What information would we like

Where possible please use BTO Bird Breeding Codes when reporting your sightings. 

We are encouraging even more birders to assign the BTO Bird Breeding Codes to all bird records sent to us during the breeding season.

These are the same breeding codes used in all recent survey work contributing to the national BTO Atlas. .

Using these codes provides additional information that increases the value of these records, for example, whether used by the county recorders, in the county bird reports, or in the county or national atlas projects.

This may be as simple as just telling us how many of those warblers were singing males, so this doesn’t have to be onerous or difficult. Or indicating that those 10 Mallards during the breeding season were actually 5 pairs, or that the female Reed Bunting seen on a lake margin was highly agitated and therefore near a nest, or that the Little Ringed Plover appeared to be sitting on a nest. For those of you who email us records after each visit you make, this can be as simple as adding your observations of breeding behaviour (such as singing) in the email.

The following is a full list of the BTO Breeding Codes.

We would really appreciate any records sent to us with breeding codes already assigned or with an indication of breeding behaviour. Remember that sometimes it isn’t possible to assign anything other than H (Observed in suitable Habitat), S (Singing male) or P (Pair in suitable nesting habitat). Keep it simple and if in doubt, just ask.  If you have any queries, please let us know.

Thank you in advance for your help!

F = Flying over
M = Migrating
U = Summering non-breeder
(will also accept Wintering)
Possible breeding
H = Observed in suitable Habitat
S = Singing male
Probable breeding
P = Pair in suitable nesting habitat
T = Permanent Territory (defended over at least 1 week)
D = Courtship and Display
N = Visiting probable Nest site
A = Agitated behaviour
I = Brood patch of Incubating bird (from bird in hand)
B = Nest Building or excavating nest-hole
Confirmed breeding
DD = Distraction Display or injury feigning
UN = Used Nest or eggshells found from this season
FL = Recently Fledged young or downy young
ON = Adults entering or leaving nest-site in circumstances which indicate an Occupied Nest.
FF = Adult carrying Faecal sac or Food for young
NE = Nest containing Eggs
NY = Nest with Young seen or heard