Understanding birds

BTO has been at the forefront of bird monitoring and research since we were founded in 1933, and since that time we have accrued a vast body of knowledge. Sharing our understanding of birds is an important part of our work, helping to invigorate and inform our vital volunteer base and inspire the next generation of ornithologists to tackle the conservation challenges of the future.

Barn Owl. Les Foster
Delve deeper

BTO strives to provide a deeper understanding of birds their behaviour. BirdFacts is a one-stop shop for data on British birds.Read our masterclass articles covering one aspect of ornithology in depth. Let us recommend what to read next in our book reviews.

Search for a bird species on BirdFacts

BirdFacts gives in depth information about all of the 580 species recorded in the wild in Britain. For each one, BirdFacts is a one stop shop for details of its abundance, distribution, population trends, demographic factors and biometrics, along with other fascinating facts and trivia.

Whooper Swan. Sarah Kelman

Featured article

Bird migration - a masterclass

Steve Portugal explains why and how birds undertake long and perilous migratory journeys.

Ruff. Photograph by Ed Drewitt

Bird identification video

Identifying Ruff

By learning how to recognise Ruff in their various guises through this video, you’ll be able to pick them out with confidence.