Thursday, 10 December 2015

Welcome to the new BTO Young Birders Blog!

Hello and welcome to a brand new blog aimed at young birders, ringers and nest recorders. We're going to use this space to keep you posted of ways to get involved with BTO activities and with opportunities to develop your birding skills and field-craft experience. 

This will also be a community space where you can share your own experiences with others. We've already got a keen bunch of young birders ready to write guest blogs and there is an open invitation for you to join them with your own guest blog. We're particularly interested in posts about:

  • Ways you have developed your skills 
  • Great birding spots and the best time to visit them
  • New things you've learnt about birds/birdwatching/ringing/nest recording
  • Good books/magazines/websites/apps for bird/nature watching and recording
  • Trips you're planning
  • Equipment you rate
  • Taking better photos
  • Work experience and volunteering in science and conservation
If you'd like to contribute, just contact Ieuan with a short summary of what you'd like to write about. 

We've got two initiatives underway at the moment which will hopefully be of interest... 

Mute Swan by Cameron Bespolka
Mute Swan by Cameron Bespolka
'Bird Photographer of the Year', is a new international photography competition to celebrate the artistry of bird photography while supporting BTO's work. If you're under 17, you can enter a special category for a chance to claim the title 'Cameron Bespolka Young Bird Photographer of the Year'. The winner will receive a pair of Swarovski binoculars and a day out birding with BTO's Paul Stancliffe. There is an entry fee for this competition but under 18's receive a 50% discount. The closing date for entries is 9th January 2016 so dig out your favourite photo or get snapping now! 

Kingfisher by John Dunn
Kingfisher by John Dunn/BTO
'BTO Bird Camp 2016' is a fantastic new event which will be held at BTO headquarters in Norfolk in May. There's a packed programme of unique opportunities for 14-18 year olds to benefit from the experience of experts and some of the best birders in the country. You'll be staying in our own camping village at a site in Thetford forest, with trips to Landguard Bird Observatory on the Suffolk coast, night-time Nightjar tagging, as well as birding, ringing and nest recording sessions. If that wasn't enough, one participant will WIN A FREE TRIP TO NEW YORK! This event is sponsored by the Cameron Bespolka Trust and supported by 'Next Generation Birders' and 'A Focus on Nature'.
The camp fee is £50 and this includes accommodation, food and transport during the weekend. Visit our event page to see the full programme and application details.  

That's all for now, happy birding! 


  1. It's great the BTO have started a blog for young birders, I'm looking forward to reading all the posts to come! I hope It inspires children to take an interest in nature, and it
    will be exciting to see what birdwatching
    events I can get involved in. I would love to contribute to the blog, I am learning how to ring birds and I do la lot of nature writing! :)

    1. Thanks Hazel, it would be great to have a contribution from you!