This bi-annual magazine for nest recorders and ringers contains the latest news and results from the schemes, as well as articles by volunteers on their monitoring projects and activities, and practical tips and advice. Life Cycle replaces NRS News (as well as the other scheme newsletters), which ran from 1984 to 2014. Click on the image to the left for the latest edition of Life Cycle, and see here for back issues of NRS News.
Field Guide to Monitoring Nests
A new 256-page BTO publication containing individual species accounts, with concise notes on nest finding and quick-reference facts and figures, for 145 British and Irish breeding species. Its combination of expert advice and introductory chapters on the basics makes this guide an ideal field companion for both beginners and experienced nest recorders. Read more information and buy a copy.
Breeding Bird of Britain and Ireland PC DVD
Published by BirdGuides in association with the BTO, this computer identification guide is the culmination of a lifetime's fieldwork by Peter Castell, his son Richard Castell, and colleagues. The PC-compatible application contains over 3,000 images of the nests, eggs, nestlings and fledglings of 230 British Breeding birds. Purchase a copy from NHBS.
Breeding Birds of the Western Palearctic PC DVD
An expanded version of the above application by the same authors, this computer identification guide contains over 9000 images, covering 735 species that breed in the Western Palearctic. Again, this DVD guide is compatible with PCs. Copies are available from the BirdGuides website.
Birds Nests, Eggs and Nestlings
First published in 1975, this is the second revised edition of Collins' long-running title by Colin Harrison, co-authored by Peter Castell since 1998. This edition features colour plates of the eggs of most UK breeding birds, accompanied by brief descriptions of their nests and chicks. An excellent guide for identifying nests found. Last printed in 2002, second-hand copies of this guide are still easy to come by in book shops and online.
BTO Nest Box Guide
The BTO has long published a guide to building and erecting nest boxes. The latest edition has been written by veteran nest recorder, ringer and BTO volunteer Chris Du Feu and is available to buy online from the BTO. More information on the guide is available, and a
free download (PDF, 2.46 MB)of the previous edition. Online advice on nest boxes is also available on the National Nestbox Week pages.
Other useful literature
Below is are a list of publications and papers that may be useful to nest recorders. It includes all the literature cited in the BTO publication A Field Guide to Monitoring Nests.
Baillie, S.R. (1990) Integrated population monitoring of breeding birds in Britain and Ireland. Ibis, 132, 151-166.
Both, C., Bouwhuis, S., Lessells, C.M. & Visser, M.E (2006) Climate change and population declines in a long-distance migratory bird. Nature, 441, 81-83.
Byrkjedal, I & Thompson, D. (1998) Tundra Plovers. T & AD Poyser, London.
Campbell, B. (1953) Finding Nests. Collins, London.
Campbell, B. & Ferguson-Lees, J. (1972) A Field Guide to Birds' Nests. Constable, London.
Castell, P & Castell, R. (2010) Breeding Birds of The Western Palearctic Nests, Eggs, Nestlings & Habitats (Revised Edition). [PC DVD] BirdGuides, London.
Chamberlain, D.E. & Crick, H.Q.P. (2003) Temporal and spatial associations in aspects of reproductive performance of lapwings in the UK, 1962-1999. Ardea, 91, 183-196.
Chamberlain, D.E. (2001) Habitat associations and trends in reproductive performance of skylarks Alauda arvensis breeding in the uplands of the UK. In Donald, P.F. & Vickery, J.A. (eds) The ecology and conservation of skylarks. Alauda arvensis, 25-39. RSPB, Bedfordshire.
Clement, P. (1995) The Chiffchaff. Hamlyn, London.
Cramp, S. & Simmons, K. E. L. (eds.) (2004) BWPi: Birds of the Western Palearctic interactive. [PC DVD] BirdGuides, London.
Crick, H.Q.P., Baillie, S.R. & Leech, D.I. (2003) The UK Nest Record Scheme: its value for science and conservation. Bird Study, 50, 254-270.
Crick, H.Q.P., Dudley, C., Glue, D.E., Thomson, D.L. (1997) UK birds are laying eggs earlier. Nature, 388, 526.
Crick, H.Q.P. & Sparks, T.H. (1999) Climate change related to egg-laying trends. Nature, 399, 423-424.
Donald, P.E. (2004) The Skylark. T & AD Poyser, London.
Evans, K.L., Leech, D.I., Crick, H.Q.P., Greenwood, J.J.D. & Gaston, K.J. (2009) Latitudinal and seasonal patterns in clutch size of some single-brooded British birds. Bird Study, 56, 75-85
Freeman, S.N. & Crick, H.Q.P. (2003) The decline of the spotted flycatcher in the UK: and integrated population model. Ibis, 145, 400-412.
Hardey, J., Crick, H.Q.P., Wernham, C., et al. (2006) Raptors - A Field Guide for Surveys and Monitoring. The Stationery Office.
Harrison, C. & Castell, P. (2002) Collins Field Guide to the Bird Nests, Eggs and Nestlings of Britain and Europe with North Africa ond the Middle East (Revised Edition). Harper Collins, London.
Hewson, C. M., Amar, A., Lindsell, J. A., Thewlis, R. M., Butler, S., Smith, K. and Fuller, R. J. (2007), Recent changes in bird populations in British
broadleaved woodland. Ibis, 149, 14–28.
Hoeher, S. (1974) Birds' Eggs and Nesting Habitats. Blandford Press, London.
Leech, D.I., Shawyer, C.R., Barimore, C.J., & Crick, H.Q.P. (2009) The Barn Owl Monitoring Programme: establishing a protocol to assess temporal and spatial variation in productivity at a national scale. Ardea, 97, 421–428
Mason, C.F. (1995) The Blackcap. Hamlyn, London.
Matthysen, E. (1998) The Nuthatches. T & AD Poyser, London.
Mayfield, H. (1961) Nesting success calculated from exposure. Wilson Bull., 73, 255-261.
Mayfield, H. (1975) Suggestions for calculating nest success. Wilson Bull., 87, 456-466.
Mikkola, H. (1983) The Owls of Europe. T & AD Poyser, London.
Peach, W.J., Siriwardena, G.M. and Gregory, R.D. (1999) Long-term changes in over-winter survival rates explain the decline of reed buntings Emberiza schoeniclus in Britain. Journal of Applied Ecology, 36, 798-811.
Reade, W. & Hosking, E. (1974) Nesting Birds Eggs and Fledglings in Colour (Revised Edition). Blandford Press
Reid, J. M., Monaghan, P. and Ruxton, G. D. (2000) The consequences of clutch size for incubation conditions and hatching success in starlings. Functional Ecology, 14, 560–565.
Shrubb, M. (2007) The Lapwing. T & AD Poyser, London.
Shrubb, M. (1993) The Kestrel. Hamlyn, London.
Simms, E. (1971) Woodland Birds. Collins New Naturalist, London.
Simms, E. (1978) British Thrushes. Collins New Naturalist, London.
Simms, E. (1985) British Warblers. Collins New Naturalist, London.
Siriwardena, G.M., Baillie, S.R., Crick, H.Q.P.& Wilson, J.D. (2000) The importance of variation in the breeding performance of seed-eating birds in determining their population trends on farmland. J. Appl. Ecol., 37, 128-148.
Stoleson, S. H. and Beissinger, S. R. (1999) Egg viability as a constraint on hatching synchrony at high ambient temperatures. J. Anim. Ecol., 68, 951–962.
Tyler, S. & Ormerod, S. (1994) The Dippers. T & AD Poyser, London.
Village, A. (1990) The Kestrel. T & AD Poyser, London.
Whitaker, J (1997) A Field Guide to the Scarcer Breeding Birds of the New Forest. Peregrine Books, Leeds.
Witherby, H.F., Jourdain, F.C.R, Ticehurst, N.F, & Tucker, B.W. (1938-41). The Handbook of British Birds. H.F. & G. Witherby, London.
A selected list of publications and newsletters that make use of NRS data are available here.