BTO

The simple act of looking out of your window can help scientific research

During the first lockdown in 2020, the British Trust for Ornithology’s (BTO) Garden BirdWatch (GBW) survey saw the number of participants double, from just over 10,000 to over 20,000 garden birdwatchers, with submissions of garden wildlife sightings up by around a third on 2019. So far in 2021 almost 4 million observations have been submitted.

City’s bright lights attract migrant birds

Redwing, Liz Cutting

Results from a new study reveal that artificial light sources associated with urban areas can disrupt the natural movement patterns of birds migrating at night across the UK. Using a combination of passive acoustic monitoring devices and the latest computing approaches, researchers Simon Gillings and Chris Scott were able to determine that calling rates of migrating Blackbirds, Song Thrushes and Redwings were significantly higher over brightly lit urban areas, most likely a consequence of the birds being attracted by the artificial lighting.

British and Irish gardens fuel a novel reverse migration for Blackcaps in winter

 Blackcap by Benjamin Van Doren

The allure of garden feeders has transformed the biology of a bird that visits Britain and Ireland for the winter. New research involving the British Trust for Ornithology (BTO), Oxford University and the Max Planck Institute, and just published in the journal Global Change Biology, provides further evidence of how humans are shaping the natural world through simple changes in our own back gardens. Increasingly mild winters and abundant garden bird food has led Blackcaps to establish new migratory routes, lead more sedentary winter lives, and perhaps even modify their anatomy.

Survey of UK's coast highlights change in wintering waterbird populations

Turnstone by Sarah Kelman

The findings from a survey of the wintering waterbirds on the UK's non-estuarine coast, delivered by a network of volunteer observers, has revealed significant changes in the numbers of several waterbird species, including Lapwing, Curlew, Redshank, Turnstone, and Sanderling. 

Volunteers help to shape conservation priorities for UK birds

House Martin by Tom Streeter

The latest BirdTrends report, published by the British Trust for Ornithology (BTO) provides valuable information on the changing status of the UK's bird populations. Updated annually, this year’s report is especially significant in that it provides an early indication of one of the periodic revisions of the UK's “Red List” due to be published at the end of this year.

Opening up the hidden world of bats, bush-crickets and small mammals

Bank vole by John Harding

A new online tool, just launched by the British Trust for Ornithology (BTO), opens up the previously hidden world of bats, bush-crickets, and small mammals. The BTO Acoustic Pipeline brings cutting-edge sound identification of bats and other nocturnal wildlife to new audiences, enabling Internet users to find out which species are present in audio recordings they have collected. This will help both interested naturalists and those involved in assessing the importance of sites for rare or protected species.

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