Bird Ringing Recoveries Officer, BTO
Around the UK, Jays haven’t needed to dip into their large cache of acorns very much this weird winter as the weather has been so mild. They will top up their diet with invertebrates and any other meaty treats they can get. This search can lead them to gardens during cold periods and some of these gardens are occupied by BTO bird ringers.
Credit: John Flowerday/BTO
Last year our BTO ringers ringed 506 Jays in the UK & Ireland (c. 700 is the five year average) and as Jays can live to a maximum of 16 years old, there are a good number of ringed Jays in the wild population. Being very clever birds, they can provide a challenge to ringers to catch them but once caught they deserve respect as they are incredibly powerful birds with very sharp claws and beaks. Once in the ringer's hands, the birds are ringed, aged, and several measurements taken to record the condition the bird and if any moult or breeding is occurring.
Credit: Lee Barber
Scott Newey, an ecologist from the James Hutton Institute, explores the issues facing Mountain Hares – and explains why we don’t even know how many there are.
There are lots of good reasons to know how many mountain hares there are and how they are responding to management and environmental change, but there is no easy and tested way of reliably counting mountain hares. Hares are notoriously difficult to count: they are mostly active at night and tend to remain inactive during the day, when they tend to seek refuge in “forms” (shelters) in tall heather or other protected locations; and they are also quite cryptic or well camouflaged. Their rapid changes in numbers as the populations ‘cycle’ means that there can quite naturally be a very wide range in population size in the same area in different years.
The James Hutton Institute, the Game & Wildlife Conservation Trust and Scottish Natural Heritage are carrying out a project trialling different methods of counting...
Autumnwatch and Springwatch series producer
Photo by Emily Stone
Winterwatch is back!
This winter has been extraordinary: it’s been the warmest and wettest that anyone can remember, and now we’re in the middle of an unexpected sudden cold snap. The question that we, and many of you, want answering is what effect has this had on our wildlife? That’s what Winterwatch will be investigating when we return on Tuesday 26th January for 4 days on BBC2.
We will be based at the National Trust for Scotland’s, Mar Lodge Estate, in the heart of the spectacular Cairngorm mountains – surrounded by incredible wildlife. In recent weeks this region has suffered unprecedented flooding here, indeed we nearly didn’t make it on to location as the main access road was completely washed away.
If the newly repaired road holds, then Chris Packham and Micheala Strachan will be out and about bringing you the latest wildlife sightings, and reports from around the UK. If you have pictures, videos or questions about this weird winter then do send them in. Martin Hughes-Games...
Living Seas Officer for The Wildlife Trusts
Dover to Deal, Cuttlefish
Our seas are a fantastic resource, providing us with food for our tables, much of the oxygen we breathe, helping to regulate our climate and providing us with an unrivalled playground.
We are fortunate that, as an island nation, our seas have the potential to be some of the most productive in the world but only if we treat them with proper care, protecting areas to allow our seas to cope with...
Wendy Cooper is a regular contributor to the Springwatch Flickr groups. here she talks about how she got into photographing our wonderful wildlife.
Credit: Wendy Cooper
A few years back I started dabbling in photography again and decided to try and learn how use a DSLR properly, instead of the previous haphazard approach I had taken when using film, many years previously.
I have always had an interest in nature...
Credit: Dennis Greenwood.
Do you know your tawny from your barn or the difference between your short and long ears? This Wing Tips guide gives you everything you need to tell apart our British owls.
Tawny owl - Strix aluco
The Tawny owl is perhaps the most familiar of our owl species. About the size of a woodpigeon, you are more likely to hear this bird than see it. That 'toowit toowoo' that is so commonly heard both in...
James Harding-Morris talks us through the Big Schools' Birdwatch, starting in January.
What is the Big Schools’ Birdwatch?
Big Schools’ Birdwatch is about to celebrate its fifteenth birthday – but if you’ve not heard of Big Schools’ Birdwatch before I’ll give you a little bit of background detail.
It’s the educational version of the RSPB’s Big Garden Birdwatch – designed for teachers to take part in with their classes. Rather than happening over a single weekend at the end of January, Big Schools’ Birdwatch takes place over the entire first half-term after the Christmas break; in...
Dr. Viola Ross-Smith
British Trust for Ornithology
More than a quarter of the UK's birds are now on the Red List for endangered species. Dr. Viola Ross-Smith from the British Trust for Ornithology explains why, some of them may surprise you...
The latest Birds of Conservation Concern report is published today, updating the last version from 2009. This report places species on Green, Amber and Red Lists to denote increasing levels of conservation need. Species are assessed against many criteria, which means not all species on the Amber and Red Lists are currently very rare. A species can be numerous, but find itself on the Red List...
Children are happier, healthier and more creative when they are connected to the natural world. This should be an option not just for a few, but for every child in the UK.
The Wildlife Trusts want to see every child wild.
Photo Credit: James Beck
We've been doing some research...
The Wildlife Trusts recently commissioned a new poll by YouGov, to help us understand what wild experiences children in the 21st Century...
From Steven Stansfield, warden, Bardsey Bird & Field Observatory
Rain most of day on & off. Handful of new goldcrests, 4 fieldfare, 2 redwing, brambling. Very mild so no incentive for birds to leave the continent.
Better for migrants today with some new arrivals such as most of the 409 fieldfares. There were also 191 redwings, 85 blackbirds, 9 short-eared owls, a long-eared owl and a yellow-browed warbler among the birds recorded on the island. Another 29 whooper swans headed south, the great grey shrike and smew were both seen again and 7 little auks passed by on the...