The Great Aussie Bird Count

Rather than a talk about a specific bird this week, I’d like to talk about a great way you can help our birds.

Yes, the Great Aussie Bird Count is on right now! From the 16th to the 22nd of October we’re asking people to record all the birds that they see for twenty minutes at a time. You can do as many surveys as you like, and then upload them to Birdlife via the app or website.

This is an annual event and attracts around 100,000 participants. Last year 3.9 million birds across 620 species were reported.

The easiest way to participate is to download a copy of the Great Aussie Bird Count app from the Apple or Google Play store. This app will assist you in identifying and recording the birds you see, and will then automatically upload your results to our database.

As well as being a fun activity, this is also extremely useful for the science and conservation of Australian birds. One of the biggest problems we have in conservation is what’s called the Shifting Baseline Syndrome.

This means people grow up thinking the number of plants and animals around them is the normal level. This is because relatively speaking we only live for a short period of time, and it is hard to see long term trends that occur outside of our direct experience. Long term studies like the Great Aussie Bird Count, as well as the years of surveys in the Birdlife’s Birdata database, show us that many species, like the Laughing Kookaburra for example, are in fact declining.

But the good news is you can play a part in turning this around, by helping us generate the data we need to study, in order to make informed planning and conservation decisions.

For more information see aussiebirdcount.org.au or my blog birdbites.com.au or the Bird Bites Facebook and Youtube channels.

This article first appeared in the High Country Herald 17th of October 2023

If you’re in the Logan City area here’s an interview I did with the My City Logan newspaper about the Great Aussie Bird Count and the birds of the Logan Council area.