The Breeding Bird Survey

The BTO/JNCC/RSPB Breeding Bird Survey (BBS) is the main scheme for monitoring the population changes of the UK’s common breeding birds. It is a national volunteer project aimed at keeping track of changes in the breeding populations of widespread bird species in the UK. Wild bird populations are an important indicator of the health of the countryside, and knowing to what extent bird populations are increasing or decreasing is fundamental to bird conservation.

Latest BBS news

Online surveys - planned maintenance Tuesday 25 September

From 0900 to 1700 on Tuesday 25 September BTO Survey applications may be unavailable due to scheduled maintenance. You may be able to register for surveys during this period, but not access them. We apologise for any inconvenience.
Spotted Flycatcher. Photograph by John Harding

A northern powerhouse

The latest Breeding Bird Survey report, which has just been published, shows a 66% increase for Spotted Flycatcher during 2011–2016 and a 21% upturn for Willow Warbler in Scotland over the last 23 years. In England, both of these birds are in trouble. Read the full 2017 BBS report to find out more.
Volunteer fieldworker by Dawn Balmer

The 2018 BBS season

Can you spare two mornings to walk a BBS 1-km square and count the birds present between April and June? Data collected is used in research and to produce annual population trends for over 100 breeding birds across the UK. If you know your birds by sight and sound, please get in touch with your Regional Organiser to find a square near you.

For existing BBS volunteers, we have online videos to assist with data input and a twitter account, @BBS_birds. Thanks for taking part and here's to a successful 2018 survey season!