BTO relies heavily on the efforts of thousands of committed and skilled volunteers, who take part in our long-term monitoring schemes. The data they collect generate robust and long-term evidence describing changes in the populations of birds and other wildlife, which in turn prompts further research and conservation action. BTO continually innovates to improve survey design and ease of participation, while broadening our supporter base is a key aim for the future.
Winter Gull Survey relaunched after 20 years to assess vulnerable gull populations
Help us collect vital data about these threatened birds.
Flight heights obtained from GPS versus altimeters influence estimates of collision risk with offshore wind turbines in Lesser Black-backed Gulls Larus fuscus
As previous BTO research has shown, bird-borne tracking devices are essential for shedding light on seabird flight behaviour. Different methods for gathering flight height information within tracking...
The current state of nature
The UK, like most other countries worldwide, has experienced a significant loss of biodiversity. The trends in nature presented in this report cover, at most, 50 years, but these follow on from major...
Developing statistical approaches to better understand feather moult
Researchers seeking to understand moult in the context of these other events need robust measures of moult duration and timing. Moult data collected by bird ringers and other researchers require...
The status of the UK breeding European Turtle Dove Streptopelia turtur population in 2021
The UK Turtle Dove population is thought to have peaked around 1970, when there were an estimated 125,000 pairs. At this time, the species’ range extended into south-west England, eastern Wales,...
BirdTrack migration blog (8–14 September)
As the high pressure that began the previous week continued to build and remain in charge, the weather stayed fine, dry, and hot for most parts of Britain and Ireland. These settled conditions...
Emma is responsible for managing the BTO Winter Gull Survey (WinGS) through the coordination of the BTOs Regional Network of volunteers.
Connecting birding communities through our Regional Network
In the third and final Regional Network miniseries blog , we spoke to three of our volunteers who have formed strong connections with other birdwatching groups and communities.
Local colonisations and extinctions of European birds are poorly explained by changes in climate suitability
Fledgling volunteers and wise owls
In the second of our Regional Network blog miniseries, we spoke to two volunteers from across the generation divide: Neil, who has been a Regional Representative since 1995, and Naomi, who took on...
Why become a BTO Regional Network volunteer?
In the first of our Regional Network blog miniseries, we speak to Stephen, David and Nick about why they started volunteering and the changes they’ve seen since then.
Help monitor the UK’s threatened gull species by taking part in the Winter Gull Survey.
The Winter Gull Survey collects information about our wintering gull populations, through the coordinated effort of volunteer surveyors across the UK. It will run over the winters of 2023/24 and...
Reduced breeding success in Great Black-backed Gulls Larus marinus due to harness-mounted GPS device
Studies involving fitting animals with bio-logging devices have provided essential information on behaviour, ecology, physiology and ultimately species conservation. Much BTO research in recent years...
Avian influenza mortality rises in threatened gull and tern colonies
Black-headed Gulls continue to suffer as the disease spreads to Common Terns.
2023’s Cuckoos are tagged and ready to go
BTO has fitted 10 more Cuckoos with satellite tags, allowing scientists and the general public to follow these incredible birds on their annual migration.
Study highlights significant losses of European birds
This piece of research explores the question of measuring and detecting biodiversity change for European birds, which are well monitored in many European countries thanks to ongoing monitoring...
Analyses of simulated data provide assurance that the BBS trends for 1994 to 2021 (but are missing 2020) are robust and can be viewed with confidence.
BirdTrack migration blog (late May–mid June)
As spring progresses towards summer, migration continues to slow. Most breeding species will be either in the full throws of breeding or close to their breeding grounds.
Butterflies find safe haven in UK gardens
Data from 7,971 gardens between 2007 and 2020 have been used to produce garden-specific abundance trends for 22 widespread butterfly species.
BirdTrack migration blog (19–25 May)
A week of relatively settled conditions enabled a steady stream of late migrants to arrive, and allowed an occasional scarce species to make landfall.
Monitoring five decades of change in the UK’s rarest breeding birds through citizen science: the Rare Breeding Birds Panel
What role do protected areas play in bird conservation?
The UK has many different kinds of protected area, but how effective are they for bird conservation?
Waterbirds in the UK 2021/22: The Wetland Bird Survey and Goose & Swan Monitoring Programme
How important is it to standardise the measured mass of shorebirds weighed at varying intervals after capture?
This paper examines this phenomenon using captures of Knot, Turnstone, Dunlin and Semipalmated Sandpiper in Delaware Bay, USA. As these waders were caught whilst actively feeding on the eggs of...