BTO has a long history of working on migrants, from the first use of bird rings to look at the movements of birds. Our current work on long-distance migratory species covers two complementary approaches:
- the deployment of new tracking devices to understand the ecology, movements and non-breeding locations of individuals from breeding populations, many of which are declining
- analyses of long-term monitoring data, including from bespoke surveys, the Ringing and Nest Record Schemes, to identify drivers of population change
2023’s Cuckoos are tagged and ready to go
BTO has fitted 10 more Cuckoos with satellite tags, allowing scientists and the general public to follow these incredible birds on their annual migration.
BirdTrack migration blog (late May–mid June)
As spring progresses towards summer, migration continues to slow. Most breeding species will be either in the full throws of breeding or close to their breeding grounds.
BirdTrack migration blog (19–25 May)
A week of relatively settled conditions enabled a steady stream of late migrants to arrive, and allowed an occasional scarce species to make landfall.
BirdTrack migration blog (14–20 April)
The mixed bag of weather over the last week brought a few nice surprises and a steady trickle of migrants.
BirdTrack migration blog (28 April–4 May)
As expected, the mixed bag of weather over the last week resulted in a trickle rather than a flow of birds arriving.
BirdTrack migration blog (21–27 April)
A week of sunshine, rain and blustery easterly winds kept the pace of migration relatively slow given the time of year.
BirdTrack migration blog (7–13 April)
During the last week, spring migration has stepped up a gear with species such as Nightingale, Whitethroat, Grasshopper Warbler, and Cuckoo making their first appearance of 2023.
BirdTrack migration blog (31 March–6 April)
A change in wind direction over the past week coupled with some prolonged and often heavy bursts of rain slowed migration – but some birds still made it through.
BirdTrack migration blog (24–30 March)
Spring has certainly sprung in the last week, as summer migrants have taken advantage of warmer weather with a funnel of south-westerlies aiding their arrival.
BirdTrack migration blog (Mid-February — Mid-March)
With the songs of Great Tit, Song Thrush and Dunnock starting to fill the air, it feels like spring is just around the corner.
Can migrant birds wait until we have all the answers?
Research led by our CEO, Juliet Vickery, makes the case to act now to stem migrant bird population declines instead of waiting for more evidence.
BirdTrack migration blog (mid January–mid February)
With everything from arctic blasts to torrential rain, this winter has certainly been a testing time for birds visiting Britain and Ireland.
Proof of concept tool to predict avian influenza outbreaks
Data on the distribution, abundance and movements of wild birds are collected at a national scale within many European countries, thanks largely to the efforts of non-governmental organisations and...
A different approach could provide warning of avian influenza outbreaks
Although we lack complete understanding of the disease links between wild and captive bird populations, the pattern of HPAI emergence in captive poultry reflects the movements of migratory waterfowl...
The Yellow-browed Warbler (Phylloscopus inornatus) as a model to understand the mechanisms of vagrancy and its potential significance for the evolution of new migratory routes
In addition to their regular movements, birds are also known for their propensity to move beyond their geographic range limits, a phenomenon known as vagrancy, and a behaviour that provides...
BirdTrack migration blog (mid-December - mid-January)
With plummeting temperatures across Britain and Ireland, there is little doubt that winter has arrived - and although the main migration periods are over for this year, the recent icy conditions have...
While most individuals disperse over short distances, long-distance dispersal is prevalent in almost all European bird species
In a study conducted in collaboration with BTO, scientists estimated the dispersal patterns of 234 European bird species using data from the EURING (European Union for Bird Ringing) Databank of birds...
Scotland’s winter visitors: why and how do they migrate?
From geese and swans to thrushes and warblers, discover the secrets of our winter birds' migration.
BirdTrack migration blog (November–December)
With November upon us, the focus for many birdwatchers shifts away from autumn migration and towards winter birding.
BirdTrack migration blog (28th October - 3rd November)
As the nights draw in and trees take on the colours of autumn, the pace of migration slows and fewer species are on the move. Late October is still a great time to look for migrant birds, however,...
BirdTrack migration blog (21st-27th October)
With a switch to easterly winds, a flood of migrants was seen along the East coast, much to the delight of those able to get out and witness it.
BirdTrack Migration Blog (14th - 20th October)
With birds arriving from all points of the compass, the last week continued where the previous week left off: a mix of ultra-rare species and scarcer migrants arriving alongside more commoner species.
BirdTrack migration blog (30th September - 6th October)
As we reach the peak of Autumn migration many millions of birds are on the move across the globe.
Connectivity between countries established by landbirds and raptors migrating along the African-Eurasian flyway
Each year, more than two billion birds migrate along the African-Eurasian flyway. The increasing availability of tracking technology, involving attaching very small devices to migrant songbirds, has...
BirdTrack migration blog (23rd-29th September)
Given the seemingly unfavourable conditions over the past week, it has been a pleasant surprise to see such a diverse range of species on the move.
BirdTrack migration blog (16th-22nd September)
As we reach mid-September, the pace of migration has certainly intensified: summer visitors, passage migrants, and winter visitors have been seen far and wide across Britain and Ireland.
BirdTrack migration blog (9th-15th September)
A week dominated by easterlies certainly had an exciting effect on migration with a good mix of species seen up and down the country.
BirdTrack migration blog (2nd-8th September)
With Swallows gathering on the wires and the nights drawing in, summer has come to an end - but the delights of autumn still await.