Spring Survey Results

What a great series of surveys we received for our Birds in Backyards Spring surveys. 2224 surveys were submitted (and all but 3 of those were complete!) totalling 76898 individual birds across 711 sites. This season also saw an increase in the number of species recorded with 351 species seen (up from 315 in Winter).

Overall Survey Results

Spring is synonomous with the Australian Magpie, so it was fitting that they had the highest reporting rate of any species overall - seen in a whopping 51 % of surveys. However noisy, flocking birds - the Rainbow Lorikeet and Noisy Miner were more abundant overall (a total of 9451 and 4972 individual birds seen). The top 10 list of birds is also very similar to previous surveys, made up of the birds that we know do well in urban areas, the large and often cranky birds:

SpeciesReporting rate (% of surveys seen)

Australian Magpie


Rainbow Lorikeet45%
Noisy Miner37%
Crested Pigeon27%
PIed Currawong24%
Sulphur-crested Cockatoo23%
Red Wattlebird23%
Spotted Dove21%













However if we look state by state, we see that the top 3 birds in each area is highly varied. Find your state or territory below:


Individual Bird Sightings

Throughout 2020 we've noted that a couple of our bushfire 'icon' species have been recorded in the Birds in Backyards surveys - and that continued this spring. Gang-gang Cockatoos showed up in 19 surveys with a total of 44 individuals recorded. This is less than in our Winter surveys (31 surveys and 131 individuals) however this likely reflects their move back to tall forests in higher altitudes that they do at the end of winter. Five surveys were also lucky to record a total of 6 Superb Lyrebirds and one surveyor even sighted an Albert's Lyrebird - what a priveldge!

For those on the east coast, spring marks the return of two of our noiser visitors, the Eastern Koel and the Channel-billed Cuckoo. These cuckoo species migrate from northern Australia and New Guinea and seem to be extending their range further south into Victoria each year. Being cuckoos, they lay their eggs in other birds nest, leaving host parents to raise chicks much larger than themselves. This spring we saw 188 surveys with Eastern Koels (totallying 254 individuals) and 66 surveys with Channel-billed Cuckoos (110 individual birds). Keep an ear out - they are doing well because their hosts (including Australian Magpies, Australian Ravens, Torresian Crows, Magpie-larks, Red Wattlebirds) are also doing really well. We are sure many of you on the east coast will continue to see and hear them throughout summer.


Breeding Observations

Of course spring is when many of our birds are breeding - and we asked survey participants to take note of any breeding activity they observed and let us know. We noted that 41 sites had nest boxes including in their 'About my Garden' information - and that a variety of species are using them - including Kookaburras, Rosellas, Striated Pardalotes and even an Australian Ringneck. Occupancy wasn't just limited to birds though, with gliders, possums, microbats and European Honeybees also recorded.

Beyond just hollow-nesters though, there was a huge 102 species recorded undertaking some aspect of breeding in the spring survey. It was great to see that 72 species had records of young either just having fledged or caring for young birds out of the nest. There were Apostlebirds, Rainbow Bee-eaters, Zebra Finches, Osprey, Tawny Frogmouths, Australian Owlet-Nightjars and White-throated Treecreepers to name just a few. Hopefully a great many of them return for the upcoming Summer surveys. Take part and let us know what you see.


Prize Winners

Congratulations to T Hertog for winning our Spring survey prize. A little goody bag will be on it's way to you shortly.

The Spring survey also marks the end of our 2019/2020 annual prize competition. A massive congratulations to J Robinson for completing at least one survey each season from Summer 2019 through to Spring 2020. A pair of Nikon Monarch binoculars will be showing up in your letterbox soon.


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