The Ringing Scheme

Ringing aims to monitor survival rates of birds and collect information about their movements. This information provides vital support for conservation efforts as it helps to understand how these processes influence population sizes over time; identifying the mechanisms is the first step in reversing declines. You can help by looking out for ringed birds and reporting them

Visit the Online Ringing and Nest Recording Report to see how many birds are ringed and recovered for the whole Ringing Scheme, covering Britain & Ireland, as well as broken down by country and county. This is also the place to find longevity records.

Visit our “Demog Blog” to find the breaking news on ringing and Ringing Surveys to see how ringers are focussing their efforts to provide information on population size, breeding success and survival through our Constant Effort Site (CES) and Retrapping Adults for Survival (RAS) projects. 

Many of our ringers are also nest recorders, find out more information on nesting success by visiting the Nest Record Scheme.

Go and look at the Population Dynamics and Migration and the ecology of migrants pages to see how information from ringing combines with other BTO surveys to provide fascinating insights into the lives of birds.

If you want to find out more about why ringing and nest recording is important you'll find it explained in Demographic Monitoring: A Strategy to Increase the Contribution of Ringing and Nest Recording to Conservation Science

For information on the BTO policy for working with under-18, view the BTO Safeguarding Policy. A guidance document and a checklist relating specifically to safeguarding whilst ringing, are available on the ringers-only pages.

Latest Ringing News

Cover image of LifeCycle Issue 6

LifeCycle Issue 6

Issue 6 of LifeCycle is now online. This edition features articles on whoosh netting in your garden, spring trapping Red Kites and developing a nestbox project for Willow Tits. There is also a review of a new sexing and ageing guide for ducks, a tester’s view of Demography Online as well as details of how to get involved in a new research project on Blackcaps.
Life Cycle issue 5 cover

LifeCycle Issue 5

Issue 5 of LifeCycle contains the annual breeding season results for 2016 as well as a four-page special celebrating the 35th and 20th anniversaries of CES and RAS. In addition, there are articles on finding Yellowhammer nests, the work of the Treshnish Isles Auk Ringing Group, recording moult, using thermal-imaging cameras to locate birds and much more.

Blackbird with young bird by Moss Taylor/BTO

2016 NRS & CES preliminary breeding season results

Information collected by British Trust for Ornithology volunteers show that 2016 was a poor breeding season for many bird species, in part due to periods of heavy spring and summer rainfall. In a reversal of fortunes from last year, conditions were better for populations in northern England and Scotland than they were in the south. See the Nest Record Scheme and Constant Effort Sites scheme preliminary breeding season report for details.