Who’s calling? Identifying your local feathered friends on the bird-rich Coffs Coast

Female Glossy Black-Cockatoo. Photo: Alison Bowling.


“WE are so lucky,” Richard Jordan from Bellingen Birders told News Of The Area.

“The Coffs Coast is one of the most bird-rich areas of NSW.”

Here Richard shares some of the many glorious high points of our local birding.

“We have lyrebirds, one of the world’s most accomplished vocalists and mimics; majestic Yellow-tailed Black-Cockatoos tearing at branches in their search for grubs; and colourful honeyeaters and lorikeets sipping nectar from our backyard flowers.

“And what would our world be like without birdsong?

“Understandably, people like to get closer to birds.

“It is surprising how many birds will come to a backyard bird bath.

“Site it near a window and, preferably, not far from a shrub where small birds can feel safe as they wait their turn.

“Technology offers a great way to identify the birds you see and hear.

“There are two excellent ‘apps’ for smartphones.

“They have the big advantage over a book in that you can hear the calls, and you have your ‘field guide’ in a very portable form.”

The apps are Morcombe’s Birds of Australia and Pizzey & Knight Birds of Australia.

“There is also a free app, which is quite good: Merlin Bird ID by Cornell Lab.”

It’s hard to imagine a world without birds, but as Richard says, many species are in a precarious situation.

“The latest ‘Action Plan for Australian Birds 2020’, published by CSIRO, lists 96 Australian birds that are closer to extinction than ten years ago.

“Climate change (with associated fire and drought), plus land clearing and drying wetlands, are some of the factors involved.

“On the other hand, 23 of our birds have become more secure because of strong action to conserve them.

“So, there is hope.

“You can help to save one of our rather rare Coffs Coast birds.

“The Glossy Black-Cockatoo is a little smaller than its ‘yellow-tailed’ relative, and it has red tail panels.

“It feeds exclusively on the fruits of two species of she-oaks in our forests.

“It could be in trouble because of the 2019/20 fires.”

You can assist in a citizen-science project to protect The Glossy Black-Cockatoo by reporting any sightings to Richard at [email protected]




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