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.

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.


Survey methods

There are three 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.
  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.
  3. Document what has been seen in the school over the past year (least preferred).

(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 each type 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.

Step 4: Select Access the Schoolground survey from the Survey toolbar. 

Step 5: Set the time and date of the survey you are completing and either fill in or check your entries for the location, your schoolground characteristics and other features of your schoolgrounds. Click on the tabs to display the options. You can also enter other information and notes about the birds you saw. Also make sure you enter your school's name. Fields marked with a red * are compulsory.


Step 6: Select your region from the drop down list if it doesn't automatically update. Familiarise yourself with the 30 (or so) target species for your state or region. If you have entered your address in 'About My Garden' details of your membership, your 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 on the link for each species.

Step 7: Collect your bird observations according to your chosen method.

Step 8: 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. Please adjust the information, including your survey location, if you are surveying a different site.

If you are doing a 20 minute survey, type in the numbers of individuals you saw. If you are completing a weekly or annual survey, type '1' in the 'number' box corresponding to each bird species that you recorded (as we only use presence/absence data for these survey types). 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. (Hint: type slowly and wait for the bird list to load. Check you know the proper common name for the species)

Step 8: When you have finished your survey, click 'Save' to submit your survey to us. Note there are other tabs of information at the bottom of the page. Ignore these - they are simply default options in place with the software used.

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