Backyard bird count takes flight

Australia’s peak body for birds will attempt to break the national record for the most people counting birds in one day.

Today, on October 18, the start of National bird week, BirdLife Australia’s eighth annual Aussie Backyard Bird Count will take flight.

The current Australian record for most people counting in a single day is about 25,600, and this year, BirdLife Australia hopes to exceed this number with help from citizen scientists across the nation.

“In 2020 Australia counted more than 4.6 million birds in seven days during the count. The states with the most counters were Victoria and NSW, so we would like to see the other states and territories make it more competitive in 2021,” BirdLife Australia’s Sean Dooley said.

“BirdLife is also hoping to see the highest number of young people under the age of 15 taking part in the count.

“Individuals participating in the Aussie Backyard Bird Count simply take part by spending 20 minutes in their favourite outdoor space and recording the birds they see during that time. Results from the count can be submitted using the phone application or website form.”

Mr Dooley said the results help BirdLife Australia obtain important information about our birds and determine trends that may indicate which species need greater support.

“For example, we are likely to see birds like the Rainbow Lorikeet still ruling the roost across the country, while we will be curious to see if some smaller bird species like the Suburb Fairy-Wren continue to decline,” he said.

Bird counters will be joined by count ambassadors including Costa Georgiadis, Geraldine Hickey, Paul Kennedy, Michael Veitch, Myf Warhurst, John Williamson, Julia Zemiro, Chris Bath, Prof. Peter Doherty, Stella Donnelly, Lewis Garnham and Instagrammers AustralianBirdOutfits and SydneyCockatoos.

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