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    SOC Member Event: SOC Endowment Fund Research Projects



17 April 2024


Free (SOC member) event


7.30pm - 9.00pm



Booking Info:

Booking not required
Events for SOC members

We’re delighted to present the 2023/2024 programme of monthly Zoom meetings for all Club members, which are arranged in conjunction with the excellent local meetings organised by branches. To receive the Zoom joining link, you must be an SOC member and be signed up to the Branch News & Events – Talks & Workshops mailing list.


Can’t make it on the night? Don’t worry, a link to the talk recording will be circulated afterwards to members on the mailing list. Unfortunately, sometimes our emails end up in spam/junk folders. If you can’t locate anything from us, please contact This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or call us on 01875 871 330.


SOC Endowment Fund Research Projects

| Talks | Q&A |

SOC operates two grant schemes; The Birds of Scotland Fund is used to support ornithological publications and special projects and the Endowment Fund provides finance for the field study of Scottish birds. This session is dedicated to learning more about some of the projects which have recently been supported by the SOC:


The effect of Avian Flu (HPAI) on an Orkney Great Skua population, with Helen Aiton

This is the 10th year of the Rousay Skua Study – Helen's talk will give an update on the effect of Avian Flu on the Great Skua in the study site over the past two years and the contrasting productivity of the Arctic Skuas which are at present, unaffected.

Island evolution of British wrens, with Michal Jezierski, Edward Grey Institute, Department of Biology, University of Oxford

The British Isles are home to five subspecies of the Eurasian Wren (Troglodytes troglodytes). But how distinct are these lineages? How easy is it to tell them apart? In this talk, Michal will present the results of his investigation into the five British wrens, and how evolving on islands has shaped their biology.

A study of Tree Sparrows, and their use of nest boxes and feeders at a colony in East Renfrewshire, with Kevin & Mike Sinclair

Kevin and Mike's project monitored the last known remaining colony of Tree Sparrows in East Renfrewshire to gain a better understanding of the numbers of birds present and evaluate their breeding success following the erection of 40 nest-boxes in the study area. In addition, the project sought to uncover more about the movement of adults and fledged birds outwith the study area.

About your speakers

Helen Aiton, an agricultural zoology graduate, has been a keen ornithologist from childhood and a long time member of the SOC and is the secretary of the SOC branch. She has undertaken WWT Goose counts for over 40 years together with BTO survey work. Since moving to Orkney, Helen with her husband David have been monitoring Skua populations on a study site in Rousay and they are very grateful for funding from the SOC Endowment Fund for help with ferry fares. Helen and David also worked with BTO Scotland on a recent project to determine where the study site Arctic Skuas migrate to in the winter and their feeding grounds during the breeding seasons using geolocater and data logger technology.


SOC brings together like-minded individuals with a passion for birds, nature and conservation through a programme of talks, outings, conferences and via the Club’s quarterly journal, Scottish Birds.