Bird Movement Data Study

Study is now underway!

Project website live at

The degree that overwintering waders and wildfowl move around the Solent between feeding and roosting areas and use the network of sites is poorly understood. Knowledge of their European and International migratory movements and the importance of the Solent within the migration pathways is also limited.

We are currently baselining present day understanding of movement within the Solent network and will be undertaking studies to gain a greater understanding of bird's behaviour. The study seeks to start to understand how birds use the Solent network and will link to its sister study into the importance of specific sites on the network of bird movement around the Solent region.

Why study bird movement?

Understanding bird movements helps us identify which sites in the Solent are important for feeding, and which are important for roosting and the links between sites. It will also help us understand whether the loss or change of use of any one site would negatively affect the network of sites. This would help us identify alternative sites for compensation and mitigation, knowing that birds would use them. Again, this is an output from the Solent Environmental Network Project and will better inform our coastal flood and erosion risk management duties.

We want to work with the existing environment and information from this report will help steer policy and construction decisions around the Solent for years to come. It will also provide us with a baseline from which to continue improving our understanding and provide a national example of best practice when making engineering decisions on the coast.

How will we study bird movement?

There are various ways in which wild birds can be tracked, from high tech satellite tags to coloured leg rings, all of which have their pros and cons. We are still working on the details but it is likely that this project will involve a targeted bird marking project, so watch this space and keep an eye out for colour-marked birds.    

How can I get involved?

For up to date information from the project team check out the project blog or follow the project twitter account @SolentBirds.

Do you have information or knowledge that could help inform this study? Please get in contact with us at for more information and how you can become involved in shaping the future of the natural environment around the Solent.


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