Bird lovers are being asked to flock to the Aussie Backyard Bird Count site and register for one of the country’s biggest citizen science projects to be held during National Bird Week in October.
Two years ago, the City of Sydney stopped its own bird count to be part of Birdlife Australia’s nationwide effort to track bird numbers across the country.
Now the bigger city count aims to provide an in-depth snapshot of the feathered friends gracing our parks and open spaces.
“Urbanisation has resulted in the loss of habitat for many birds, but we have a range of conservation efforts to bring native animals back to the city,” Lord Mayor Clover Moore said.
“Last year’s bird count saw more than 230 residents take part in the project, helping us to track the fluctuations of local bird numbers.
“Although some bird numbers are down, we saw an increasingly diverse range of species. We know that there are now 76 different bird species in the city, compared to 70 in 2011.
“Despite the positive signs, we need to keep attracting an increasingly diverse range of birds to our City, which is why our urban ecology action plan is so important.”
Newtown photographer, Gokay Gul, visits Sydney Park at least once daily with his camera. He’s spent the last few weeks snapping shots of a breeding pair of black swans – the first time they’ve been spotted at Sydney Park in five years. The swans have built a nest from which two cygnets have hatched.
“I’ve really enjoyed seeing the swans lay their eggs and then watching the beautiful cygnets hatch and grow. There’s so many interesting and rare birds at Sydney Park. Over the last few months I’ve spotted a powerful owl, a buff-banded rail, the oriental dollarbird, channel-billed cuckoo and the white-faced heron,” Mr Gul said.
The Lord Mayor added: “We hope that our efforts to improve habitats for our native wildlife is contributing to this wonderful result. An excellent example is Sydney Park, where the $11.2 million upgrade of our stormwater harvesting system has seen an increase in habitat areas for much of the birdlife in the park, including recent sightings of black swan.”
“The Great Aussie Backyard Bird Count will help us learn where our efforts have been most successful and areas where we can encourage more of our feathered friends.
“You don’t need a backyard to be involved when looking for birds in the City. Visit a local park, sit on your balcony or even look out of your office building, one recent office worker looked outside their window in the CBD and recently spotted a peregrine falcon.”
Those interested in taking part in the Great Aussie Backyard Bird Count can download the Aussie Bird Count app or enter their results via the Submit a Count tab at aussiebirdcount.org.au. The user-friendly app features pictures of birds native to the area, making it easy for novice birdwatchers to identify their sightings.
Visitors to the website can see live statistics on the number of people taking part and the number of birds and species counted in your neighbourhood and the whole of Australia.
For media inquiries or images, contact Alex Cauchi. Phone 0467 810 160 or email firstname.lastname@example.org
For interviews with Lord Mayor Clover Moore, phone 02 8974 4165 or email email@example.com