Ringing publications

The online ringing and nest recording report

This online annual ringing report provides summaries of the birds ringed and recovered, by bird recording area, country and for the whole of Britain & Ireland. Nest Record Scheme totals by county and country are also available. The report also includes longevity records, the top five species ringed in each bird recording area and the top five bird recording areas for each species. Reports for 2007-2014 are available as are summaries of all recoveries for each bird recording area. Ringing totals for all species from 1909 to 2014 are also now available. New for 2014 are pages showing the timing of breeding and moult for the 15 most commonly recorded species.

Journals and magazines

Ringing & Migration
The journal of the British Trust for Ornithology Ringing Scheme, which includes papers on all aspects of bird ringing and migration studies as well as the annual ringing report.
Life Cycle spring 2018 cover
LifeCycle is the magazine of the British & Irish Ringing Scheme and the Nest Record Scheme (NRS).

Books and guides

December 2016

Between December 2013 and February 2014, a series of storm events occurred in areas of the North Atlantic frequented by migratory seabirds. Prolonged exposure to sustained storm conditions was followed by an unprecedented level of seabird mortality, apparently due to starvation, exhaustion and drowning. A total of 54,982 wrecked birds was recorded along European coastlines of the northeast Atlantic over the winter; 94% of which were dead. The majority of birds found were recorded on the French coastline (79.6%), and the most impacted species was the Atlantic Puffin Fratercula arctica (53.6%). In this paper, we describe the conditions surrounding this wreck event and report the numbers of wrecked and stranded seabirds by combining reports from multiple affected countries.

Identification of European Non-Passerines cover
May 2016
This major guide improves on the original by now comprehensively covering 155 species, with descriptions of ageing and sexing methods, moult, biometrics and racial differences. It complements Lars Svensson's Identification Guide to European Passerines, and is an invaluable reference for Bird Ringers, keen birders and feather enthusiasts, alike.
April 2015

Featured articles

In-depth reviews of survey work being undertaken on a particular group of species or habitats that bring together the experiences of multiple volunteers across Britain & Ireland. These inspirational articles highlight the stories behind the science, providing accounts of how and why projects were set up, a volunteer’s view of their progress and useful hints and tips for those thinking of setting up their own studies. Examples from the most recent issue include pieces on Peregrine, Sand Martin and House Martin monitoring.


The Migration Atlas

The Migration Atlas is an amazing stock take of our knowledge of the movements of birds which spend all, or part of, their life in the British Isles.  A fascinating read for everyone and a must for conservation practitioners.

Buy The Migration Atlas from BTO partner NHBS.

Identification for Ringers

by Kenneth Williamson, BTO.

These guides to the identification have long been out of print.  However, as ringers find them useful they are now freely available here as searchable PDFs.  There are three volumes
and a key: (PDF, 208.87 KB)
  1. Phylloscopus (PDF, 3.45 MB)
  2. Sylvia (PDF, 2.72 MB)

We are grateful to Dave Coker who kindly scanned these guides to allow them to be made available on the web.