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.

Common Tern by Jill Pakenham

Year in Review - 2018

What a year 2018 was! From the ‘Beast from the East’ to the summer heatwave, Britain’s birds had to contend with extreme weather, and our hard-working volunteers were on hand to tell us just how they fared. It was another successful year for BTO science, and we also took part in many successful events, both in the flesh and virtually, over social media. 2018 was very much the Year of the Owl, with excellent coverage and uptake of our Tawny Owl Calling Survey. Here’s to reaching further ornithological heights in 2019!

Cuckoo by David Jefferson/BTO

Three tagged Cuckoos head north

Robinson, Sherwood and Thomas have all made northerly flights during the last few days, undertaking the very first leg of the long journey back to the UK. The average spring arrival date for Cuckoo in the UK is 19 April - they have a long way to go yet, follow their progress here.
State of Birds in Wales 2018 cover

State of birds in Wales 2018

The latest State of birds in Wales report shows mixed fortunes. Urban populations of House Sparrow, Feral Pigeon and Collared Dove show increases, along with woodland bird populations, whilst both lowland and upland farmland birds continue to fall. Welsh House Martins are holding their own but Starlings are in steep decline. Read more here
Blackcap by John Dunn

Scottish Terrestrial Breeding Bird Indicator

The latest update of the Indicator for Terrestrial Breeding Birds in Scotland has just been published. More than 80% of woodland bird species have shown marked increases. Farmland birds are up 14%, whilst the trend for upland birds shows a decline of almost 20%. Chiffchaff and Blackcap show some of the largest increases, with Dotterel and Curlew showing serious falls in numbers. Read more here.