This is a place where you can store sightings of the birds you see in your school.

Did you know that by monitoring and observing the birds in your playground you can discover all sorts of amazing things about your environment?

Through monitoring local birdlife via the Birds in Backyards website students are able to collect data, analyse and interpret their observations and use the evidence collected to make management recommendations or educate and engage their local community about environmental issues.

Click here to do a Schoolground survey watch the video below or scoll down the page to view detailed instructions.

Don't forget to go to My Account to update your garden and school location details for the surveys so your information will automatically appear (otherwise you will have to enter your location and your garden information every time you do a new survey).

About this survey

Urban environments often support large numbers of birds, even though there are usually fewer species than in native habitats. A few introduced species tend to be very common, such as the Common (Indian) Myna, but several native species, like the Noisy Miner, are also common.

To support more native birds in the places where we live, we need to provide them with habitat. School grounds tend to have more space than backyards, so there is a great opportunity to provide resources, like food and shelter, that will help native birds persist.

The main aim of this survey is to record the kinds of birds that are currently living in school grounds so that we can monitor changes over time, hopefully in response to habitat improvement in school grounds!

Register your school as a member (it's free)

You don't need to be an expert bird-watcher to help out!

To take part in the survey, you will need to record your observations via an on-line form. To submit this form your school will need to become a member. Membership is free, providing you with your own password that allows us to keep track of repeat records from your school.

We encourage your school to register using the school email address of an interested student. Individual students are welcome to register themselves and to send in surveys of their individual backyards using the separate Backyard Bird Survey page.

If your school is not already involved in Birds Australia's Answering the Call program we encourage you to check it out. By signing up to this comprehensive program you get a range of benefits including a full cirriculum resource and some analysis of your schools survery data. Note: you can still submit school data if you are not a part of Answering the Call, however a full range of benefits will not be available to you (such as Volunteers as Mentors).


Survey methods

There are two survey methods that you can use to collect the data, depending on how it fits in with you school's program.

  1. Keep a list of all the bird species you observe incidentally in your school ground over a 1-week period (preferred method).
  2. Record all the birds you observe in your school ground on a single day, over a fixed 20 minute period, as early in the morning as possible.

(Include birds anywhere in your school ground but do not include birds seen only in your neighbours' gardens, or birds flying through that do not land.)

You may choose to complete both types of survey, and you can repeat them as often as you wish, but you must submit a new survey form each time.

Take part in the survey


Step 1: Log in to the website on the home page or create a new account if you are new to Birds in Backyards. Please only use one log in for your school surveys:

Step 2: Go to the ‘About My Garden’ section of your account.

If you have not entered garden details previously, then please fill out the forms to tell us about your schoolground. If you have entered these details previously, check they are still correct (in case you have modified your school). 

Step 3: Decide which survey method you wish to use (20 min or weekly).

Step 4: Select the Schoolground survey from the Survey toolbar or click here. Note – the Birds in Backyards surveys are now part of the BirdLife Australia Citizen Science portal (so the page will look a little different). Your Birds in Backyards membership details will automatically log you in on the survey page. There is currently an issue with the Citizen Science portal sometimes failing to accept Birds In Backyards users. If this happens, Go Back in your browser and try again.

Step 5: Familiarise yourself with the 30 target species for your state or region. If you have entered your address in 'About My Garden' details of your membership, your school location and the 30 birds from your region will automatically load. If you have not done this or you are surveying a different location, select either the state or region you are in from the available options in the 'Location' box, and a list of birds will appear at the bottom of the page. 

To show a photo, call and information about any of these birds, click 'Info'.

Step 6: Collect your bird observations according to your chosen method.

Step 7: Log back in and fill out the on-line form.  All of your "About my Garden" information will automatically appear in the survey form if you previously entered it. 

If you are doing a 20 minute survey, type in the numbers of individuals you saw. If you are completing a weekly survey, type '1' in the 'number' box corresponding to each bird species that you recorded. To add a bird not in the list of 30 bird species, type the name in the box above the bird survey table and select from the list that appears. This will automatically put the bird species into your table.

Step 8: Select 'Submit findings' when you have concluded your survey and are finished or 'Submit and add another' if you would like to submit another survey.

Note: when you click the link to go to this survery you will be taken to the Birds Australia Citizen Science portal. The survey is hosted on this site.

Subscribe to Schoolground
Subscribe to me on YouTube