Will Kirby

Conservation Scientist, Conservation Science

Background

Since joining the conservation science team in 1996 I have worked on a variety of projects spanning agricultural, woodland and urban themes.

Hawfinches are the main focus of my current work, leading a study investigating the causes of recent declines and the conservation measures that could help their recovery. Understanding the problems facing declining species, developing solutions and testing their effectiveness through experimental trials are key components of my work for the RSPB.

Experienced in a wide range of ornithological fieldwork, particularly bird ringing, nest finding and radio-telemetry, I have a broad knowledge of sampling and monitoring other taxa groups including small mammals, moths, butterflies and other invertebrates.

As secretary of the RSPB ringing group I help co-ordinate the society’s scientific ringing work in the UK and abroad. I am the designated species lead for hawfinch and yellow wagtail.

Partners and Collaboration

  • Phil Grice, Natural England

Contact

Will Kirby

Will Kirby

Conservation Scientist, Conservation Science

The Lodge, Potton Road, Sandy, Bedfordshire, SG19 2DL

will.kirby@rspb.org.uk

Research Gate

Specialisms

Agriculture UK species Woodland

Selected Publications

Breeding season habitat associations and population declines of British Hawfinches Coccothraustes coccothraustes

Capsule: At both landscape and local scales, breeding persistence in a declining Hawfinch population was greatest where broadleaved woodland cover was high, while at a fine scale, nest sites were associated with openings in the woodland canopy.

Date
03 June 2015
RSPB Authors
Will Kirby, Paul Bellamy
Authors
Kirby, W.B., Bellamy, P.E., Stanbury, A.J., Bladon, A.J., Grice, P.V. & Gillings, S.
Published in
Bird Study
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Hawfinch Woodland

Breeding ecology of yellow wagtails Motacilla flava in an arable landscape dominated by autumn-sown crops

Yellow wagtails successfully raised two consecutive broods in landscapes dominated by autumn sown crops and did not require spring crops or fallow plots for later nesting.

Date
08 August 2012
RSPB Authors
Will Kirby, Dr Guy Anderson, Dr Will Peach
Authors
Kirby, W.B., Anderson, G.Q.A., Grice, P.V., Soanes, L., Thompson, C. & Peach, W.J.
Published in
Bird Study
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Yellow wagtail UK Agriculture

Territory and nest-site habitat associations of spotted flycatchers Muscicapa striata breeding in central England

The spotted flycatcher Muscicapa striata is a Red Listed Biodiversity Action Plan (BAP) Priority Species, which is declining dramatically across all habitats in the UK; the population fell by 75% from 1974 to 1999 (Gregory et al. 2002)...

Date
30 March 2005
RSPB Authors
Will Kirby, Dr Richard Bradbury
Authors
Kirby, W., Black, K., Pratt, S. & Bradbury, R.
Published in
Ibis
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Spotted flycatcher England UK species

Farmland birds and resource protection in the UK: Cross-cutting solutions for multi-functional farming?

Farmland bird declines in Europe are well documented. In the UK, agri-environment schemes are key mechanisms for reversing the declines of birds and other farmland biodiversity, but recent reviews...

Date
06 January 2006
RSPB Authors
Dr Richard Bradbury, Will Kirby
Authors
Bradbury, R.B. & Kirby, W.B.
Published in
Biological Conservation
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UK Agriculture Identifying problems UK species

Supplementary feeding of mealworms enhances reproductive success in garden nesting House Sparrows Passer domesticus

Mealworm provisioning increased clutch size and chick survival in garden-nesting house sparrows. We tested experimentally whether invertebrate availability limits reproductive success in garden-nesting house sparrows Passer ...

Date
09 June 2014
RSPB Authors
Dr Will Peach, Will Kirby
Authors
Peach, W.J., Sheehan, D.K. & Kirby, W.B.
Published in
Bird Study
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House sparrow England UK species