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Counting the birds for National Bird Week

19 October, 2016Posted in: Environment, Events
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Wingecarribee Shire Council is joining forces with Birdlife Australia as it prepares to conduct the largest bird count in the country during National Bird Week.

The Aussie Backyard Bird Count started Monday and will end on Sunday 23 October and is the largest citizen science project in the country.

Karen Guymer, Council’s Bushland Projects Officer explained how the count works.

“The Aussie Backyard Bird Count is an annual nation-wide event organised by Birdlife Australia,” she said.  “It provides an important snapshot of the birds that live where people live.”

“Once results are in we look at the trends in bird communities and see which State has the most birds, which birds are doing well and those that aren’t.”

As part of the project participants are asked to record the number of birds they see for 20 minutes.

“It doesn’t matter if you’re a novice or an expert birdwatcher, participants simply record the birds they know and look up the ones they don’t on the Bird Count App or on the Birdlife Australia website,” Ms Guymer said.

Last year over one million birds were counted by over 9,000 volunteers Australia-wide with organisers hoping to exceed that count this year.

Birdlife Southern Highlands Liaison Officer Col Kohlhagen said the count could be undertaken on any day within National Bird Week.

“It doesn’t matter which day of the week you decide to count the birds,” he said.  “All you have to do is set aside 20 minutes and enjoy some time in our great outdoors.”

“Birds can be counted in the home backyard, the local park, school yard or your favourite patch of greenery,” Mr Kohlhagen said.

“The main thing is to participate, help contribute to the project and have a bit of fun in the process.”

Council hosted a free ‘Breakfast with the Birds’ event on Sunday 16 October at Cecil Hoskins Nature Reserve.  Birdlife Southern Highlands provided a walk and bird identification talk around the Reserve with the Bowral Lions Club providing a barbeque breakfast afterwards.

For more information on the Aussie Bird Count including registration details or to download the free Bird Count App visit www.aussiebirdcount.org.au.

For the record, 189 local checklists were submitted last year with 4,182 birds counted from 117 bird species. The stunning Crimson Rosella and Sulphur-Crested Cockatoo topped the list across the Shire in 2015.