The Aussie Backyard Bird Count starts today
IS YOUR BACKYARD full of pesky cockatoos waiting for a feed? A brush turkey that loves renovating your garden, or maybe you’ve been lucky enough to have a southern boobook owl perched in a tree?
This 22-28 October, during National Bird Week, it’s your chance to do your bit for citizen science by recording the resident avian population close to home.
In its fifth year, the Aussie Backyard Bird Count is an initiative of BirdLife Australia that gives Australians the opportunity to contribute to a snapshot of Australian birdlife, as well as an ongoing insight into trends in our bird communities from year to year.
You don’t have to officially have a ‘backyard’ to take part – a local park, school yard or simply your favourite outdoor space, whether at the beach or in a national park, will do, as long as it’s in Australia. Simply stay put (within a 200m radius) for 20 minutes and note every bird you can identify during that time.
Last year, there were more than 17,000 participants and almost two million birds counted. Rainbow lorikeets came in at number one most-counted bird for the fourth consecutive year, with the noisy miner coming in second and the magpie third.
The annual survey has also helped to identify a worrying trend, finding that laughing kookaburras have declined across south-east Australia.
“We share our backyards with an impressive array of birds and are very fortunate that their feathers come from all spectrums of the rainbow,” said BirdLife Australia’s Sean Dooley. “And just like our birds, birdwatchers can come from an incredible range of backgrounds.”
You can record the birds using the free Aussie Bird Count app (which is available through the App Store or Google Play) or by filling out a form online. Find out more at by visiting the Aussie Backyard Bird Count website.