Restoring landscapes across the Mount Alexander Region

Celebrate National Bird Week with Aussie Backyard Bird Count – 19-25 October 2020

Posted on 15 October, 2020 by Ivan


Bird watching is an easily accessible activity that connects us to nature (photo: Geoff Park)

Celebrate National Bird Week with Connecting Country by joining thousands across the country participating in the Aussie Backyard Bird Count. The bird count has been increasingly popular over the past few years, with the past 12 months seeing a surge in bird watching  across the country.The next Aussie Backyard Bird Count is on 19-25 October 2020. The Aussie Backyard Bird Count is an activity for all-ages that involves observing and counting the birds that live near you – whether that’s in your garden, the local park, a beach or even your town centre. By recording the birds you’ve seen within a 20 minute period, you will help BirdLife Australia develop an understanding of local birds, while getting to know the wildlife on your doorstep!

Please read on for details from Birdlife Australia about the importance of this annual survey and how to participate.

How do I take part in the Aussie Backyard Bird Count? 

To complete the Aussie Backyard Bird Count, spend 20 minutes standing or sitting in one spot and noting down the birds that you see. You will need to count the number of each species you spot within the 20 minute period. For example, you might see 4 Australian Magpies, 2 Rainbow Lorikeets and a Sulphur-Crested Cockatoo. If you can identify birds by their calls, please include these in your count, but if you aren’t sure of a bird without seeing it, please exclude it rather than making a guess. The Aussie Bird Count app has a handy field-guide to help you identify birds. Once you have completed your count, you can submit it in two different ways:

  1. You can submit your bird count through the online web form (this form won’t be made live until the 14 October)


  1. You can submit your counts through the free Aussie Bird Count app. The app is available for iPhones and Android smartphones, go to the Google Play or iTunes to download the app for free. If you have the Aussie Bird Count app from previous years don’t delete it, it should update automatically with the newest version. In between event dates, the app operates as a field-guide/bird finder.

Why should I do the backyard bird count? 

By participating in the Aussie Backyard Bird Count, you will be helping BirdLife Australia find out about the common species that live where people live. Providing us with a snapshot of Australian birds at the same time each year allows us to look at the trends in our bird communities from year to year. This is important because it’s these more common species that give us the best indication of the health of the environment – think of birds as a barometer for nature!

Why is the bird count in October? 

Spring is the season when birds are more lively and visible. They begin nesting, breeding and flocking and generally appear more playful. Thousands of migrant birds return to our shores in spring as well. For these reasons it is also National Bird Week, a tradition that started back in the early 1900s when 28 October was first designated by our predecessor, the Royal Australasian Ornithologists Union, as the first ‘Bird Day’.

What other surveys can I get involved with? 

The Aussie Backyard Bird Count only takes place once a year, however BirdLife Australia run other surveys throughout the year that you can take part in. Birds In Backyards runs seasonal surveys that you can join in with, even if you’re not an expert bird-watcher, and there’s lots of info on how to attract more birds to your backyard! Check it out here. You can also register with our Birdata app if you want to take part in more regular bird surveys.


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