Take Part in the Aussie Backyard Bird Count

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Looking for a fun nature activity to do with your kids? Sign up for the Aussie Backyard Bird Count running from 18 to 24 October 2021. It’s the biggest citizen science project in Australia and takes place as part of National Bird Week.

To get involved all you need is 20 minutes in your favourite outdoor space, and some keen eyesight. You could count in your actual backyard, local park, school yard, down at the beach or another favourite outdoor space. 

Aussie Bird Count
Photo credit: BirdLife Australia

Simply record the birds you see on the Aussie Bird Count app or through the Submit a Count tab on their website. The data collected assists BirdLife Australia in understanding more about the birds that live where people live. Here are links to download the Aussie Bird Count app on App Store or Google Play.

It’s best to count the birds from one spot for 20 minutes – and see how many you can see from where you’re standing or sitting. You can count as many times as you like over the week. Bird Life Australia just ask that each count is completed over a 20-minute period.

There is never a bad time to count birds; you can count at any time of day or night. However, birds are more active at dawn and dusk, so if you choose to do your count then, you may see more birds. 

Aussie Bird Count
Photo credit: James Mascott

Not sure what the bird is? You can use the Find a Bird function on the app to select a bird size, shape and colour to find a particular species. It’s a great way to learn more about your local birds.

This years’ Aussie Backyard count is set to be the biggest yet, as BirdLife Australia calls on young people to join the annual Aussie Backyard count, in an attempt to break records in the participation of young people (under 15). 

Less than 7% of bird counters in the last two years were under the age of 15 and BirdLife are hoping to see this number soar in their 2021 count by capturing the imagination of young people through native bird spotting in their own backyards.

Aussie Bird Count
Photo credit: Andrew Silcocks

You can also get your school involved in the Aussie Bird Count. It’s a great activity to do as part of homeschooling in the final week of lockdown. BirdLife is encouraging student involvement this year, as a way to get young people outdoors to learn about our native birds.

Last year, more than 1,600 Aussie schools took part in the bird count, and BirdLife Australia would like to see that number even higher in 2021. Australia’s Aussie Backyard Bird Count statistics last year showed that more than 4 million birds were counted across the country, with the most counters in NSW, VIC and QLD.

The five most common birds in NSW was the Rainbow Lorikeet, Noisy Miner, Sulphur-crested Cockatoo, Australian Magpie and Galah. You can see the numbers of birds counted and most common per state on the Aussie Backyard Bird Count website in the 2020 Results section.

For more information or to sign up, visit the Aussie Bird Count website or check out the BirdLife Australia Facebook page. The Aussie Backyard Bird Count runs from 18 to 24 October 2021.

There is also more than $5,000 worth of prizes being given away as part of this year’s count including binoculars, fine art prints, board games and garden ornaments.

Plus, there’s also a fun Aussie Bird Outfits competition inspired by the Instagram account AustralianBirdOutfits which features outfits inspired by birds. This Bird Week, Bird Life Australia are teaming up with the brains behind the Instagram account to run a brand-new competition. To enter, just put together an outfit inspired by an Aussie bird of your choosing and tag or email Bird Life Australia a picture.  

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10 Tips to Start Birdwatching with Kids

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