From 18 to 24 October 2021, 112 Parkes residents participated in the 2021 Aussie Backyard Bird Count, observing a total of 5,013 individual birds and 86 species across Parkes Shire.
Parkes Shire Council’s Environment and Sustainability Coordinator, Michael Chambers, said this high level of participation confirms the passion that many residents have for biodiversity and conservation.
“Given Parkes’ relatively small population, 112 is a fantastic level of participation. This reflects the enthusiasm that so many locals have for learning about the natural environment, particularly the fauna native to the Parkes area.”
Involvement in the Aussie Backyard Bird Count also presents everyday citizens with an opportunity to make important contributions towards conservation efforts.
“Participating in citizen science projects, such as the Aussie Backyard Bird Count, is perhaps the easiest way for everyday people to support conservation projects. With urban bird communities constantly changing, the observations and data submitted is extremely valuable,” said Mr Chambers.
Consistent with previous years, the most commonly sighted species across Parkes Shire was the Galah, with 574 sightings. Rounding out the top five were Crested Pigeons (397), House Sparrows (390), Apostlebirds (350) and Australian Magpies (299).
Several species listed as ‘vulnerable’ to extinction under federal legislation were also sighted across Parkes. They included Major Mitchell’s Cockatoo (Pink Cockatoo), Grey-Crowned Babbler, Brown Treecreeper, Dusky Wood Swallow, Superb Parrot and the Speckled Warbler.
“With growing awareness and concern for the welfare and conservation of Australia’s native birds, citizen science projects contribute data that can reveal how various species are faring. For instance, results from previous surveys have helped confirm declines in kookaburra numbers and growth in noisy miner populations,” added Mr Chambers.
Data obtained through citizen science projects can also inform policy and subsequent environmental management decisions.
Since its inception in 2014, the Aussie Backyard Bird Count has become one of the largest citizen science projects in Australia. Data collected by everyday citizens helps scientists answer questions they would be unable to answer on their own.
This includes achieving greater insights into the behaviour, abundance and distribution of common birds living in close proximity to, or within, urban environments.
The 2022 Aussie Backyard Bird Count will take place from 17 – 23 October 2022. BirdLife Australia also conducts seasonal surveys, which include summer (December & January), Autumn (March & April), Winter (June and July) & Spring (September & October) surveys.
Council encourages residents to learn more by visiting www.aussiebirdcount.org.au or by downloading the Aussie Bird Count app on your mobile phone.