Count birds to help research and break a record
WITH spring well and truly under way, native birds have emerged from their winter hideaways to fill the mornings with their melodic chirping.
National Bird Week is this week, which means the time has come once again for Birdlife Australia’s national Aussie Backyard Bird Count event.
One of Australia’s most extensive citizen science projects, the count is now in its sixth consecutive year, and researchers are calling for more volunteers to help them reach their most ambitious goal yet.
“In order to get the best picture of what’s happening with Australian birds we need to get everyone with a smartphone into their backyards and joining the Aussie Backyard Bird Count,” BirdLife Australia’s ‘Chief Bird Nerd’, Sean Dooley said.
With the Bureau of Meteorology forecasting warmer than normal spring temperatures,
BirdLife Australia is hoping for a record-breaking count of three million birds in the seven day period.
“It’s up to Australians of all ages and backgrounds to help count as many birds as we can during National Bird Week and find out what types of birds are living in our backyards and local parks,” Mr Dooley said.
Participants are asked to take just 20 minutes out of their day to stop somewhere and make a note of all the birds they can see and hear.
People can submit as many or as few counts as they like, at any time during the week.
More than 600 species and 2.7 million birds were recorded in the 2018 count.
The count offers the perfect opportunity to explore the sights and sounds of the more rural areas of the region, with bushland and water sources offering prime spots to find plenty of birds.
Diane Guthrie, President of Lockyer Uplands Catchments Inc. said the count also provided a means for people to learn more about the feathered friends that share our urban and residential areas.
“I’ll be doing my 20 minutes of observation while I have my early morning cup of tea on the back deck. It’s a good vantage point for watching a variety of the small woodland birds that move in and out of the eucalypt forest at the back of the house,” she said.
“This year, we had an enterprising couple of double-barred finches take up residence and raise nestlings in a nest built under our pergola a couple of years ago by red-browed finches. I hope the nest continues to be of use to new generations of finch parents, whatever their type.”
The count will take place from Monday, October 21, through to Sunday, October 27.
Results will be shared via the Bird Count website and app in real time, allowing people to learn more about what species are being discovered in their area.
To learn more, or register to take part, visit https://aussiebirdcount.org.au/