Gayle Beveridge is a past winner of the Boroondara Literary Awards and her work has appeared in Award Winning Australian Writing. Gayle is passionate about family, writing, photography, and with Victoria’s beautiful Bass Coast which she now calls home.
C’mon Aussies - C’mon for fun and prizes
Do you want to be part of something huge, fun, and important and be in the running for some great prizes? Be a citizen scientist for a day or a week with what might be Australia's largest citizen science project - the annual Aussie Bird Count. Last year every day Aussies counted nearly five million birds from their own backyard or local area. Well done, Aussies! Newcomers to the count will be amazed at how much birdlife there is, even in urban areas and I know veterans of the count, like me, will be eager to do it all again.
It's easy and can take as little as 20 minutes to do a survey in your area and submit it on the app or website. Simply put, each of you is important and needed. In October, every year, every day Aussies turn their eyes to the skies for the Aussie Bird Count and for blocks of 20 minutes at a time record all the birds they see.
You could win prizes for helping out. Not only will you contribute to building a valuable database but there is a prize draw and you only have to submit a count to be eligible. The prizes this year are:
Swarovski Optik NL Pure 8 x 32 Binoculars
Metalbird Garden Ornaments
Weekend Birder – Bird Book and Pin Prize Pack
Wildlife Scarves (Your Choice)
Pink Cepha Native Bird Mobile
Eggpicnic – Large 5-Bird "Create Your Own Flock Print
Kookaburra on a fence in the rain - Photo copyright Gayle Beveridge
Learn what bird that is with the free app. 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 Aussie Bird Count app can be downloaded for iOs devices from the Apple store and for Android devices from the Google Play store. If apps aren't your thing, you can submit your count through the Aussie Bird Count website.
A Little Wattlebird - Photo copyright Gayle Beveridge
You don't have to have 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. In 2021, Australians counted 4,936,509 birds; a wonderful effort by 106,707 people. The rainbow lorikeet remains our most prevalent bird followed by the noisy miner, the Australian magpie, the sulphur-crested cockatoo, the galah, the house sparrow, the welcome swallow, the silver gull and the Australian white ibis. The good news was invasive, introduced common or Indian myna was no longer in the top ten list.
Schools can get involved too. The folks at the Aussie Bird Count are keen to engage school communities in the natural world and offer lesson plans and additional resources to assist teachers. Click here for details.
A Red-browed Finch - Photo copyright Gayle Beveridge
You will be involved in an important research project. The Aussie 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, its primary purpose being to stop extinctions. 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.
A Brown Thornbill - Photo copyright Gayle Beveridge
Registrations for the Aussie Bird Count can be made 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, 2022. Participation is free and is greatly appreciated.So hop on over to the website and register - I have!
Full details are available from the Aussie Bird Count website which includes all you need to be in the count, tips for bird friendly gardening, and an entertaining blog.
Love too......Your photographs are beautiful to see. I had that many Magpies at my house, I was very friendly with but during 2020 those horrible Mynah birds arrived as shoo'd them all away mostly. Im devastated as is my cat believe it or not because she loved them. I wish I knew how to shoo the Mynah birds away......and worse, I cant stand the one note chirp they do. Arrrgghh! I'll count but it wont be as good as normally with my beautiful Maggies. 🐑