Lorikeets rule as 4.6 million birds are counted in 7 days


Rainbow lorikeets topped the list of identified species in the 2020 Aussie Backyard Bird Count

The 2020 Aussie Backyard Bird Count achieves a record response for citizen-based science.

Unprecedented numbers of people across Australia took part in BirdLife Australia’s popular 2020 Aussie Backyard Bird Count, which ran from 19-25 October this year. The Covid-19 crisis may even have helped increase participation this year. While response rates rose substantially in every state, the number of counters in Victoria, which had the longest lockdown measures, more than doubled.

“It really shows the importance that birds came to have in our lives this year,” says BirdLife Australia’s Sean Dooley. “As our personal worlds became more restricted and quieter, birds offered a much-needed connection with the outside world and brought us a sense  of solace and delight.”

Rainbow lorikeets topped the list of recorded species, with noisy miners, magpies, sulphur-crested cockatoos and galahs rounding out the top five. The rise of the rainbow lorikeet highlights how traditional European-style gardens have made way for native backyards. The information gathered during the count will help provide a clearer picture of what’s happening with local bird populations across Australia.

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