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The Aussie Backyard Bird Count

Home > Melbourne > Family | Free | Fun Things To Do | Outdoor | Unusual Things to do
by Gayle Beveridge (subscribe)
Gayle is an accountant. Shh – don’t tell. She thinks she’s a writer.
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Participate in Australia’s Largest Citizen Science Project
Would you like to be a scientist for a day by participating in the largest citizen science project in Australia? It's simple and can take as little as 20 minutes of your time. In October every year over 40,000 everyday Australians turn their eyes to the skies for the Aussie Backyard Bird Count and for blocks of 20 minutes at a time record all the birds they see.

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Count birds at the beach (Photo in the Public Domain via Pixabay)

Not only will you be helping to build a valuable database but everybody who submits a count will be in the draw for prizes. Prizes on offer are a pair of Swarovski Optik EL 8x32 Binoculars valued at $2,500, a Birdlife Australia membership valued at $79, an Australia Post Owls: Guardians of the Night stamp issue, and limited edition Galah pin badges.

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Enjoy the outdoors while contributing to this fun project (Photo in the Public Domain via Pixabay)

It doesn't matter if you know next to nothing about birds. The app for the count includes a field guide that will help you identify what you see. The app can be downloaded from the website. If apps aren't your thing, you can submit your count through the Aussie Backyard Bird Count website and refer to the Birds in Backyards Bird Finder.

This is a great opportunity to get the family involved and get the kids interested in an outdoor activity. Perhaps get a work group together and count in your lunch time, gather your friends or your club. Instructions for submitting group counts can be found in the FAQ's.

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Get the family involved in the count. (Photo in the Public Domain via Pixabay)

In 2015, the second year of the program, 42,298 people across the country counted 1,009,894 birds representing 563 species. The count indicated that Australia's ten most common birds were the rainbow lorikeet, noisy miner, Australian magpie, sulphur-crested cockatoo, house sparrow, galah, red wattlebird, common myna, welcome swallow and silver gull. Do you see these birds in your back yard?

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Count birds at sunset (Photo in the Public Domain via Pixabay)

This important research project which coincides with National Bird Week collects statistics to see how Australian birds are faring. The birds are one of the indicators of our country's environmental health. Data indicates birds in decline, shifts in populations and birds that are gaining ground. It is also an indicator of the impact of feral birds on our native bird populations.

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Turn your eyes to the skies and join the count (Photo in the Public Domain via Pixabay)

In addition to the count there are free planned events in Melbourne during National Bird Week.

1. Kyneton Library Birds' Nests Exhibition. Between the 10th and 28th of October the Kyneton Library will be exhibiting the Grace Hughes collection of local bird's nests. Entry is free.

2. City of Stonnington Birds in Backyards. On 16th October between 1pm and 4pm, The City of Stonnington and Bird Life Australia will conduct a free tour where you will learn to identify urban birds and learn how to attract birds to your garden. Registrations are required.

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Count birds on a wire (Photo copyright Gayle Beveridge)

The Aussie Backyard Bird Count is a joint project between Bird Life Australia and Birds in Backyards. Birdlife Australia was formed in 1901. It is a not-for-profit organisation dedicated to bird conservation. Birds in Backyards is a research, education and conservation program focusing on the birds that live where people live.

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Count birds in the city (Photo in the Public Domain via Pixabay)

Registrations for the Aussie Backyard Bird Count can be made now on the website. Counts are for time blocks of 20 minutes and you may count as often as you wish, from anywhere you wish, and at any time of the day you wish through the week of Monday 17th to Sunday 23rd of October. Participation is free and is greatly appreciated.
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Why? Bird counting is fun, but be careful you might just get addicted to birdwatching.
When: Monday 17th to Sunday 23rd October 2016
Phone: N/A
Where: Where ever you are. In your own back yard, your own street, your local park, your workplace.
Cost: Free
Your Comment
Checked it out, going to give it a go. I've never participated in anything like this before, it will be like being back in school science class.
by betty (score: 2|486) 829 days ago
Great, and a good excuse to be outside, and be motivated. We get lots of birds in our gardens. At the moment, very exciting as we have a pair of Pacific Black Ducks nesting, wonderful to see them, monitor their progress into parenthood,
by e_law (score: 2|416) 828 days ago
This sounds like a fun thing to do with the kids.
by Roger (score: 2|599) 829 days ago
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