Greetings Birds in Backyards Members,
I must firstly apologise for the delay in judging the competition and letting you all know of the outcome. To say we were inundated with entries is an understatement! In total, we received 749 photographs for the bird category and 97 photographs for the garden category, with 20 videos submitted, not only of people talking about experiences in their garden, but also of birds doing wonderful things in gardens. It therefore took us much longer than we anticipated to catalogue all the entries and then select the winners. Due to the high number of entries we also awarded a number of 'Highly Commended' awards. The entries submitted were just outstanding and the judges had a very difficult time in selecting the winners. It really emphasised to us how much you all love your local birdlife - and that was wonderful to see.
The winner of the 'Best Bird Photograph' was Geoff Gates for his photo of a Brown Thornbill. Highly Commended prizes were also give to Chris Kiely for Blue-faced Honeyeaters on a fence, Ian MacFarlane for a New Holland Honeyeater and a Bottlebrush and Janis Graund for a pair of Laughing Kookaburras fighting over a mouse.
Sue Chan won the 'Best Garden Photograph' category with Deb Little and Kim Pryor receiving Highly Commended prizes.
'Bird Anon' won the 'Best Video' category for her wonderful video about the value of bird baths and Christine Murray received a Highly Commended for her video showing the ongoing work she is doing to create her bird-friendly garden and what she has seen visiting.
Winners in each category will receive a year's membership to Birds Australia plus a framed print from Blue Mountains artist Fiona Lumdsen. Highly commended recipients will also receive a framed Fiona Lumdsen print.
All the winning and highly commended entries will soon be uploaded to the Birds in Backyards website so keep your eyes peeled. The winning photographs and videos (plus many many other entries) will be used throughout the Birds in Backyards Display at Sydney Olympic Park on items such as posters, information sheets or on powerpoint slides. If you do NOT want the photograph you submitted to be used in the display email me at
. Please note that all photographers will be acknowledged. Given there have been so many wonderful photographs submitted Birds in Backyards may also seek permission from the photographers to use their photographs on the website, in printed material or in presentations.
The wonderful graphic designer who lays out the Birds in Backyards newsletter for us is currently on a well-earned holiday, therefore the next Birds in Backyards newsletter won't be available for another month. However there are a couple of things happening in Birds in Backyards that I would like to let you know about:
Birds in Backyards Events and Happenings:
Free Workshops - Guidelines for Enhancing Urban Bird Habitat: Regional NSW
In 2007 Birds in Backyards received a grant from the NSW Environmental Trust to develop Best Practice Guidelines for Enhancing Urban Bird Habitat. The guidelines were developed to stop the decline of small birds in urban areas and to provide practical advice for providing native bird habitat in a variety of urban environments. These guidelines are of course available free to download on the website at http://www.birdsinbackyards.net/spaces/Guidelines.cfm. A series of very successful workshops were also held throughout Sydney and surrounds to promote the guidelines.
Birds in Backyards has been fortunate enough to receive a further dissemination grant from the NSW Environmental Trust to conduct a series of workshops in regional centres of NSW. Project Officer Lizzie Rose is heading out in March and April to conduct these workshops.
Two workshops are being held per region; one aimed at the wider community and the other designed for Council and agency staff. Each workshop runs for 3 hours and is free to attend.
BIBY workshops have been held (or are about to be held) across the following regions -
Nowra, March 2/3rd
Byron Bay, March 16/17th
Dubbo, March 31 & April 1st
Wagga Wagga, April 15th
Tamworth, April 22/23
Coffs Harbour, April 28/29th
If you would like to attend the Wagga Wagga, Tamworth or Coffs Harbour workshops, or would like more information, please emaileval(unescape('%64%6f%63%75%6d%65%6e%74%2e%77%72%69%74%65%28%27%3c%61%20%68%72%65%66%3d%22%6d%61%69%6c%74%6f%3a%6c%69%7a%7a%69%65%72%6f%73%65%32%32%40%62%69%67%70%6f%6e%64%2e%63%6f%6d%22%3e%6c%69%7a%7a%69%65%72%6f%73%65%32%32%40%62%69%67%70%6f%6e%64%2e%63%6f%6d%3c%2f%61%3e%27%29%3b'))
Birds in Backyards Cowra
I will be in Cowra this Saturday the 18th of April to give a talk about the bird life of Cowra and how to create habitat for birds. The workshop will begin at 10am at the Pridham Centre NSW DPI Research Station, Binni Creek Rd, Cowra. Following the Birds in Backyards Workshop at midday there will be the launch of Woodland Birds of the Cowra Region - a research project sponsored by the Lachlan CMA plus some other talks (all winding up at around 2pm). Its free to attend and registration is encouraged (and free), but not essential. Morning tea and a light lunch will be provided. Contact John Rankin on (02) 6342 9282 for more information or to register.
Birds in Brisbane Backyards
Birds Australia Southern Queensland, supported by Birds in Backyards, Brisbane City Council, Birds Queensland, Society for Growing Australian Plants and Bird Observation and Conservation Australia held a workshop to launch Birds in Brisbane Backyards on March 7 at Chermside Bowls Club. The 60 people that attended learnt how Birds in Backyards website can help you identify birds; were given some hints on how to watch your birds, and how to get the best from your binoculars and bird books. There was also talks about to make your gardens more bird friendly and which plants attract birds. There were a number of speakers, including myself and it was a wonderful afternoon.
We would love residents of Brisbane to come on board, learn about their local birds, create a space for them and of course, submit surveys to the Birds in Backyards website.
Conservation Week in Perth
During Conservation Week (March 28 - April 5) the Biodiversity in our Backyard Project, coordinated by the Conservation Council of Western Australia has engaged citizen 'scientists' in Perth to investigate the factors that influence the biodiversity of our backyards and local communities using common birds as an indicator. Participants have been submitting bird surveys using the backyard bird survey page on the BIBY website. I would like to welcome all our new Perth Birds in Backyards Members!
Schools, community groups, youth groups, wildlife centres, conservation organisations and individuals have all taken part in a survey of biodiversity in backyards.
The results of this short survey will provide an understanding of the factors influencing bird distribution within our settled areas and will inform planning, design and landscape (including garden) management decisions towards better retention of biodiversity in urban areas.
Participants will be able to view the results of this short survey on the Conservation Council website www.conservationwa.asn.au later in 2009. We would encourage participants to continue to monitor their gardens well past the initial Conservation Week project. So Perth residents can submit their Birds in Backyards Surveys by selecting 'Western Australia' in the drop-down box under 'Display survey list for:'.
Birds in Backyards Display at Sydney Olympic Park
Sydneysiders and visitors to Sydney are invited to come along to the Birds Australia Discovery Centre, located in Newington Armory at Sydney Olympic Park where the Birds in Backyards Display, 'Sharing spaces: connecting birds with people', will be open by late April. The Discovery Centre is open on weekends from 10am till 4pm so please drop in and have a look round. There is lots to do Sydney Olympic Park - it is a wonderful place to watch all sorts of birds in the many different habitats available such as woodlands, mangroves, wetlands, rivers and parklands. Check out http://www.sydneyolympicpark.com.au/home to plan your trip.
I hope to run a little meet for Birds in Backyards members at the Discovery Centre in the next couple of months - so stay tuned for more information.
Remember you can contact me ateval(unescape('%64%6f%63%75%6d%65%6e%74%2e%77%72%69%74%65%28%27%3c%61%20%68%72%65%66%3d%22%6d%61%69%6c%74%6f%3a%62%69%72%64%73%69%6e%62%61%63%6b%79%61%72%64%73%40%62%69%72%64%73%61%75%73%74%72%61%6c%69%61%2e%63%6f%6d%2e%61%75%22%3e%62%69%72%64%73%69%6e%62%61%63%6b%79%61%72%64%73%40%62%69%72%64%73%61%75%73%74%72%61%6c%69%61%2e%63%6f%6d%2e%61%75%3c%2f%61%3e%27%29%3b'))
if you want any information about the national program or if you have any questions at anytime.
I am also on the forums regularly so check in there too - Holly