Murrindindi Shire residents young and old are being encouraged to get involved in this year’s Aussie Backyard Bird Count being held from 23-29 October.

Murrindindi Shire Council’s Portfolio Councillor for Natural Environment and Climate Change, Rebecca Bowles said “now in its fourth year, the Aussie Backyard Bird Count runs every October as a part of National Bird Week celebrations”.

“This event creates a snapshot of our bird populations at the same time each year. This provides vital information on how our local bird species are faring,” Cr Bowles said.

“The Aussie Backyard Bird Count provides an opportunity for everyone – from our kinder and school children, to our seniors and community groups – to become citizen scientists for one week in October.”

Cr Bowles said last year’s count in Murrindindi Shire saw 114 observers participate and submit 109 observation reports. The total time they spent recording our local birdlife was 34 hours and the number of birds recorded ranged from 4 to 274 per observer, averaging 66 birds each.

A total of 3,578 individual birds from 113 species were observed and recorded during the week.
The most common native species reported included:
 Sulphur-crested Cockatoo
 Australian Magpie
 Crimson Rosella
 Australian King Parrot
 Superb Fairy-wren
 Welcome Swallow
 Australian Wood Duck

“We did have some reports of a few ’near threatened‘ and ’vulnerable‘ species last year – including the Brown Treecreeper, the Azure Kingfisher, Musk Duck, Flame Robin, Grey Goshawk, Pied Cormorant and the White-bellied Sea-Eagle,” Cr Bowles said.

“It would be fantastic if we were able to spot more of these around the region so we know there’s hope for these species in future.”

Conversely, a number of pest species have been recorded including Indian or Common Myna, European Goldfinch and House Sparrow.

Cr Bowles said the Aussie Backyard Bird Count is simple and easy to do. From 23-29 October we’re asking our residents to:
 Spend 20 minutes in your back yard, local park, schoolyard or other favourite outdoor space
 You can participate as an individual or group
 Use the Aussie Backyard Bird Count app, or the website form www.aussiebirdcount.org.au to record the types of birds you see and roughly how many
 Both the app and the website include a “bird finder” to help you identify any birds you don’t recognise.

Once you’ve submitted your bird sighting information it will be added to the information from around the country.

“The great thing about this event is you’ll be able to see live statistics on the number of people taking part, and the number of birds and species counted right across Australia,” Cr Bowles said.

To be part of Australia’s largest bird count this year from 23-29 October 2017 visit www.aussiebirdcount.org.au for further information, or contact Council’s Environment Officer Sue McNair on 03 5772 0333.

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