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Great Aussie Bird Count results

Last year we asked residents to participate in the Great Aussie Bird Count, find out what this citizen science project revealed.

Scarlet Robin sitting in a tree

Great Aussie Bird Count results

Last year Adelaide Hills Council asked locals to participate in BirdLife Australia’s Great Aussie Bird Count. The study provides a national population snapshot of Australian birds at the same time each year, revealing emerging trends in our bird communities over time.

This was Council's ninth year of involvement in the important annual citizen science event with more residents participating each year.

In 2022, 345 Adelaide Hills Council residents recorded 16,198 birds, compared with 277 observers recording 14,626 in 2019.

Unfortunately, only 101 bird species were recorded in 2022 compared with 155 in 2019, which could be reflecting the worrying decline of woodland birds across the Mount Lofty Ranges.

The data also shows that Australian backyards have been shrinking since the 1990s and populations of some of our most familiar birds like the Laughing Kookaburra and Willie Wagtails are also declining.

However, it also revealed that Australian backyards, in all their shapes and sizes, continue to attract a range of birds. This provides some hope that even as the iconic Aussie backyard shrinks many native birds can and do persist.

The Birds in Backyards Program, which began in 1998, encourages people to take conservation action for birds wherever they enjoy them. It also encourages change to our gardening practices, such as planting a diverse array of shrubs and local natives, which can reduce the dominance of large birds and create islands of valuable habitat for smaller and shyer species birds in the urban landscape.

Adelaide Hills Council is committed to protecting and restoring native habitat across many of its reserves and roadsides whilst promoting bird-friendly gardens to residents, which may boost the number of birds and species within the district.

See the Council website for planting guides on recommended plants that attract native birds to your garden or speak with the Biodiversity Officers for more information.

Save the date for the next Aussie Bird Count which will take place from 16–22 October 2023!

*Image credit: Scarlet Robin taken by Phil Cook.

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