Dust of your binoculars and get your pen ready, the Aussie Backyard Bird Count is on again from October 22 to 28, 2018.
For the last four years, Murrindindi Shire residents have been participating in Bird Life Australia’s ‘Backyard Bird Count’ which uses ‘citizen science’ to track bird numbers and species around Australia.
Murrindindi Shire Council Acting Mayor Sandice McAulay said the Backyard Bird Count is a fun way for us all to become more aware of the birds we share our environment with.
“It’s really easy, all you have to do is go outside for 20 minutes and count how many birds you see and what type they are. It doesn’t matter if you’re a novice or an expert – you can just ‘look up’ those you don’t know on the free ‘Aussie Bird Count’ app or at www.aussiebirdcount.org.au. Then you just upload your findings to the website or through the app. You can undertake as many or as few ‘observation sessions’ as you want,” McAulay said.
“I’ve already registered for this year’s ‘Bird Count’ and I use the app all the time to identify birds on my property.
“Last year, more than 72,000 people around Australia participated in the Bird Count, submitting some 60,000 checklists which tallied almost two million birds. In our Shire, 190 locals counted more than 9000 birds over 81 volunteer observation hours during the 2017 ‘Bird Count’.
“It will be no surprise to locals that the most commonly detected bird species in Murrindindi Shire during the 2017 Backyard Bird Count was the Sulphur-crested Cockatoo.
“These cockies were closely followed by the Australian Magpie and Crimson Rosella as the ‘most sighted’ around the Shire. Results from 2017 also showed a decline in Kookaburra numbers and an unfortunate increase in aggressive species, including the Noisy Miner.
“In happier news though, the presence of four near-threatened bird species were recorded within the Murrindindi Shire boundaries – the Black-eared Cuckoo, Diamond Firetail, Azure Kingfisher and Pied Cormorant.
“Birds are a vital part of our environment for many reasons, including pest control, pollination and seed dispersal. So the importance of projects like Bird Life’s ‘Aussie Backyard Bird Count’ can’t be overestimated. Results can also be used to promote conservation action for species in need.”
“I really encourage everyone to get involved in the 2018 Aussie Backyard Bird Count,” McAulay said.
For more information on the Aussie Backyard Bird Count visit www.aussiebirdcount.org.au or contact Council’s Environment Officer on (03) 5772 0333.