrate along the African-Eurasian flyway. The increasing availability of tracking technology, involving attaching very small devices to migrant songbirds, has...
BirdTrack migration blog (23rd-29th September)
Given the seemingly unfavourable conditions over the past week, it has been a pleasant surprise to see such a diverse range of species on the move.
BirdTrack migration blog (16th-22nd September)
As we reach mid-September, the pace of migration has certainly intensified: summer visitors, passage migrants, and winter visitors have been seen far and wide across Britain and Ireland.
BirdTrack migration blog (9th-15th September)
A week dominated by easterlies certainly had an exciting effect on migration with a good mix of species seen up and down the country.
BirdTrack migration blog (2nd-8th September)
With Swallows gathering on the wires and the nights drawing in, summer has come to an end - but the delights of autumn still await.
Pied Flycatcher population trends are driven by factors acting during migration and in non-breeding areas, an area which needs to be prioritised for future research.
BirdTrack migration blog (26th August - 1st September)
With the start of September almost upon us, the pace of migration will increase as more of our summer visitors head off to their wintering areas.
BirdTrack migration blog (19th-25th August)
You don’t need us to tell you that August has been very hot and dry with drought conditions across many parts of Britain and Ireland.
BirdTrack migration blog (mid-July - mid-August)
As we progress through the summer towards early autumn we are still a few weeks away from any large-scale migration. However, the next month will give us a hint of what is to come later in the year.
Songbird migration across the Sahara
Mark Wilson, BTO Research Ecologist, reflects on his work tagging songbirds to collect data about their migration routes over the Sahara.
Exciting research conducted by an international team shines a new light on Swift migration.
BirdTrack migration blog (mid-June- mid-July)
As we reach the halfway point of the year, migration has slowed dramatically but the breeding season continues apace.
PJ the Cuckoo: his legacy lives on
Record-breaking Cuckoo PJ has died in his summer territory in King's Forest, but data from his tag continues to inform our research.
Eurasian African Bird Migration Atlas spreads its wings
The Eurasian African Bird Migration Atlas makes the results of ringing and tracking data available to anyone wanting to explore the migration and movements of European birds.
BirdTrack migration blog (27th May - mid-June)
As summer approaches, the pace of migration slows; most species will be on their breeding grounds and raising their young.
Migration blog (20th-26th May)
Like the temperatures across Britain and Ireland, the pace of migration has soared in the last week as more and more birds arrive to breed or stop off on their way to breeding grounds further...
Birdtrack migration blog (13th-19th May)
A change in weather in the last week has seen migration ramp up with more birds arriving for the summer across Britain and Ireland.
BirdTrack migration blog (Mid-April - May)
With winter behind us, spring migration has begun to gather pace over the last few weeks. Summer migrants are arriving, while winter visitors depart for their breeding areas.
BTO travels to Europe!
BTO travels to key conferences in Europe to share research and experience with colleagues from around the globe.
Rush or relax: migration tactics of a nocturnal insectivore in response to ecological barriers
New research involving BTO has confirmed the theory the migratory birds use different strategies at different points on their migratory journeys, speeding up when passing through inhospitable regions...