How many of Byron Shire’s 350 bird species visit your backyard?

Wish you knew your White-cheeked Honeyeater from your Little Wattlebird? Your Grey Fantail from your Golden Whistler?

Council is encouraging the community to get involved in the Birds in Backyards Winter Survey organised by Birdlife Australia – it’s open now and runs until the end of August.

“These seasonal surveys tell us how our birds are faring in the Byron Shire, how they use our urban landscapes and how people affect them,” Council’s Biodiversity Officer, Liz Caddick said.

“Every tree and shrub in our gardens provide some form of habitat, particularly native plants. Getting involved in a citizen science project like this will open your eyes to all sorts of new things in your garden, you’ll gain knowledge and skills about local birds and our amazing biodiversity,” Ms Caddick said.

Jan Olley from Byron Bird Buddies agrees that participating in citizen science projects like the Winter Survey or Birding at Home (year round) can be of tremendous benefit – for people, for birds and for the whole planet.

“When you think about how much native bush has been destroyed since white settlement over 200 years ago, and that we have only small protected areas of native bush remaining in National Parks – it underlines just how important our backyards are as wildlife habitats,” she said.

“By encouraging a more focussed observation, we gain a greater appreciation and knowledge of our local birds. We also learn new skills and improve our connection with nature , which can have a positive impact on our health and wellbeing.The knowledge and awareness we gain spreads to the community at large, raising awareness and understanding of the importance of our natural habit and improving biodiversity outcomes for the whole of our world,” Ms Olley said.

Byron Bay Bird Buddies has recorded nearly 350 bird species in the Byron Shire and many of these could be in your garden at some time.

“The birds you find in your garden will depend on lots of things especially the plants and trees in your backyard and the proximity to the nearby habitat; if the season is right they may come seeking food, such as nectar, berries, seeds and insects, or they may be in need of shelter especially if you have thick and prickly shrubs, or they may be looking for a nest site or fresh water in your bird bath. Some may migrate, a number come down from the mountains to lowlands in the winter time, some move up and down the coast during spring and autumn or even travel to overseas destinations, some are nomadic following a food source, or some are sedentary that is they may hang around all the time,” Ms Olley said.

A Byron Bird Buddies guide to some of the birds you can expect to see in your backyard:

Nectar Feeders – includes the honeyeaters such as White-cheeked Honeyeater, Lewin’s Honeyeater, Brown Honeyeater, Blue-faced Honeyeater, Scarlet Honeyeater, Eastern Spinebill, Little Wattlebird and Noisy Friarbird.

Lorikeets – includes the Rainbow and Scaly-breasted Lorikeet.

Predatory Birds – these feed on other birds, small mammals or reptiles and may include the Collard Sparrowhawk, Pacific Baza, Southern Boobook, Tawny Frogmouth, Kookaburra, Crows and Currawongs Also includes the black and white birds: Pied and Grey Butcherbird, Australian Magpie and Magpie Lark.

Berry-eaters – Figbirds, Olive-backed Oriole.

Insectivores – Silvereye, Brown Thornbill, Grey Fantail, Willy Wagtail, Rufous or Golden Whistler, Eastern Yellow Robin, Fairy-wrens such as the Superb, Varied or Red-backed.

Seed-eaters – Red-browed Finch or the Double- barred Finch or Chestnut-breasted Mannikin

Cuckoos – Fan-tailed Cuckoo or Bruch Cuckoo or Pheasant Coucal

Pigeons and Doves – Crested Pigeon, White-headed Pigeon

Others – Brush Turkey, Masked Lapwing, Bush Stone-curlew, Bowerbirds

To participate visit https://www.birdsinbackyards.net/

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