Counting the birds for National Bird Week

16 October, 2015Posted in: Environment

Eastern Spinebill

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.

Set to be held during the week of 19 to 25 October, the Aussie Backyard Bird Count is the largest single mass survey of birds held across 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 800,000 birds were counted by 9,000 volunteers with organisers hoping to top the one million mark 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.”

Supported by the Environment Levy, Council will host a free ‘Breakfast with the Birds’ event on Saturday 24 October from 8am to 10am at the Shepherd Street section of Mittagong Creek.  Representatives from Birdlife Southern Highlands will also be on hand at the breakfast.  To learn more or to register for the event contact Karen Guymer on 4868 0828 or via email at

For more information on the Aussie Bird Count including registration details or to download the free Bird Count App visit

For the record, the colourful Rainbow Lorikeet topped both the NSW and national count in 2014 followed by the Noisy Miner.