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.

If you wish to join the team as a ringer or experience ringing on the headland as a guest then email the ringer-in-charge, Jim Morgan at jimmygpz@hotmail.com, 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


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…


Our first full session at South Landing since May saw us put up 7 nets at 5.15am, the early morning drizzle had luckily stopped by then, and the morning was still and overcast. We had nets up till 10.45am by which time it was warm and sunny, with a steady catch every net round.  We…


Our eighth CES session today caught 28 new birds (and 2 retraps) and was dominated by warblers, making up 64% of the catch, and though most were juveniles we were still able to compare some adult with juvenile plumages. Photo 1 shows two lesser whitethroats: the iris of the adult on the left is hazel…