Welcome to the British Ornithologists’ Club


The BOC’s objects are to advance education in the subject of ornithology for the benefit of the public by promoting scientific discussion between members and others interested in ornithology and to facilitate the dissemination of scientific information concerned with ornithology, and in particular avian systematics, taxonomy and distribution.


The BOC produces a Bulletin four times a year. Up to the end of 2016 hard copies were sent to all members. However, from 2017 the Bulletin became an open access online-only publication available for viewing and download at BioOne (click on the button in the right sidebar). We will continue to list the table of contents of each issue at the Bulletin Index page where you will also find the contents from earlier issues.

NOTE: The latest issue of the BOC Bulletin (Vol. 140, No. 2 – June 2020) is now available for viewing or download. You can view the table of contents, abstracts and references, full text or downloadable PDFs of individual papers as well as the complete issue at the BioOne Complete website. You can also view the table of contents and download a PDF for the complete issue on the BOC website.

The latest issue of the Bulletin contains a paper by Matthew Halley entitled Audubon’s Bird of Washington: unravelling the fraud that launched The birds of America in which the author investigates fraud carried out by John James Audubon in order to convince members of the English nobility to subscribe to and promote his book, and subsequently to support his claims surrounding a second species of Haliaeetus eagle in North America. Following the paper’s publication in June the author has now been interviewed about his investigation and conclusions on the 100th edition of the American Birding Association’s American Birding Podcast, which can be listened to here.

Meetings update

As previously announced and owing to the Corvid-19 pandemic, the 2020 meetings programme has had to be substantially adjusted. The current situation is that Professor Diamond’s talk, in conjunction with the Linnean Society has been deferred, subject to his availability, until a date in 2021.

It is also looking distinctly uncertain as to whether the 21 September meeting, including the Annual Review Meeting, will be able to proceed. Should it do so, Dr Beth Okamura has most kindly provisionally agreed to give her previously planned talk on How birds shape freshwater biodiversity then. The talk scheduled for 16 November, which again had been planned in conjunction with the Linnean Society and at their premises, is intended to be by Professor John Fjeldså, University of Copenhagen, on the subject of the evolution of passerine birds. This talk had been designed to celebrate the 1,000th evening meeting of the BOC but, should it go ahead, will now be slightly ahead of the anniversary given the forced cancellation of previous 2020 meetings! At present, we remain very hopeful that this event will still occur on schedule, but it is clearly too early to state anything definitively so please keep checking this website for updates.


The BOC holds regular meetings, mostly in central London (see the Meetings page for location and directions). The meetings are normally free and non-members are welcome.