Flamborough Bird Observatory has been accredited as one of twenty bird observatories in Britain and Ireland by the Bird Observatories Council.

To maintain its accredited status, the Observatory is obliged to maintain a programme of bird ringing within its recording area as an integral part of its work. All bird ringing is conducted by highly trained licensed ringers within the national British ringing scheme coordinated by the British Trust for Ornithology. This work provides data for guiding conservation policies of such bodies as Natural England, Natural Resources Wales, Scottish Natural Heritage and their counterparts in Ireland.

When the BTO Ringing Scheme was established over 100 years ago, the primary focus was the study of bird movements. While ringing data can still be used to study migration and dispersal, today they are primarily used in the study of population change. ‘Population modelling’ may sound like a complex process, but the basic principle is relatively straightforward – bird numbers are determined by the number of fledglings produced and the subsequent survival of both those youngsters and their parents.

Flamborough Bird Observatory has ringing records dating back to 1976, showing that over 50,000 birds have been ringed here. We have a team of 14 licensed ringers and trainees and we have numerous sites in which to ring, which encompass all the headland habitats. Although the Observatory is not a fully manned ringing station, where possible visiting licensed ringers can be hosted at one of our headland sites. The Observatory will use its best endeavours to provide training for visiting ringers and trainee ringers, subject always to the availability of suitably qualified ringing permit holders.

We are looking to recruit more experienced ringers to take an active part in the team, especially ‘A’ ringers and trainers, although ‘C’ ringers wanting to develop would also be welcome. If regular ringing and involvement at a growing, forward-looking bird observatory is of interest to you, please get in touch to discuss further by emailing info@flamboroughbirdobs.org.uk in the first instance.

All the Observatory’s daily ringing totals are entered onto Trektellen. These daily logs are accessible below:

  1. Flamborough
  2. Bempton Cliffs

All-time ringing highlights are detailed here.

The annual Ringing Summary for 2019 can be found here.

Examining feather moult
Ringing demonstration at South Landing
My Migweek diary 2021

My Migweek diary 2021

Unexpected visitor Day 1:  My Migweek; Eager to get out ringing, it came to me as a pleasant surprise, having the opportunity to ring with Ana at Holmes Gut was a new site for me with lots of potential for migrant birds. We caught a few satisfying birds, a juvenile bullfinch that was wearing a face…


One of the highlights of Migweek was this Belgian ringed redwing, ring number 10X22814, FBO’s first foreign controlled redwing. The bird is subspecies iliacus and might be considered unusual as Prato, Prato and Chittenden (2011) found most redwings arriving on the east coast in autumn come from Finland or Russia. The Icelandic subspecies coburni is…


Our ninth CES session at Thornwick saw a mild morning, with periods of sunshine and a gentle breeze. A steady start, followed by a few very quiet net rounds was followed by a flurry of activity! We caught a mixed flock of Long-tailed tits, Blue tits, Willow Warblers and a Lesser Whitethroat. It was rewarding…