Latest Research

Tagged Cuckoo, photograph by Chris Hewson

Tracking a research revolution

Newly-published work by BTO has reviewed the long-term patterns in the use of tracking devices on individual birds, and how the effects of the use of such devices are reported. This work highlights the continuing need for more systematic documentation of potential effects in peer-reviewed publications, to support more rigorous science and to further improve bird welfare.
Ringed Plover, photograph by Jill Pakenham

A tale of two plovers

BTO research sheds light on the differing fortunes of two small UK-breeding waders.
Chaffinch by Jill Pakenham

Garden BirdWatchers allow us to better understand disease in British finches

Weekly reports from BTO Garden BirdWatchers, as well as ad hoc sightings of disease from members of the public to Garden Wildlife Health, have aided our understanding of leg lesions (more commonly referred to as ‘scaly leg’ or ‘tassel foot’) in British finches.

Curlew by Neil Calbrade

Wading birds are benefiting from conservation action but we need more of it

Whether it is the swooping display and ‘pee-wit’ calls of a breeding Lapwing or the haunting cry of a Curlew over a tall hay meadow, breeding waders deliver some of the most iconic sights and sounds of the British countryside in spring. But, along with many of the other species breeding in agricultural habitats, all is not well with these charismatic birds, as BTO Research Ecologist Sam Franks reveals.

Brown Hares, by John Harding

How birdwatchers can tell us about declining mammals

The UK’s mammals present particular challenges for monitoring; they live in a wide variety of habitats, vary enormously in size and can be very difficult to see, but as this paper shows, Britain’s army of volunteer bird surveyors could come to the rescue.