Birds

Fifty years of citizen science shows a positive response to climate change by a third of English breeding birds.

Long-Tailed Tit (Jill Pakenham/BTO)

New research, just published in the journal Bird Study, has shown that one third of 68 breeding species in England have been affected by climate change, leading to notable increases in some and declines in a few.

BTO: Brand new data on gardens keeps growing

Blue Tit, by Jill Pakenham/BTO

Gardenwatch, one of the most ambitious citizen science projects to take place in the UK, was launched during BBC's Springwatch 2019. This collaboration between the British Trust for Ornithology (BTO), BBC, and the Open University leaves no stone unturned to help find out just how important gardens are for wildlife. This is the first time that such information has been collected on this scale.

BTO: Scientists follow amazing Cuckoos on their journey to Africa

Valentine the Cuckoo, by Lee Barber/BTO

As part of a project to discover what might be driving the decline in UK Cuckoo numbers, the British Trust for Ornithology (BTO) has fitted four of these iconic birds with satellite tags. These tags will enable BTO researchers to follow the Cuckoos as they make their way to the Congo rainforest, where they winter, and back again next spring.

BTO: Britain's owls need twenty minutes

Tawny Owl (Howard Stockdale)

Evidence suggests that our Tawny Owl population is falling and it might be that we are losing them from our towns and cities. Taking part in the BTO’s Tawny Owl Calling Survey will help make this clearer.

Tawny Owls are very difficult to monitor, as they live their lives during the hours of darkness, so we often hear them rather than see them. We want people to listen for the distinctive ‘hoot’ calls of the males and sharp ‘kee-wick’ of the females. Anyone can take part and the BTO website has a series of Tawny Owl recordings for people to familiarize themselves with the various calls.

BTO: Garden watchers help to lift the lid on leg disease found in British birds

Chaffinch at feeder (Luke Delve)

Observations collected by citizen scientists have helped vets at the international conservation charity ZSL (Zoological Society of London) investigate the occurrence of a condition that affects British finches. The latest study published in Scientific Reports shows that reports of leg lesions peak in winter, from March to November, which may be linked to the annual influx of migratory Chaffinches from mainland Europe.

BTO: Heard an Owl?

Tawny Owl (Howard Stockdale)

The British Trust for Ornithology is asking the great British public to participate in a national study of Tawny Owls and their calling behaviour, by listening out for them this autumn and winter. Tawny Owl populations are thought to be in decline and the species has recently been added to the Amber List of Birds of Conservation Concern.

Hugh Harris: Global seabird conservation: hoisting the mast for hope on a stormy sea

On Monday 3 September 2018 at the Chadwick Lecture Theatre, University of Liverpool, Cleo Small, Head of the BirdLife International Marine Programme was the opening speaker of the three-day 14th International Seabird Group Conference.

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