Latest Research

Whitethroat, photograph by John Proudlock

Warbler breeding success across Europe varies with temperature and latitude

A long-term monitoring study involving bird ringers from five countries has investigated how changes in the reproductive output of seven species of migrant warbler vary with latitude and spring temperature. The implications for predicted changes in species distributions are also discussed.

Understanding the risk of birds colliding with offshore wind turbines

Accurately estimating birds’ risk of collision with offshore wind turbines is a key part of the decision-making process for proposed renewable developments. However, the evidence base for quantifying the number of birds likely to avoid colliding with turbines is limited. Recent BTO-led work helping to fill this gap, improving the understanding of the impacts of offshore renewables on marine wildlife.

Nightingale, photograph by Amy Lewis

Habitat management is crucial for a declining migrant

Habitat quality is a central concept in species conservation. Key resources must be available if a species is to breed successfully and maintain high survival. BTO work has identified critical elements of habitat for the Nightingale, a species celebrated for its remarkable song. This information has been summarised in a Conservation Advice Note – the first of its kind for the BTO. 

Novel methods for estimating abundance and flight heights of seabirds

Wind farms are more likely to negatively affect seabird populations when they overlap with high densities of birds at sea. Additionally, if species’ fly at a similar height to turbine blades they are at greater risk of collision. Recent BTO research has used novel methods to provide information on these aspects for offshore wind farm impact assessments.

Species’ ranges are shifting, but in which direction?

As the climate changes, new areas become potentially suitable for different bird species. Most studies focus on rising temperatures, finding that species can now exist further north. But patterns of rainfall are also changing in complex ways. So which directions should Britain’s birds shift to follow their favoured climate?