June, 2017


We're about more than just birds (though obviously we like them a lot).

Notes on nature

We love nature... from every little bug on a blade of grass to birds, butterflies, otters and oaks!
  • Win an Ultimate Big Wild Sleepout Kit!

    To get you started on your Big Wild Sleepout adventure, we have an Ultimate Big Wild Sleepout kit worth £600 to give away as a competition prize.

    The kit includes a £500 gift voucher, supplied by Rohan, to spend on a selection of outdoor clothing and equipment, and a selection of RSPB nature goodies worth nearly £100.

    Please note: The image shown is a representation of how your prize voucher could be spent. Winners will receive a prize voucher to the value of £500 and will be able to use that to spend in any Rohan shop, online at rohan.co.uk or by calling 0800 840 1412. Products featured are subject to availability at the time of redemption.

    The winner will also receive a selection of RSPB nature items worth nearly £100. They will include:

    • Explorer carry case
    • Thinsulate black gloves
    • 365 Outdoor Activities You Have to Try (book)
    • Apple crumble biscuits
    • Dewdrop bee biome
    • Outdoor adventure torch
    • Night sky chart
    • Silhouette classic nest box
    • Tripod folding stool

    Enter now!

    To enter, simply e-mail sleepoutcomp@rspb.org.uk, ensuring your e-mail is titled “BWSO comp” and contains the answer to the following question:

    Which is the smallest owl that breeds in the UK?

    Correct answers will be entered into the draw to win and the winner will be chosen at random.

    The closing date is Saturday 15 July.


    Terms and conditions

    • The winner will receive an Ultimate Big Wild Sleepout Kit containing a £500 gift voucher from Rohan, to spend on a selection of outdoor clothing and equipment, and a selection of RSPB nature goodies worth nearly £100
    • Any entry which is incomplete, illegible or late will be deemed invalid in the sole discretion of the RSPB
    • Prizes will be delivered within 28 days
    • The winner will be notified by telephone/email within 14 days
    • Entrants under 18 must have parental or legal guardian consent prior to entering the competition
    • If for any reason we cannot offer the prizes stipulated, Rohan and/or RSPB will supply an alternative for the same value
    • The RSPB's decision on all matters affecting this competition is final and legally binding. No correspondence regarding the results will be entered into
    • Any RSPB employee or anyone directly connected with the organisation or their immediate family will be ineligible to enter.

    Download the competition rules (PDF)

  • The state of the UK’s birds 2016

    If you want to know how nature is faring, it’s worth having a look at The state of the UK’s birds 2016.

    The stories of our birds, our nature, are laid bare. It’s not speculation, it’s all based on data collected painstakingly in the field, largely by an army of volunteers. Some stories are good news, but not all.

    There’s a traffic-light system which makes it easy to see which bird species are thriving (Green), those that are under threat (Amber) and those that are in most danger (Red). More than a quarter of the UK’s bird species are now on the Red list.

    Red kite

    On the up...

    Rejoice in red kites, as their numbers soar, just like the birds themselves. There are more house sparrows than before, but not enough to be certain they’ll ever get back to the numbers of a few decades ago.

    Bitterns and nightjars have moved from the Red to the Amber list, as their numbers have increased, while woodlarks and bearded tits are now Green-listed as their European populations are no longer declining.

    And dropping down...

    The UK supports up to 27% of the world’s curlews, and the species’ long-term trend shows a 64% decline from 1970 to 2014. That means we have a great responsibility to help this charismatic bird, which is now one of UK bird conservation’s top priorities.

    Woodland birds are in particular trouble, with 16 species now Red-listed, including the nightingale and pied flycatcher. Did you know that wrynecks – beautifully camouflaged members of the woodpecker family – used to breed in most counties in the UK? Now they don’t breed in any. It’s a sad loss.

    Pied flycatcher

    See how our birds are doing

    Each species has a story of its own and you can see how each is faring. Are there more of them, or less? And are the numbers increasing or dropping dramatically, or is it a slow change?

    The state of the UK’s birds also looks at groups of species. For instance, there’s a section about farmland birds and another about woodland species and those that live in wilder, upland areas. It doesn’t leave out our seabirds, or our summer and winter visitors, so you’ll be able to find out what’s happening with migrating birds such as swallows, blackcaps, winter thrushes and geese. Many of these face hazards including hunters’ guns, deserts, and weather systems, and these issues are briefly discussed.

    Everything in nature is interlinked. If one species is doing well, it usually means that there’s a network of other species which is thriving.

    Brent geese

    Want to know more?

    Get the full story by downloading a copy of this year’s report from The state of the UK’s birds webpage.