The British Trust for Ornithology (BTO) is an independent charity helping everyone to understand the natural world and its environment, so together we can inform the conservation priorities of the future for both birds and the habitats on which they depend.

Our vision is one where outstanding science inspires action for a wildlife-rich world.

Here at the BTO we love birds! We are the UK’s leading bird research organisation, working with volunteer birdwatchers to find out where birds are, what they need and how we can help them. Monitoring birds is also particularly important because their position in foodchains means they can tell us an awful lot about the health of our wider environment. Our team of brilliant scientists uses this information to research some of the changes happening to our birds. We try to understand what is causing populations to change – why some birds are disappearing while others thrive. People are a vital part of our work, they report the birds they are seeing every day and often do volunteer surveys for us. In fact over 50,000 volunteers help us to keep a close eye on our precious feathered friends. Birds are particularly important to monitor because they can tell us an awful lot about the health of our environment.

We want as many people as possible to appreciate birds and to make a contribution to our knowledge about them. We try to make our work understandable so that everyone can see how important it is to base the decisions we make about our environment on strong data and sound science. We use social media a lot to spread the word about our work, we also produce videos to help people identify birds and we try to get on the TV and radio as much as possible.

Encouraging younger people to enjoy birds is important to us so we are excited to be able to be a friend of The Pod and bring our work to schools in the UK and all around the world.

We can’t wait to share our science with school children and their teachers so that they can become the next generation of bird surveyors and nature warriors!

The Pod and BTO are very pleased to be working together on our new citizen science activity for school children called Whats under your feet? which we hope will spark an interest in science. Find out more>