Mission: bird attack

Discover whether birds can save our conker trees, by recording how many of the leaf-mining moths have suffered bird attacks.

All you need is a few minutes looking at a conker tree which has leaves that have been damaged by the leaf mining moth. (You don't need to watch the birds themselves.)

Your mission in brief:

  • Find your infected conker tree (see here for help with tree identification). 
    Record any information you will need to find the tree on a map.  If you can't find a conker tree that is infected, please complete Mission: alien moth survey instead.
  • Select a leaf that is within your reach and look at the whole leaf (all of the 'fingers' of the hand-like leaf).
  • Count the number of bird attacks.
  • Give the leaf a damage score.
  • Choose three other leaves from different parts of the same tree, and do the same (count bird attacks and give the leaf a damage score).

Download detailed instructions

Submit your records



Can blue tits save our conkers? Birds, such as blue tits attack the alien moths damaging conker trees.
(photo: Richard Broughton)


Bird attacks are very distinctive. Here the top surface of the leaf, where the alien moth caterpillar was hiding, has been torn away by a bird.
(photo: Michael Pocock)