HomeNewsTwitchers flock to Aussie Backyard Bird Count

Twitchers flock to Aussie Backyard Bird Count

Aussie Backyard Bird Count
Residents spotted more than 200 species of birds across the region, such as this magpie spied in the Botanic Gardens.

More than 22,000 feathered friends were spotted throughout the Bundaberg Region last week as residents took part in the Aussie Backyard Bird Count.

More than 200 species were sighted in the 4670 postcode area and more than 100 species were spotted in both Childers and Gin Gin.

Among the list, residents spied the vulnerable Glossy Black Cockatoo, seasonally migrant species such as dollar birds, Australia’s largest duck the Musk Duck and Australia’s largest bird of prey the Wedge-tailed Eagle.

Bundaberg Regional Council signed up for the nationwide survey this year and environment portfolio spokesperson Cr Wayne Honor said the efforts of residents who participated would help with conservation.

“Council will now be provided with access to data specific to our region, including a list of species, a species count and the total number of bird observers,” Cr Honor said.

“This information will help Council, the community and other organisations to make informed decisions to improve our natural areas and ensure our activities aren’t having a negative impact on birdlife.

“For example, through continued involvement in this initiative we can keep an eye on trends and even see whether or not a tree planting or weed removal project has had a positive effect on biodiversity.

“We’re looking forward to contributing to the Aussie Backyard Bird Count next year and being able to compare the data.”

Cr Honor said he was thrilled with the level of community participation this year, with almost 700 checklists submitted across the region.

“The Aussie Backyard Bird Count was a terrific way for our local community to contribute to this citizen science project to record bird species.”

In addition to helping to conserve native bird species, Cr Honor said it was also beneficial data for pest animal campaigns, with a number of introduced species spotted including the Indian Myna.

“Data from the bird count will assist Council’s Land Protection team with its Indian Myna trapping program,” he said.

“This information can tell us how widespread this species has become and where we should concentrate trapping efforts.”

Natural areas throughout the region such as Baldwin Swamp Environmental Reserve, Barolin Nature Reserve and Russo Nature Park provide important bird habitat through different vegetation communities.

Cr Honor said they were excellent bird spotting locations for anyone who had gotten a taste for the activity after taking part in the Aussie Backyard Bird Count.

Aussie Backyard Bird Count stats:

In the 4670 region

  • 552 checklists were submitted
  • 221 species of birds were sighted
  • 18,233 birds were sighted

Interesting birds spotted included:

  • Australian Bustard
    • One of Australia’s largest birds growing up to 150cm
    • Used to be widespread across Australia but has been impacted by reduction in grasslands and introduction of pastures, sheep and cattle
  • Caspian tern
    • Australia’s largest tern
    • Dives from 15m above the water and take larger fish than any other Australian tern
  • Emu
    • One of the world’s largest birds standing up to 1.9m tall
    • One of the first birds to be discovered in Australia by Europeans
  • Southern Boobook
    • Smallest owl in Australia
    • Feeds on insects and small animals such as mice and small bats

In the 4660 region

  • 61 checklists were submitted
  • 102 species were sighted
  • 2172 birds were sighted

Interesting birds spotted included:

  • Peregrine falcon
    • Can reach speeds of up to 300km/h
    • Mate for life
    • Doesn’t build a nest but lays eggs in tree hollows, on building ledges, on cliff faces or in abandoned nests
  • Mistletoe birds
    • Eats the berries of the mistletoe
    • Males have a bright red throat
    • Also found in Papua New Guinea and Indonesia

In the 4671 region – Gin Gin

  • 77 checklists submitted
  • 104 species sighted
  • 2132 birds sighted

Interesting birds spotted:

  • Barking Owl
    • Its call sounds like a dog calling ‘woof-woof’
    • Hawk owl (lacks the heart shaped face of other owls)
    • Nests in hollows
  • Brolga
    • Large grey crane
    • Featherless head
    • Mate for life
    • Undertakes elaborate courtship displays to strengthen bonds involving dancing, leaping, wing flapping and trumpeting

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