- Get yourself at least one field guide to the Birds of Australia (options include: Pizzey and Knight, Simpson and Day, Slater, Morcombe).
- Use the field guide and observations in your local area to get to know the features of the main woodland bird families (groupings) such as thornbills, whistlers and robins.
- Use your field guide to nut out key features such as field marks and behaviour. Field marks are the particular feather patterns, coloration, size, shape, bill structure, etc that help us distinguish closely related groups of birds.
- Knowing what our typical local species are also helps. It narrows down the range of possibilities for a new unknown bird that you have seen or heard. The Bird checklist for the Mount Alexander region lists the birds that are seen in this area.
- Castlemaine Field Naturalists The Castlemaine Field Naturalists are very much into birds, and carry out both the Swift Parrot counts, and the Annual Bird Count in December.
- BirdLife Ballarat often has excursions in this region, for example to Maryborough.
- Connecting Country: Keep in touch with all things natural history related in the Mount Alexander region by becoming a member and subscribing to the Connecting Country blog. Connecting Country is in the process of becoming an affiliated group of BirdLife Australia.
- BirdLife Australia Australia’s peak birding organisation
- Birdata: The gateway to BirdLife Australia data including the Atlas of Australian Birds and Nest Record scheme.
- Birds in Backyards: A research, education and conservation program focusing on the birds where people live.
- Eremaea Birdlines: Interesting and unusual bird observations. Visit the Victorian section if you are interested in rare bird updates, such as Swift Parrot sightings.
Everyone has a favourite field guide – and indeed it is best to have a range of guides as each has different things to offer.
The following guides are a good starting point:
- The Field Guide to the Birds of Australia, Graham Pizzey and Frank Knight.
- Field Guide to the Birds of Australia, Ken Simpson and Nicolas Day.
- Birds of Australia, S. Breeden and P. Slater.
- Field Guide to Australian Birds, Michael Morcombe.
The Birdwatchers Monitoring Kit
The Birdwatchers monitoring kit is a series of fact sheets and data collection templates designed to help everyone – from beginners to experienced, get started in bird monitoring. Visit the Bird Monitoring page for more.
Connecting Country’s seasonal bird surveys
Connecting Country carries out regular surveys of woodland birds to monitor avian changes in the regional environment over a decade or more. Click here to find out more about our seasonal bird surveys.