London Natural History Society The place for wildlife in London

London Natural History Society - The place for wildlife in London

London Bird Atlas

London Bird Atlas Cover

The London Bird Atlas will be a benchmark publication for its scientific content although the species accounts will be written with the lay reader in mind. In addition to scientists and conservationists, the book’s target audience will be keen birders and wildlife enthusiasts, many of whom take regular wildlife holidays. 

The London Bird Atlas is a joint publication between London Natural History Society and specialist natural history publisher John Beaufoy Publishing. The book will balance strong visual design with science.

Given its target audience, the LNHS has opened the book for advertising support as this benefits advertisers, the members and provides a sustainable funding model for the society’s long tradition of producing high quality publications.  

What is in the London Bird Atlas?

  • Introductory chapters setting out the changes that have occurred since the production of atlases began in the London area, especially since the last one, and a general summary of the bird life/habitats of the London area.

  • Use 2 km squares i.e. 25 tetrads in each 10km square. This is a total of 856 tetrads in the LNHS area. A higher level of resolution than the National Atlas (Balmer et al 2013) which records on 10km square grids.

  • Compares the current breeding distribution (2008-13), with the distribution approximately 20 years ago, with the 1988-94 distribution maps, and with distribution approximately 40 years ago (1968-72).

  • Includes for the first time relative abundance maps, both during the breeding season and the winter, based on Timed Counts in each tetrad (nearly 100% coverage was achieved) for selected species i.e. those for which a pattern is observed.

  • Includes winter distribution maps (covering the winters from 2007/08 to 2012/13). This is the first time the distribution has been recorded at this scale in winter in the London area.

  • Covers c. 27 breeding visitors, c. 42 winter visitors and c. 112 which breed and winter in the London area making a total of c. 181 species of birds (numbers may change slightly pending decisions about whether or not to include some species in the main accounts). Records of other species recorded during this period i.e. neither breeding of wintering may also be summarised.

  • C. 139 Breeding distribution maps and c154 winter distribution maps; numerous breeding abundance maps, winter abundance maps and change maps.

  • A4 size, hard cover, 352 pages.

  • Readable accounts of every species with informative graphs and tables

  • Photographs for each species.


November 1st 2007 saw the start of an exciting new project nationwide, with the British Trust for Ornithology (BTO) beginning a new Atlas project to monitor the distribution of the UK’s birds in both winter and the breeding season. The fieldwork for the national Atlas was completed in 2011 and the results were published in 2013.

The LNHS have completed two previous Atlases in London – both in the breeding season at the same time as the previous national Atlases (1968-72 & 1988-94). The findings of the last Atlas were written up in ‘The Breeding Birds of the London Area’ (LNHS, 2002 edited by Jan Hewlett).