I’ve been monitoring nests with various designs of wildlife camera for over ten years now. I’ve lost count of how many nests I’ve watched in that time but do you know what, in all the hundreds of hours I’ve found, watched and recorded nests I’ve never formally recorded them with the British Trust for Ornithology (BTO).
For 2014 I wanted to shake things up a bit, get more organised and sign up to become a formal BTO Nest Recorder. So, back in October last year that’s exactly what I did. I’m going to be regularly blogging about my nest monitoring adventures in the hope that I can encourage a few of you guys to take part too!
You’ll find lots of very useful information including training courses, mentoring, NRS code of conduct and a list of priority species. The site suggests downloading and taking a look at the Quickstart Guide to see if the scheme is for you.
Then, if you decide to take up the survey you can register to receive your NRS Starter Pack.
The NRS Starter Pack
I received my NRS Starter Pack back in October. A little early to start looking for nests but at least it’s given me plenty of time to read through all the material and familiarise myself with the recording process!
The Nest Record Scheme Handbook contains everything you need to know about the scheme including the Nest Recorders ‘Code Of Conduct’. Read through the handbook and you’ll see that successfully monitoring and recording nests isn’t the kind of thing you take up on a whim. There’s a fair amount to learn including lots of codes. If you get to the end of the handbook and still feel excited about the process then you’re going to love it. It probably won’t be for everyone but if you are as mad about wildlife cameras and watching birds as I am then becoming a BTO Nest Recorder should be a hugely rewarding experience.
The Field Guide To Monitoring Nests
This new 256 page book has been produced as an aid to those involved in monitoring nests for research and conservation purposes. Written and illustrated by experts, this field guide contains a wealth of information for 145 British & Irish species, together with introductory sections on nest monitoring techniques, nest identification, legislation, the BTO Nest Record Scheme and nest finding skills.
At £24.99 its not cheap but its worth every penny in my opinion!
As I mentioned earlier in this post, I’ll be sharing my nest monitoring adventures over the coming months and hopefully a few hints and tips to help you with your own nest monitoring too. If you are planning to take part or are already a nest recorder please say hi in the comments below. It would be good to keep in regular touch with fellow nest recorders!