National Backyard Bird Count

A Heron taking flight in a foreshore park at Salamander Bay. Photo by Marian Sampson.

 

PORT Stephens and Myall Lakes residents are regular citizen scientists, participating in a range of activities that record species, and even water quality.

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It’s that time of the year when we get busy counting bird life.

National Bird Week 19-25 October is a celebration of the unique birds that we have many of which aren’t found anywhere else in the world.

Our region has an amazing range of birds, from the common and humble Seagulls and “Bin Chickens” (Ibis) to the majestic Pelicans and critically endangered Eastern Curlews and Pied Oystercatcher.

From 19-25 October Australians are being asked to head into their backyards for BirdLife Australia’s annual Aussie Backyard Bird Count.

Participation is easy.

The #AussieBirdCount is a great way to connect with the birds in your backyard no matter where your backyard happens to be — a suburban backyard, a local park, a patch of forest, down by the beach, or the main street of town.

You can count as many times as you like over the week, you just need to ensure each count is completed over a 20-minute period.

The data collected assists BirdLife Australia in understanding more about the birds that live where people live.

Participants simply spend 20 minutes standing or sitting in one spot and noting down the birds that you see.

You will need to count the number of each species you spot within the 20 minute period.

For example, you might see four Australian Magpies, two Rainbow Lorikeets and a Sulphur-Crested Cockatoo.

If you can identify birds by their calls, please include these in your count, but if you aren’t sure of a bird without seeing it, please exclude it rather than making a guess.

You then register your tally either on the handy app or on the online webform at aussiebirdcount.org.au

In 2018 Rainbow Lorikeets were the most commonly sighted birds across the country, however sightings of rare birds and migratory birds are a highlight for bird watchers and those conducting the survey.

Sean Dooley, BirdLife Australia, Editor of Australian Birdlife Magazine said, “This is an event for all Australians to participate in.

“You can count at any time of the day but morning is best because the birds have just woken up and are more active.”

“The most exciting thing is that we can still save the ones at risk of going extinct.

“I’ve seen this through working at Bird Life Australia that we can turn that around,” he said.

 

By Marian SAMPSON

 

A rare Eastern Whipbird spotted on the coastal walk starting at Barry Park, Fingal Bay. Photo by Mat Spillard.

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