Latest Research

Blue Tit, by Paul Newton

Does garden feeding shape populations?

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? 
Training a BBS volunteer, by David Tipling

Opening up biodiversity data - challenges and opportunities

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? 
Whinchat, by Edmund Fellowes

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 crossing barriers and can these strategies provide resilience to future changes in barrier width that might arise from changes in climate and land-use?
Blue Tit nest with eggs by Moss Taylor

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

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?
Cuckoo and Reed Warbler, by Moss Taylor

What makes a good host for a parasitic Cuckoo?

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 raises the question of what makes a good host.

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