Welcome to the BTO

Looking out for birds? Share your interest in birds with others by being part of the British Trust for Ornithology (BTO). Volunteer surveyors, members and staff work in partnership to provide unbiased information about birds and their habitats. Join or volunteer today and make birds count.

New Scientist Live logo

Join us at New Scientist Live

We're excited about exhibiting at the New Scientist Live event in London for the first time. Voted Show of the year in 2016, New Scientist Live is an exciting festival of ideas taking place at ExCeL London from Thursday 28 September until Sunday 1 October. The event boasts hundreds of exibitors featuring the biggest, best and most provocative science with five immersive zones covering Humans, Engineering, Technology, Earth and Cosmos. If you visit the event, look out for us on stand 548.
Mandarin Duck. Photograph by Neil Calbrade

Help with duck identification

Mandarin and Wood Duck are stunningly beautiful birds which are commonly encountered and can be tricky to identify. Mandarins are frequently seen in the UK and breed in the wild, with a well-established population. Wood Duck, commonly kept in collections, can also be found. We've just published the latest in our growing collection of bird identification videos to help with the task of identifying and separating Wood Duck and Mandarin.
Tree Sparrow by Ron Marshall

Online Ringing and nest recording

The latest ringing and Nest Recording figures are out and show that during 2016 over one million birds were ringed. While Blue Tit was the most ringed species, Goldfinch made number two with 55,754 individuals ringed. Seventeen new longevity records were set, 46,272 nest records were received, and Tree Sparrow was in the top five species for nest record monitoring. Take a look at the report online here.

Curlew by Jill Pakenham

Glimmer of hope for Curlew

The UK holds almost a third of the global breeding population of Curlew. Declines here have been greatest in Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland, and in Ireland the breeding range has contracted by a massive 78%. By analysing data, collected by thousands of volunteer birdwatchers as part of the BTO/JNCC/RSPB Breeding Bird Survey (BBS), BTO has, for the first time, documented how a range of different pressures may be responsible for this national decline.