Nest Record Scheme
Nest Record Scheme participants gather vital information on the breeding success of Britain's birds by following the progress of individual nests.
Every year almost 750 NRS participants monitor over 35,000 nests of different bird species in a variety of habitats. Thanks to the dedication of these volunteers, the BTO and other scientists can use the Nest Record Scheme’s unparalleled long-term dataset to assess the impacts that changes in the environment, such as habitat loss and global warming, have on the productivity of wild birds.
You can participate whether it’s by following the progress of a few nests in your local area, erecting and monitoring boxes or becoming a highly skilled nest finder. As with all BTO surveys, the welfare of birds comes first and we expect all participants to follow the Code of Conduct, a set of precautions designed to ensure that monitoring a nest does not harm or put it at risk.
Want to monitor a small number of nests in your garden?
You might prefer our simple to use garden nest recording survey, called Nesting Neighbours.Find out more
Time / skill required
- Early Feb - look out for early nesters like Long-tailed Tit
- Late Apr - most residents and migrants now nesting
- Early Sep - still time for late nesters like Goldfinch and Woodpigeon
- End Oct - records needed for early analysis of the season
- End Jan - records needed for full analysis of the season
Contributions & findings
NRS Code of Conduct
An essential set of rules for safe and ethical nest monitoring, to be followed by all NRS volunteers
LifeCycle issue 10, Spring 2021
This edition also includes feature articles on catching corvids, nesting in your garden and finding Blackcap nests, provides an update on the Garden CES trial, introduces readers to the wonderful w
BTO and COVID-19
BTO statement on participating in surveys during the Coronavirus pandemic (UPDATED 17.01.2022).