Five ways you can celebrate Australia’s bird week

By Paris O'Rourke October 22, 2019
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Get involved with this year’s National Bird Week to support and celebrate our birds.

AUSTRALIA IS HOME to more than 800 different species of bird, and National Bird Week is a great excuse to celebrate this wonderful diversity.

Taking place between Monday 21 October and Sunday 27 October, National Bird Week aims to support and celebrate our native and endemic birds. If you are looking for inspiration on some ways to get involved, here are 5 things to do this October.

Get involved in the Aussie Backyard Bird Count

One of Australia’s biggest citizen science events, the Aussie bird count gets you closer with our feathery friends while also contributing to a vital pool of data to keep track of our birds.

Whether that be a white kookaburra you spot, one of the eight species of Australian lorikeets or one of our threatened bird species, everyone is welcome to join this nationwide activity in your favourite outdoor space.

All you have to do is record the amount of birds you see in a 20-minute time frame on the ‘Aussie Bird Count’ app or its website, which updates live statistics.

See Leila Jeffreys’ photography exhibition ‘High Society’

High Society runs from 16 October to 10 November at the Olsen Gallery in Sydney.

Renowned bird photographer Leila Jeffreys has captured the budgerigar as the subject in her new multi-media exhibition.

Leila works alongside conservationists, ornithologists and bird sanctuaries to capture gentle yet striking photos and video art pieces of her subjects.

In this exhibition she discovers how humans have had a crucial role in evolution through her striking visual exploration of the budgerigar being associated as a pet.

Support Australian birds by visiting Angela Robertson-Buchanan’s annual exhibition

Inspiring Australians to become involved in bird conservation, this year’s BirdLife exhibition ‘Parrots’  will take place from 10-27 October at the Corner Gallery in Sydney.

Angela Robertson-Buchanan, an award-winning freelance nature photographer, holds the annual exhibition donating 20 per cent of the sales towards BirdLife Australia. Angela has previously been an ANZANG’s photographer of the year finalist in 2014. Her annual exhibition is surely one to go and see this bird week.

Visit these prime locations to see some of Australia’s most intriguing birds


Lord Howe Island is a dream for those who love fresh sea breezes. It’s also home to almost 170 species of sea and land birds. During October, red-tailed tropicbirds are breeding along the cliff and if you watch the Malabar’s cliffs you will see them performing their airborne courting rituals. You might also catch the flightless Lord Howe Island woodhen, as well as many other feathered friends, along the walking tracks.

Read: Urban birdwatching guide to Sydney

Gluepot Reserve, located 4.5-hours drive north of Adelaide, is home to 33 endangered species of birds along with the black-eared miner and the vulnerable Mallee fowl. Gluepot will be hosting a workshop for nature and bird lovers to get up to speed with Key Biodiversity Areas on October 12-13. With campgrounds available and many walking tracks, the area can keep you happily entertained for days.

Read: Urban birdwatching guide to Adelaide

Kakadu National Park, only a two-hour drive south-east of Darwin, is home to 280 bird species, such as the great-billed heron, the magpie goose and the threatened Gouldian finch, which you can donate now to save. The versatile landscape of endless marshes and tropical woodlands attract birds to migrate and breed, which is a perfect place for birdwatchers to become immersed in nature.

Chiltern, a three-hour drive north-east from Melbourne, is marked by several dams where many birds stop to drink. The best time to visit is in spring so Bird Week is a perfect opportunity to see the swift parrot, barking owl and square-tailed kite. Take a picnic and relax in the bushy landscape as you watch the birds.

Read: Urban birdwatching guide to Melbourne

Some of Australia’s most iconic birds, such as the Gouldian finch, emu and jabiru, live on the Atherton Tablelands. October is an ideal time to visit the Wet Tropics and try to spot some of the region’s 13 endemic species, including the lesser sooty owl and the pied monarch.

Read: Urban birdwatching guide to Brisbane

Surrounded by beautiful coastline, Tasmania is a hot spot for birdwatching – it has more than 145 Important Bird Areas (identified by BirdLife International using an internationally agreed set of criteria). A visit to Bruny Island, home to the rare forty-spotted pardalote as well as the ever-endearing little penguin, is a must.

Read: Urban birdwatching guide to Hobart

Christmas Island, 2600km north-west of Perth, is home to the critically endangered Christmas Island frigatebird as well as the sacred kingfisher and the red-tailed tropicbird. It attracts about 80,000 nesting seabirds a year.

Read: Urban birdwatching guide to Perth

Namadgi National Park, where you can find 130 different species of birds including lyrebirds and gang-gang cockatoos, is another great place to surround yourself with birds. Making up 46 per cent of the ACT’s land area, this park is a beautiful place to go on an afternoon hike or learn about the rich Aboriginal history of the Ngunnawal people.

Read: Urban birdwatching guide to Canberra

Take a load off and relax in nature while reading these new books about our world of birds

Feeding the birds at your table by Darryl Jones

This recently released book takes readers on a wild flight into the world of birds.

Darryl explores the interactions between humans and birds, including a history of bird feeding and the latest scientific findings, with the aim of understanding modern bird-feeding practices.

Darryl grapples with the question, why do people feed wild birds? And what are the consequences?

Bird Bonds by Gisela Kaplan

This book explores the evolution of birds’ behavioural traits, which shape their emotional and sexual lives.

Gisela is a leading sociologist and author, who has published other influential books such as Bird Minds and Tawny Frogmouth as well as the series Cultures of the World.

Released on 24 September this year, Bird Bonds is an intriguing investigation into the life of birds.