Bird Atlas 2007-11 is now published
Click here to order your copy today! 


Also now available as an e-book      

.......and as an add-on with Collins BirdGuide App

Click here to order


 Click here for recent presentation on Bird Atlas findings



New Bird Atlas Mapstore - over 3,500 maps showing the distribution, range change and abundance for over 500 bird species that have been recorded in Britain and Ireland during the atlases spanning 1968 to 2011. 


 Population Estimates

 Many previous atlases have derived and published estimates of population size. Now population estimates are produced by other methods, click here for the latest information on population estimates for Irish birds.



Bird Atlas 2007-2011

The most recent bird atlas project took place over four winters and four summers between November 2007 and July 2011. It aimed to:

  • Map the distribution of all bird species
  • Generate information on patterns of relative abundance
  • Quantify distribution changes
  • Inform conservation priorities
  • Engage a new generation of recorders

This atlas was a partnership of BirdWatch Ireland, the British Trust for Ornithology and the Scottish Ornithologists Club. Here in Ireland the project received funding from the National Parks and Wildlife Service, the Northern Ireland Environment Agency, the Heritage Council and the Environmental Protection Agency.

So how did we do it?

Two fieldwork methods were used. As part of the Roving Records, bird record from every 10-km square were collected, which were used to describe the distribution range. The Timed Tetrad Visits (TTV's) method gathered records from tetrads (2 x 2-km squares) and were used to generate information on relative abundance of a species within a 10-km square.

 The atlas relied on the inputs of more than 40,000 observers across Britain and Ireland, almost 2,000 in Ireland. For more on coverage in Ireland and some of the headline project stats, click here 



What are the key messages for Ireland?

This atlas has shown that there has been considerable change across Britain and Ireland for many species and species groups. In the YouTube video below Brian Caffrey, the Irish Bird Atlas Coordinator, presents some of the key findings for Ireland. Presentations further down the page provide more detailed information on these key findings


Large-scale declines in many farmland birds over the past forty years. This example shows the decline in abundance of Yellowhammer since the 1990's. For more on this click here



Ireland's breeding waders are in poor shape - with almost all species showing massive declines in range and abundance. For more on this click here



Significant changes in patterns of relative abundance for many species -      particularly sub-Saharan migrants, such as Willow Warbler which appear to be  shifting  north/ northwestwards in range. This map shows a decline in abundance  in southeast Britain and an increase throughout most of Ireland and Scotland. For  more on this click here


Some staggering range recoveries and colonisations. The Buzzard has increased by a massive 1980% over the past 40 years in Ireland, while the Great Spotted Woodpecker has colonised Ireland since the 1988-91 Breeding Atlas, with breeding records submitted for 43 10-km sqaures. 








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