Gayle is a retired accountant and a photography enthusiast living on Victoria's beautiful Bass Coast. Gayle is passionate about writing and keen to showcase Aussie culture to a global audience. Gayle loves her family, dogs, sunsets, and chocolate.
Come Counting and Contribute to Conservation
How can you have fun while contributing to an important annual science project? Now, you don't have to a science skill or even a real interest in science. The thing is the more of you who get on board the more successful this will be. Simply put, each if you is important and needed. 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, 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.
Count birds at sunset (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 Swarovision Binoculars valued at $2,600, an album titled '13 Ways to Look at Birds' valued at $20, and Gang Gang Cockatoo pins valued at $9.95.
Get the family involved in the count. (Photo in the Public Domain via Pixabay)
This is a great opportunity to get the family involved and get the kids interested in an outdoor activity. Take the children to the local lake and count the water birds. Perhaps get a workgroup together and count in your lunchtime, gather your friends or your club. Instructions for submitting group counts can be found in the FAQ.
Take the children to the local lake and count the water birds - Image by DanaTentis from Pixabay
In 2018, the fifth year of the program, 76.918 people across the country counted 2751,113 birds representing 610 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, silver gull, common myna, welcome swallow and red wattlebird. Do you see these birds in your back yard, in your street or in the local park?
What birds visit your back yard - photos copyright Gayle Beveridge
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. By encouraging the public to participate in this fun event it is hoped there will be an increased interest in conservation.
More rainbow lorikeets were counted in 2018 than any other bird - Photo copyright Gayle Beveridge
In addition to the count there are free planned events in Melbourne during National Bird Week.
1. Brimbank City Council will be running a free event which feed into the bird count. Designated to help with the count in the area you will be counting as part of a group with Council submitting the results on your behalf. Children are welcome. This free community event will be at Buckingham Reserve, 2A Buckingham Crescent, Sunshine West at 6pm on 22nd October 2019. For more information ring 9249 4000 or email email@example.com
What birds turn up in your garden - Photo copyright Gayle Beveridge
2. City of Stonnington Breakfast with the Birds. On 20th October, The City of Stonnington and Bird Life Australia will conduct hosted tours of the Glen Iris Wetlands. You will learn about the bird species in Stonnington and how to identify them. The first session is from 9am to 10.30 an and the second session is from 11am to 12.30 pm. Registration is required and can be made from the website. After the tour gather at Gardiners Creek for breakfast.
Look to the skies and add to the count - Photo copyright Gayle Beveridge
The Aussie Backyard Bird Count is an annual project of Bird Life Australia that has been running since 2014. Birdlife Australia was formed in 1901. It is a not-for-profit organisation dedicated to bird conservation, their primary purpose being to stop extinctions.
Do your bird count at any time of the day - Image by Karen Arnold from 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 21st to Sunday 27th of October. Participation is free and is greatly appreciated.
Full details are available from the Aussie Backyard Bird Count website https://aussiebirdcount.org.au/ which includes all you need to be in the count, tips for bird-friendly gardening, and an entertaining blog.