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About us

How did the Society start?

For over 100 years, the Somerset Ornithological Society has been keeping people in touch with the birdlife of the county. We can trace our origins to 1911 and the formation of the Ornithological Section of the Somersetshire Archaeological and Natural History Society. One of the earliest local groups established primarily for birds, its purpose was to (a) further the study of birds in the county and (b) to assist in their preservation. These remain to this day, the objects of the current Society.

As late as 1974, the Ornithological Section had become almost independent of the parent organisation and in that year, members in a referendum decided by a majority to separate the Section from its parent organisation. The Somerset Ornithological Society was created.

The modern Society has over 400 members. It aims to appeal to all that are interested in the birds of Somerset, whether their birding interests are scientific or social, as experts or novices, and from within and outside the county.

What does the Society do?

Birds records from sightings, ringing reports and studies are collected and published annually in a very polished publication, the Somerset Bird Report.

Regular field meetings and indoor talks are organised by a general committee and run for the benefit of our membership. This gives excellent opportunities for members and guests alike to meet people with a common interest, both experts and novices.

To keep people informed of events, topical news items and subjects of interest, every quarter we publish an electronic copy of The Bittern newsletter.

There is considerable association with other societies and clubs across the county, not just those looking at birds and a regular exchange of information for environmental records.

Become a Member of Somerset Ornithological Society.