RSPB calls for help with Cirl Bunting survey


The RSPB is looking for volunteers to help with improved annual monitoring of Cirl Buntings in South-West England. 

The Cirl Bunting Monitoring Programme hopes to engage volunteers to help monitor the species around sites across Devon and Cornwall. The surveys will be carried out annually with volunteers completing two visits to each of their chosen site(s) between April and August. 

The last full Cirl Bunting survey in 2016 revealed some 1,000 pairs in Cornwall and Devon (John Dickenson).

The survey will be ongoing, so this is an opportunity to really get to know your local Cirl Buntings and explore your local area while making a vital contribution to the conservation of this rare species. You don't need any specialist skills to take part in the survey, other than an interest in birds and a pair of binoculars.

The RSPB has been involved in Cirl Bunting conservation for many years with the Cirl Bunting Project established in 1991 and joint funded by Natural England (1993-2011). RSPB research identified all year foraging and nesting habitat as being the problem. With this information the project has successfully worked with wildlife-friendly farmers and other landowners across Devon and Cornwall to improve habitat.  

This has been very successful, with more than 1,000 pairs recorded in the last full survey in 2016 (10 times as many as when the project started). This includes a small population now thriving in Cornwall as a result of a reintroduction.

If you would like to find out how you can get involved in the survey, click here.