• RSPB Scotland photography competition

    Introducing a brand new photography competition!

    Are you inspired by nature and wildlife across Scotland? If so, why not enter RSPB Scotland’s photography competition? All donations received will go to support wildlife conservation in Scotland.

    Competition Categories

    • Giving Nature a Home
    • People and Nature
    • Animal behaviours
    • Wildscapes

    The competition is FREE to enter and you  may choose up to 3 categories…

    • 4 Nov 2013
  • I thought you were bringing it!!

    Conservation Manager, Stuart Benn, tells us how his Big Wild Sleepout went...

    I thought you were bringing it!!

    It hadn’t been a good start.

    We were heading up into the glens for the Big Wild Sleepout when we realised we hadn’t packed the tent! Note for next year – make a list! Anyway, it was too far from home and too late to go back to fetch it so we ended up with the two of us plus dog sleeping in the car -…

    • 14 Aug 2013
  • It’s the best time of the day...

    RSPB Conservation Manager Stuart Benn is looking forward to the Big Wild Sleepout. Will you be participating?

    It’s the best time of the day...

    I’ve always been something of a magpie, always on the lookout for pictures or words that ‘stick to the eyes’, things that I can keep in mind and refer back to. So, when I was on the Tube a couple of weeks ago and saw an advert with the tagline – ‘It’s the best time of the…

    • 7 Aug 2013
  • Dramatic seabird breeding failures in Orkney for another season

    RSPB Seabird Surveyor, Thalassa McMurdo-Hamilton, gives us an update on the Orkney seabird breeding season.

    Dramatic seabird breeding failures in Orkney for another season

    Welcome to the second Orcadian seabird blog (to read the first blog click here). This past month has been full of ups and downs for me as a seabird surveyor. This month, it’s been all about guillemot, razorbill and kittiwake chicks: hatching, survival…

    • 6 Aug 2013
  • 4 seabirds

    Brand new blog from Conservation Manager, Stuart Benn.

    4 seabirds

    Some of the best days I have ever known have been spent amongst seabirds. Being with them at the cliffs and islands is like going through a door into the next level of a video game, a world of hyper-reality where the normal rules don’t seem to apply.

    All the senses come equally into play – it’s loud and pungent, the colours are vibrant, the same…

    • 22 Aug 2013
  • Reserves are not like buses...

    With buses they say you wait for ages and then two come along at once. But special places for nature are scarce and becoming rarer.

    In an exciting partnership with Scottish Natural Heritage (SNH) and Loch Lomond and The Trossachs National Parkwe've secured a special part of Scotland for nature and people.

    View over Wards Estate

    Why is it so special?

    Is it the stunning views with wetlands, woodlands and snow capped mountains (yes, they…

    • 28 May 2012
  • Dotterel declines in Scotland: Out of sight out of mind?

    Alistair Baxter is completing a PhD investigating the reasons behind Dotterel declines in Scotland. Read on to find out more about his exciting work...

    Dotterel declines in Scotland: Out of sight out of mind? 

    Over the last thirty years, National Surveys led by the RSPB and Scottish Natural Heritage (SNH) have revealed dramatic declines in dotterel numbers across the UK. The most marked results have been the total disappearance…

    • 9 Jul 2013
  • From sea to shining sea

    If you’re fortunate enough to work for the RSPB, you get the opportunity every seven years to take a well-earned sabbatical of up to four weeks. You can go and work on another conservation project at home or sometimes abroad, usually with Birdlife International. Or you can design your own sabbatical but it must meet strict criteria. It’s a very worthwhile employment benefit which helps to refocus and refresh valued staff…

    • 5 Sep 2011
  • A National Disgrace

    Conservation Manager, Stuart Benn, reflects on the discovery of a dead golden eagle earlier this year.

    A National Disgrace

    Take a look at this bird.  It is now dead.


    The video was taken on 23 June 2011 when we were fitting a satellite tag to this golden eagle chick at its nest high in the hills above Loch Ness.  It took its first flight on 20 July and, from time to time during that summer and…

    • 3 Oct 2012
  • Torn between two plovers

    Conservation Manager, Stuart Benn, is back with a new blog...

    Torn Between Two Plovers

    Isn’t this weather just absolutely gorgeous?

    It’s well overdue after that long, cold spring and a long, cold drink and a barbecue has sometimes felt like the best way to spend the day or at least the evening.

    But here in North Scotland, we know that such good spells don’t last forever and we need to make the most of…

    • 18 Jul 2013
  • Countdown to Scottish Birdfair!

    Countdown to Scottish Birdfair! May 11-12 at Hopetoun House near Edinburgh

    With a little over 1 week to go before the second annual Scottish Birdfair, it’s all go in the office as we finalise plans for the big weekend.

    The award-winning festival* attracted some 5,000 visitors in 2012 and is expected to be even bigger and better this year.

    The Scottish Birdfair will host over 100 exhibitors showcasing everything…

    • 2 May 2013
  • It's not an illusion

    Conservation Manager, Stuart Benn, is back with a new blog...

    It’s not an Illusion

    A wee girl clings on to the side of a house – HEEEEELLLLLLP!!!

    I dangle from a window ledge.

    But, don’t worry, it’s not as alarming as it looks – the whole thing is an illusion, part of an interactive piece of art in London that I went to when I was down south last week. The ‘house’ lies flat and…

    • 30 Jul 2013
  • The eagle has landed

    Weekly update from Stuart Benn, RSPB Conservation Manager in North Scotland.

    The Eagle has Landed

    I had to paint a ceiling at the weekend but, whilst it took Michelangelo four years to manage that with the Sistine Chapel, I was done in a couple of hours.  And with the days drawing out, that still left plenty of time to get out on to the hill to see how the eagles were doing.

    Although my observations are interesting,…

    • 20 Feb 2013
  • Station to Station

    Trainee ecologist , David Freeman, gives us an update on his summer in the field...

    Station to Station

    Since my last blog just over a month ago I have been rushed off my feet! I’ve been flitting about the entirety of Scotland, taking the train from station to station and watching country roads slide by car windows. I will attempt to describe some of the highlights here, although one blog can not hope to do justice to…

    • 1 Aug 2013
  • Step up for Scotland's declining seabirds

    A trip to one of Scotland’s many seabird colonies is an unforgettable experience. Whether viewing from a clifftop vantage point or out on a little boat bobbing alongside an island teeming with squawking, swooping seabirds, you can’t help but be impressed by the variety and sheer number of birds.

    However, over the last 20 years, this remarkable wildlife spectacle has been diminishing. A visit can still inspire…

    • 28 Nov 2012
  • 1000th Seabird Mystery Solved

    Ellie Owen, RSPB Conservation Scientist, celebrates an important milestone with her team...

    1000th Seabird Mystery Solved

    The seabird tracking team 2013 celebrating an important milestone...

    This week I have been thinking back to April 2010 when I, along with the rest of RSPB’s FAME seabird tracking team, headed out to my remote island sites to start the first season of catching and tagging seabirds on a scale…

    • 5 Jul 2013
  • Trolls on the Isle of Rum

    We've saved the best for last! Our Seabird Policy Officer, Rory Crawford, recounts his incredible visit to the Isle of Rum.


    In August last year I fulfilled an ambition I’ve had for some time: to visit the Isle of Rum, off the west coast of Scotland. Rum is a National Nature Reserve – a concept that appeals to me greatly. The SNH website says these sites are ‘areas of land set aside for nature, where the main…

    • 20 Feb 2012
  • Foraging and then fungi

    Our very own James Reynolds, Head of Media & Communications at RSPB Scotland, tells us about a favourite pastime.

    Foraging and then fungi…

    My enthusiasm for all things mycological began about 15 years ago, when someone first bought me a copy of Richard Mabey’s seminal foraging bible Food for Free as a birthday gift. Already a veritable foodie with a deep love of cooking, as well as an enthusiastic outdoor…

    • 25 Oct 2012
  • Five facts you need to know about swifts

    Swift Awareness Week starts today so in celebration of these birds RSPB Scotland’s Jess Barrett brings you five facts you need to know about them. You can find out more about Swift Awareness Week and find events happening near you as part of it here.

    Five facts you need to know about swifts

    1. Swifts migrate here from Africa

    Swifts spend our winter months away from our cold weather in Africa, undertaking a…

    • 16 Jun 2018
  • Forsinard Flows: where size matters

    Sheila George, our land use policy officer, spent a week at our RSPB Scotland Forsinard Flows reserve. In this blog Sheila fills us in on how her time was spent and on the amazing landscape that makes up the reserve.

    Forsinard Flows: where size matters

    I’m recently back from a fantastic week of volunteering at Forsinard Flows. If you haven’t been, here are a few reasons to get up there:

    It’s all about scale…

    • 14 Nov 2017
  • Brexit or no Brexit: the environment needs international governance and cooperation

    Anne McCall, Director of RSPB Scotland, recently spoke at the European Environment Bureau Conference. Here she reflects on the conference and the importance of co-operation for our environment.

    Brexit or no Brexit: the environment needs international governance and cooperation

    Anne speaking at the EEB Conference

    It's a cliché but also entirely appropriate: the environment really does know no boundaries. …

    • 15 Nov 2017
  • The tale of the great auk

    Our Seabird Policy Officer, Rory Crawford, is back with another seabird saga.

    The tale of the great auk – Scotland’s great extinct penguin

    After what I was saying Tuesday about taking our internationally-important seabirds for granted, I felt it important to re-tell a story that should serve as a cautionary tale. The tale of the great northern hemisphere penguin that was once common as muck – but is now exctinct…

    • 20 Feb 2012
  • Visiting Scotland's seabird cities

    Kara Brydson, Senior Marine Policy Officer at RSPB Scotland, tells us about a recent visit to one of the wildlife wonders of the world.

    Visiting Scotland's seabird cities

    Imagine leaving work at the end of an unremarkable day. Within the hour you’re at what Sir David Attenborough calls ‘one of the wildlife wonders of the world’. That’s what I did on Wednesday night, along with 30 others on an RSPB Scotland ’Date…

    • 30 May 2013
  • Knit for Shetland Whaaps

    The UK is one of the most important places for curlews but numbers here are in decline. Throughout May across the RSPB we will be highlighting their plight. Many people are inspired by these birds - on Shetland two knitting patterns have been created in their honour. 

    Knit for Shetland Whaaps

    Curlews, more commonly known as Whaaps in Shetland, are part of the fabric of Shetland so we are thrilled that we have two knitting…

    • 2 May 2018
  • Five facts you should know about puffins

    Five facts you should know about puffins

    'Clown of the sea' and 'sea parrot' are just two of the nicknames that have been given to Scotland's most recognisable seabird. Puffins are small, rounded birds that belong to the Auk family and weigh about the same as a can of Irn Bru. 

    The species we have here in Scotland is known as the Atlantic puffin, though there are others found elsewhere, including…

    • 19 Apr 2016