The annual Aussie Backyard Bird Count is almost here

Who will be Australia’s most counted bird?
By Australian Geographic October 11, 2021 Reading Time: < 1 Print this page

Get your binoculars out and dust off that guide book, BirdLife Australia’s annual Backyard bird Count will take place between 18–24 October.  

Each year, Australians are asked to get out into our backyards, local parks or schools, and record every bird you see through the Aussie Bird Count app over a 20 minute period (or longer if you so desire). 

This data helps paint a picture of the birds that live closest to us, including how their populations are faring, whether they are extending their range and which birds we’re interacting with the most. 

Last year’s backyard bird count saw a record number of participation as many Australians faced lockdown orders because of the Coronavirus pandemic. Australians counted 4.6 million birds over seven days, a huge increase from 2019’s 3.4 million.

Related: A guide to Australia’s fairy-wrens

And what did we see the most? “Overall, rainbow lorikeets finished on top of the list throughout Australia, with more than half a million counted this year,” said BirdLife Australia’s Sean Dooley. “These colourful birds have finished on top every year since the Aussie Bird Count began in 2014.” Just behind rainbow lorikeets were noisy miners, magpies, sulphur-crested cockatoos and galahs.

Why do lorikeets always top the list? As Jesse Lawley wrote for Australian Geographic last year, “Lorikeets are nectar feeders and have taken advantage of Australia’s mid-century shift in urban landscaping, ‘from traditional English gardens’ to native, flowering plants like eucalyptus and bottlebrush, providing ample food and habitat for these noisy and brazen characters.”

You can record the birds using the free Aussie Bird Count app or by filling out a form online. Find out more at aussiebirdcount.org.au.