Please help out Jamal Essayli who is researching "the characteristics of the under-studied population of serious birders" as part of his PhD in clinical psychology, by completing his survey on Investigating the Distinctive Features of Birders!

From Jamal: "My name is Jamal Essayli and I am currently a graduate student working towards a PhD in clinical psychology. One project of keen interest to me involves research on the characteristics of the under-studied population of serious birders. Anecdotal evidence seems to suggest some similarities between serious birding and other demanding, intense-focused pursuits such as ultrarunning, mountain climbing, and long-distance swimming, yet there has been surprisingly little research investigating these behaviors. Some of the topics that I’m hoping to explore are the range of individuals’ motivations for birding, how people first became involved in birding, specific psychological traits that attract people to birding and make them good at it, and the impact that serious birding can have on birders’ lives. While the general population seems to understand that extreme effort, focus, and dedication are necessary to be a successful ultrarunner or mountain climber, there appears to be a substantial underestimation of what serious birding entails."

I've always thought that birders make a great psychology study, so please do help him out. Participation should take between 20 – 50 minutes to answer a handful of questionnaires about birding and related topics. Some of it is a bit US-oriented, but Jamal is keen to hear from birders worldwide so please have a go.

Survey link: Investigating the Distinctive Features of Birders

Talking Naturally is a series of blog posts and conservation-based podcasts hosted by Charlie Moores (a nature blogger since 2004, co-founder of the NGO Birds Korea, and a passionate conservationist). Recent topics discussed include the crash in farmland bird populations across Europe as reported by the Pan-European Common Bird Monitoring Scheme, restoration by Nature Iraq of the Mesopotamian marshes of southern Iraq formed by the Tigris and Euphrates Rivers and BirdLife Malta's attempts to stop the mass killing of protected birds in Malta.

The Talking Naturally conference calls are an informal panel chat for birders and twitchers. The latest podcast included a short discussion about BUBO Listing and some utterings from the wonderful Gyr Crakes.

British & Irish birders only

The BTO have just launched a short online questionnaire, aimed at finding out a little more about how British and Irish birdwatchers watch and record birds, and how they use BirdTrack (if at all). The feedback will help the BirdTrack team prioritise future developments.

Participation of all British and Irish birders using BUBO Listing would be extremely welcome (if you haven't already completed the questionnaire via another route). It should take less than five minutes. The link to the questionnaire is 


Andy Musgrove

BUBO Listing (& BTO Monitoring Team)

Many of you may be interested in the BBC Springwatch webcams:

The world famous BBC Natural History Unit is streaming high quality video live on the internet direct from spring nests for the next two weeks, and for the first time ever these are available all across the world! UK audiences have been glued to their screens; now you too can watch Grey Heron nestlings, fledgling Redstarts, Barn Owls in infra-red and the first few days of Pied Flycatcher life (with many more videos to come), all from Springwatch's stunning location at Ynys-hir in Mid Wales.

Oystercatcher Buzzard chick feeding

A great source of the latest news items related to birds, biodiversity and conservation around the world is the BirdLife Community. In the last few days they have announced a major initiative to determine conservation priorities across vast mountainous regions of eastern Africa as well as both positive and negative news regarding single species: whilst the satellite tracking of the globally endangered Sociable Lapwing received a boost with signals from a bird in southern Uzbekistan, it is saddening to read of yet more illegal shooting in Malta, this time of a juvenile Osprey just hatched this June.

The BirdLife Community also maintains a list of extinct species which was depressingly updated earlier this year with the addition of the Madagascan Alaotra Grebe. This is one list we do not intend to introduce to BUBO Listing...

If you find yourself overloaded trying to keep up with the latest in bird news and conservation, then at least check out the important stuff at the BirdLife Community!