This year The Schools’ Bird Box project is supporting The British Trust for Ornithology (BTO) Nest Recording Scheme. To support the work of the BTO we hope every school that has nesting birds and chicks in their box will regularly track and record their birds’ progress and store this information on the BTO National Nesting database.

The BTO Nest Record Scheme   https://www.bto.org/volunteer-surveys/nrs

The Nest Record Scheme (NRS) gathers vital information on the breeding success of Britain's birds by asking volunteers to find and follow the progress of individual birds' nests.

The data collected from the NRS is used to identify trends in breeding performance, which help the BTO and other wildlife organisations identify species that may be declining because of problems at the nesting stage.

Any school can be a nest recorder. Just monitor during the spring and summer months the activity that takes place in your webcam Bird Box.

How to take part

Step 1: Register to join the Nest Recording Scheme

NRS Registration Form

Complete and return the NRS Registration form to:

Nest Record Scheme, BTO, The Nunnery, Thetford, Norfolk, IP24 2PU.

On receipt of your form you will be issued with a NRS Observer Code which will allow you to enter your results in BTO online database.

Step 2: Read all documents in the NRS Starter Pack

On registering to join the project you will be sent a NRS Starter pack. This contains the following documents that can also be downloaded from the BTO website:

NRS Handbook                                NRS Coding Card

NRS Quick Start Guide

Step 3: Download and install the Integrated Population Monitoring Reporter (IPMR) software on your laptop or PC

IPMR Sotware download

The BTO’s Integrated Population Monitoring Reporter (IPMR) to record and share your observations online. To get started just download and install the free app on your laptop or PC by clicking on the link above.

IPMR Installation Guide

Step 4: Observe and record activity in your webcam Bird Box

Start recording as soon as you observe any nest building activity in your webcam Bird Box. Schools supporting the scheme will be expected to record activity in the nest at regular intervals, ideally every 4-5 days, until no live eggs or nestlings remain in the nest.

Click on the link for an illustrated guide on how to record all activity in your Bird Box.

https://www.bto.org/volunteer-surveys/nrs/taking-part/how-to-record

Step 5: Viewing your results

To view your own and others Bird Box records follow the instructions in the IPMR Nest Record Guide.

IPMR Nest Record Submission Guidance