Recording of Rare Non-native breeding birds

Since 1996, RBBP has covered the rarer non-native species breeding in the UK, and has published separate reports, in British Birds, detailing the status and population estimates for these species. This report is especially invaluable to the countryside agencies which monitor these species for the Government. The BOU held a conference, devoted to the impact of non-native species, in autumn 2008. Proceedings of this conference are available here:

All county and regional recorders are asked to ensure that they include information about these species in their annual submissions, and guidelines for the main species are given below.

Our most recent report of non-native species breeding in the UK was published in the February 2017 issue of British Birds (110:92-108). This reports includes totals of each species breeding in the years 2012, 2013 and 2014. Note that the published total of Lady Amherst's Pheasant in Bedfordshire in 2014 (p 103) is now believed to be inaccurate and the number of males recorded in that year may have been as low as two (per Bedfordshire Bird Recorder). Also, on page 97, the BOU category for Black Swan should of course be just E* (not AC2E* as printed). Black Swan is not part of the British List: all breeding pairs originated from escaped birds, and at present the breeding population is not thought to be self-sustaining. We are grateful to readers of the report who pointed this out to us. Thank you.

The previous report covering 2009-2011 was published in March 2014 in British Birds and can be viewed here alongside previous reports

Guidelines for recording rare non-native species

Please note that records of confirmed breeding for ANY other non-native bird species found in the UK should also be submitted. A large number of non-native species has been recorded in the wild in the UK and the RBBP lists can only include species which have bred in the past which we know about. The species names listed on this website should therefore be used for guidance only.

(1) Wildfowl, gamebirds except for pheasants, raptors, Night Heron and parakeets.

Record only breeding pairs, or potential breeding pairs (including mixed pairs), such as Black Swans maintaining a territory on a lake, but perhaps not nesting in the year concerned. There is no need to report single summering individuals to the Panel, as the expectation is that these would normally be documented in local bird reports in case future research required further details.

Examples Black Swan, (feral) Whooper Swan, White-fronted Goose, Bar-headed Goose, Snow Goose, Emperor Goose, Red-breasted Goose, Ruddy Shelduck, Muscovy Duck, Wood Duck, Red-crested Pochard, Ruddy Duck (from 2009 season), Helmeted Guineafowl, Night Heron, Harris Hawk, Red-tailed Hawk, Alexandrine Parakeet, Monk Parakeet, Rosy-faced Lovebird and Blue-crowned Parakeet.

(2) Pheasants, Eagle Owl and passerines.

Record a summary of all occurrences and sites (these species are more elusive and we aim to maintain an inventory of sites and numbers).

Examples Silver Pheasant, Reevesís Pheasant, Golden Pheasant, Lady Amherstís Pheasant, Eagle Owl and Red-winged Laughing Thrush.