Get excited: this year’s Aussie Bird Count is just one week away

By AG Staff 10 October 2022
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It’s that time of year again when every Australian becomes an avid birdwatcher.

Do you have a spare 20 minutes to spend in your favourite outdoor space?

That’s all you need to take part in Australia’s largest citizen-science event, the annual Aussie Bird Count.

Run by BirdLife Australia since 2014, the event takes a count at the same time each year to create a snapshot of how Australian birds are faring and provides a better understanding of bird population distributions and concentrations across the country.

Birds also act as a barometer of nature. Monitoring their health helps to identify trends over time and gauge the overall health of the environment.

This year, the team are especially interested in discovering new insights to help protect native parrot species.

Unfortunately, existing data does not predict a strong future for many parrots, including the Eastern rosella and the Australian ringneck.

BirdLife Australia’s national public affairs manager Sean Dooley says there’s an urgent need for new parrot data due to inconsistent trends across the nation.

“In Greater Sydney, the reporting rates of the Eastern rosella have seen a sharp decline,” says Sean. “There are also concerns about the Australian ringneck, a species showing a steep decline across Greater Perth.

“However, we’ve seen an increase in numbers of the red-rumped parrot in ACT, and the Australian king-parrot is also seeing an increase across Melbourne.

“Participation in this year’s count will enable bird experts to understand more about state-based trends, identify if these trends are continuing for declining species, and help us determine the reasons for the declines.”

How to get involved

  • During the week of 17–23 October, find a patch of outdoor space. It could be a suburban backyard, a local park, a patch of forest, down by the beach or the main street of your town.
  • Spend 20 minutes in this space, counting every bird sighted in that time.
  • Go in the running to win more than $10,000 worth of prizes.

Related: Our urban birdwatching guides to every Australian capital city