Summer Survey Challenge

It’s Summer Survey Time! Every quarter we are going to give you your simple survey challenge and you should all be motivated after the Aussie Backyard Bird Count. So in between opening presents, overindulging in food and rushing from place to place, take some time out and tell us what birds are in your space. Do one super simple 20 min backyard bird survey (or more if you like).  Just one survey per quarter (that’s 4 per year) from our Backyard Birders gives us so much information. Chip in and help out. Head to Birdata now.


Our bird communities are not static. Throughout the year I am sure you notice some birds appearing and disappearing at different times. For those of you on the east coast, the Koels and Channel-billed Cuckoos showing up in September and staying till February or March are a classic example of this. It also goes without saying that there is also not one suite of 'backyard birds'. Each town and city has its own unique community. In order to understand what is happening across Australia, we need people around the country telling us what they see. More people sending in data from more areas gives a more accurate picture.


Some of you maybe haven't submitted a survey before, or maybe are new to Birds in Backyards after having a great time with the Aussie Backyard Bird Count. It really is simple to do! Check out our instructional video (below) and also remember:

  • Have a play on Birdata before you do a survey to get familiar with it.
  • If you use the Birdata app, pop back onto the website to link your garden details (it will prompt you to do this). This is just a temporary measure.
  • Count the birds that are only physically in your yard (not flying over). This is because we relate the birds you see to the characteristics of your garden.
  • Remember to listen as well as watch. You will often hear a bird (even if you don't know the call) before you see it.
  • Use the Bird Finder for any mystery birds you may have.
  • Visit our Watching Birds section for more birdwatching tips. 

What do I get out of it?

Not only does doing a Backyard Bird survey contribute to our understanding of urban birds in Australia, it has benefits for you too!

  • Birdwatching is fun! Its a hobby that you can do absolutely anywhere - and you never stop learning. There are always new birds to see.
  • It connects you with other people. Birdwatching is something you can do alone, or in a group. Its a great family activity and something you can teach and bond with your kids and grandkids over.
  • It connects you with your environment. More and more scientific research is linking how well we are connected to nature to our mental and even physical health.
  • It makes you more aware of your own space. By taking the time and taking a physical note of what you are seeing, you may notice any changes more and can think about what else you might like to do in your garden (or simply reinforce how great your garden is doing!).

2017 Highlights

This year to date we have had 855 surveys sent in and 225 species recorded. Due to a few incredibly dedicated Backyard Birders who have sent in many, many surveys (and thank you to them!), our top 10 birds is actually a little unusual! This is definitely not relective of the actual backyard bird communities and really highlights why we need many of you sending in even just one survey per quarter from all over the country.

 SpeciesReporting Rate (% of surveys seen)
1Brown Honeyeater41.64%
3Willie Wagtail36.84%
4Australian Magpie36.49%
5Rainbow Lorikeet34.15%
6Peaceful Dove33.22%
7Red Wattlebird27.49%
8Yellow Honeyeater27.13%
9White-throated Honeyeater25.26%
10Striated Pardalote24.80%


So once again, your challenge this summer is to do at least one Backyard Bird, 20 min survey! Get watching!

Birds in Backyards Survey Instructions

Media Folder: 
 and   @birdsinbackyards
                 Subscribe to me on YouTube