• Champions for curlews

    Since the 1990s the number of breeding curlews in the UK has halved. Unless we act now this much-loved bird of our uplands and estuaries could vanish from our shores. If we want to save the curlew, then we need to make the government of the UK sit up and take notice of their plight. Luckily, we are working with some politicians who are committed to championing the curlew’s cause.

    In Scotland our species champion…

    • 31 May 2018
  • What is the Curlew Trial Management Project?

    A blog post by Irena Tomankova, Conservation Scientist, RSPB Centre for Conservation Science, introducing the Curlew Trail Management Project, which aims to find a solution to stabilising the declining breeding population in the UK.

    The Eurasian curlew is one of our most loved birds, with their haunting bubbling calls and long down-curved beaks.

    Curlews spend their winters around the coasts of Europe and northern Africa…

    • 29 May 2018
  • Can predation limit bird populations in the UK?

    RSPB Scotland's Senior Conservation Scientist Staffan Roos describes the findings of a new study that he and his RSPB colleagues Jennifer Smart, David Gibbons and Jeremy Wilson recently published in the journal Biological Reviews.

    People often ask me whether the decline of farmland birds is caused by the increasing numbers of buzzards they see in their local area. Often they follow up their question with "surely…

    • 24 May 2018
  • RSPB Science monitoring at Hope Farm - May 2018

    Blog post by Derek Gruar, Senior Research Assistant, RSPB Centre for Conservation Science and Laurinda Lauffman, Trusts and Foundations Manager, RSPB.

    We are well underway with the 19th season of breeding bird surveys and summer butterfly monitoring at RSPB Hope Farm.

    Surveys started in early April and half the maximum number of 12 bird surveys by 20 May have been completed.

    Yellowhammer. Image by Tom Marshall (rspb-images.com)

    What have we found?

    The cold spring seemed…

    • 18 May 2018
  • How many mice does it take to kill an albatross?

    Blog by Kate Lawrence.
    On the evening of 20 February 2018, I watched an Atlantic yellow-nosed albatross chick die before my eyes, as it was eaten alive by mice.
    A 79-day old Atlantic yellow-nosed albatross chick at nest 014 just after its death by mouse predation (Kate Lawrence).

    Video below: The Atlantic yellow-nosed albatross chick at nest 14 is predated by mice.
    We feel it is important…
    • 15 May 2018
  • Waterbirds in the UK 2016/17

    Blog post by Simon Wotton, Senior Conservation Scientist, RSPB Centre for Conservation Science.

    The latest Wetland Bird Survey (WeBS) report, for 2016/17, has just been published. WeBS is the principal scheme for monitoring the populations of the UK's wintering waterbirds, providing an important indicator of the status of waterbird populations and the health of wetlands.

    The report documents waterbird counts at…

    • 11 May 2018
  • Using new tracking technology to study Bristol’s starling declines

    Blog post by David Buckingham, Senior Conservation Scientist and Vivien Hartwell, Senior Research Assistant, RSPB Centre for Conservation Science.

    Starlings are one of the UK’s fastest declining species. The question is why?

    We think whatever is affecting starlings is happening away from their breeding areas. To investigate, we plan on tracking recently-fledged starlings in Bristol in a new and innovative project…

    • 3 May 2018