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.


POSTPONED : Please note that owing to the Coronavirus situation Professor Diamond’s talk (as described below) has been postponed until further notice.

The  British Ornithologists’ Club will this year hold its 1000th meeting since its inauguration on 5 October 1892. In celebration of this significant milestone we are delighted to announce that, in conjunction with the Linnean Society, the Club will hold the first of two evening talks at the Linnean Society’s premises in Burlington House, Piccadilly on Friday 5 June when Dr Jared Diamond, Professor of Geography at the University of California at Los Angeles will be asking, ‘What’s so special about New Guinea birds?

Jared Diamond is Professor of Geography at the University of California (Los Angeles). He divides his professional life between teaching geography to undergraduate students; field research on the birds of New Guinea and other south-west Pacific islands; writing books about human societies, aimed at the general public; and promoting sustainable environmental policies, as a director of the World Wildlife Fund and Conservation International. He is the author of the Pulitzer prize-winning Guns, germs and steel, as well as Collapse, and Upheaval, among other best-selling books.

The tropical island of New Guinea has long played a pre-eminent role in ornithology for a variety of reasons: its many species of extraordinary birds; its equatorial location combined with its high mountains, resulting in a range of habitats; and its simple geographic layout. New Guinea shouldn’t be thought of as the world’s largest tropical island, but instead as its smallest continent—ideal terrain for studying speciation, ecological segregation, and other biological phenomena. Prof. Diamond’s illustrated talk will explain these and other features that make New Guinea birds special.

  • This event is free and open to all.
  • Registration is essential. Seats will be allocated on a first-come, first-served basis.
  • Doors will open at 17:30. Please note that the meeting room will open at 17:45, 15 minutes prior to the start of the talk.
  • Tea will be served in the Library from 17:30 and the event will be followed by a white wine reception.

For more details about Professor Diamond and his talk, as well as links to the registration form and to a map and directions, please visit our full announcement page.


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.

URGENT: Please note that owing to the current Coronavirus situation we have decided to defer Beth Okamura’s talk planned for 23 March to a later date. The revised timetable will be posted on the website as soon as the details are available.  Any further changes will be announced on the website.