Aussie Backyard Bird Count – how to get involved

BirdLife Australia are calling all Australians to take part in their Aussie Backyard Bird Count this year, 19-25 October, to help track and protect native birds for future generations.

Following a devastating year so far – with the Black Summer fires and COVID-19 pandemic – this count is a chance for all Aussies to take a break, connect with nature and do something peaceful within the comfort of their own backyard.

Studies estimate that at least 180 million birds were wiped out by the destructive Black Summer Bushfires, but a significant number of wild birds sought refuge from the devastation in the gardens and parks of places that survived the flames.  As we head into the next season, tracking birdlife is vital to monitor trends in the recovery of populations of our native birds.

BirdLife Australia National Public Affairs Manager Sean Dooley said that this year’s count – the nation’s largest conservation event – has never been more important to compare data across the country to previous years and track the longer-term impact of the Black Summer fires on our wild birdlife.

“With climate change expected to increase the frequency and intensity of bushfires, we really need all Australians to get involved in the count this year so we can get a snapshot of our native birds, so we know what has survived, what birds we still have and ultimately use this research to protect them for future generations,” Mr Dooley said. “Every year we’re seeing more Australians take part, which is really exciting and shows how fun the count can be. The Aussie Backyard Bird Count continues to attract people from all ages, backgrounds and walks of life. This year we’re hoping to have more Australians than ever before join the count.”

Data from the Aussie Backyard Bird Count will help BirdLife Australia track how our bird populations are faring across the country. The Aussie Bird Count app allows you to take part anywhere – not just backyards, but in local parks, gardens, schoolyards, bushland or beaches – wherever you might see birds.

However, it’s not just about the data. The Aussie Backyard Bird Count delivers a wide range of benefits for participants including improved wellbeing and mindfulness and provides a deeper understanding of the natural world around you.

“It’s a great way to take a break from the anxieties and stresses that we’ve all faced this year. Whether you’re new to bird watching or a bird nerd, everyone can take part in the bird count. Our app does the hard work for you with images of common birds in your area and has information about all the species you see or hear during your count. It’s the perfect activity to unwind this spring,” Mr Dooley said.

Last year, over 88,000 Australians counted nearly 3.4 million birds during the count, with the Rainbow Lorikeet, Noisy Miner and Australian Magpie remaining Australia’s most counted birds. The national total will be updated in real time, and the app allows you to see which species are being seen in your local area.

To register and find out more, visit: www.aussiebirdcount.org.au

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