Christopher Perrins is a biologist renowned for his work on avian population ecology and, in particular, reproductive rates. Christopher made a number of important contributions to the long-term study of the great tit at Wytham Woods — an area of mixed woodland established in 1947 by evolutionary biologist David Lack — one of the most famous studies in population ecology.
He was the first to discover that clutch size — the number of eggs laid in a single nesting — in great tits has a remarkably high heritability and that the likelihood of the survival of young birds can be traced back to nutrition in the nest. Christopher also demonstrated that females lay a clutch of an appropriate size for their ability to feed.
Christopher has received a number of awards for his research, including the Godman–Salvin Medal of the British Ornithologists’ Union in 1988, and the RSPB Medal in 1992. In 1993, he was appointed as the first Warden of the Swans in the Royal Household, playing an important role in the annual Swan Upping ceremony.