Winter survey wrap up

While we may think that winter is a quite time, we all snuggle inside and everything goes quiet - thats actually not the case for birds at all. Winter is when we see a lot of our amazing native plants in flower, generating a flurry of visits to our gardens as many birds feast and prepare for their breeding season ahead.

You will see from the map below that our surveys are mostly coming from the more urbanised and coastal areas of the country. NSW is at the head of the leaderboard in terms of the number of surveys completed but it is wonderful to see data coming in from all states and territories. What was particularly great to see is that Birds in Backyards surveys are not only being completed by individuals but we are seeing families, schools and even volunteers from the Broome Bird Observatory taking part! At a time when we are so socially isolated, it is encouraging to see birding is an activity bringing people together. 

Winter surveys_green.jpg

State/TerritoryNumber of Surveys
ACT78
NSW773
NT66
QLD532
SA128
TAS119
VIC341
WA281
(blank)1
Grand Total2319

But on to the birds! There was a whopping 315 bird species and 92357 individual birds seen over the 2319 June and July surveys. That is just under 40% of bird species in Australia being recorded in our gardens over just a couple of months. The top ten list is really similar to what has been seen in previous seasons - those common birds are universely common year round. We've pulled out a top 50 list for you this time - you can see some really exciting birds popping up - find your favourite in the table of the bottom of this page. To get more detail about your local region, you can use the 'Explore' function in Birdata to search by Local Government Area and discover the birds that are being seen in your neck of the woods.

Following on from our article in the Conversation, sightings of Gang-gang Cockatoos continue to delight us. This Winter we recorded a total of 131 Gang-gangs across 31 surveys and so far they have been seen in a total of 162 surveys in 2020. This is up from an average of just 15 surveys per year from 2004-2019. Whether the fires have forced them to change their foraging grounds or we just have more surveyors in their range who are noticing them - we have more investigating to do.

There have also been a raft of really interesting observations that people noted in their surveys this winter including:

  • evidence of breeding activity such as nest material gathering in Australian Ravens
  • allopreening (one bird preening another) in birds like Rainbow Lorikeets 
  • loads of bird bath activity (despite the chilly weather) including by White-naped Honeyeaters, Little Wattlebirds and Scaly-breasted Lorikeets
  • a Blue-faced Honeyeater observed feeding an Eastern Koel chick in Kenmore Hills, north of Brisbane. Very early in the season!
  • A Swamp Harrier attempting (unsuccessfully) to catch a Rock Dove (feral pigeon) in Forbes

With so much evidence already of breeding activity, spring is going to be really interesting! Don't forget to keep sending your surveys in. And if you have submitted a winter survey, watch your inboxes - we will have a special, more detailed analysis survey results coming to you very soon. 

 

Common Name

Number of surveys observed

Total number of individuals counted

1

Australian Magpie

1196

4505

2

Rainbow Lorikeet

1017

8671

3

Noisy Miner

892

5752

4

Magpie-lark

699

1572

5

Pied Currawong

664

2757

6

Crested Pigeon

585

2565

7

Sulphur-crested Cockatoo

535

5104

8

Galah

502

4646

9

Red Wattlebird

491

1186

10

Spotted Dove*

488

2505

11

Grey Butcherbird

478

663

12

Laughing Kookaburra

433

893

13

Australian Raven

372

1404

14

Common Myna*

329

1290

15

Willie Wagtail

314

904

16

Brown Honeyeater

313

922

17

New Holland Honeyeater

303

1696

18

Blue-faced Honeyeater

303

986

19

Eastern Rosella

292

1379

20

Crimson Rosella

292

937

21

Welcome Swallow

273

1680

22

Lewin's Honeyeater

231

422

23

Satin Bowerbird

225

542

24

Little Corella

219

3313

25

Superb Fairy-wren

218

1228

26

Grey Fantail

217

355

27

Silvereye

209

979

28

Australasian Figbird

205

1082

29

Crow & Raven spp

199

540

30

Bar-shouldered Dove

198

1781

31

House Sparrow*

185

1805

32

Common Blackbird*

182

401

33

Eastern Spinebill

182

249

34

Australian King-Parrot

177

494

35

Torresian Crow

173

560

36

Pied Butcherbird

167

289

37

Musk Lorikeet

152

2654

38

Black-faced Cuckoo-shrike

148

293

39

Little Wattlebird

142

547

40

Grey Shrike-thrush

141

247

41

Brown Thornbill

140

346

42

Australian White Ibis

126

797

43

Singing Honeyeater

122

273

44

Laughing Dove

119

254

45

Yellow-tailed Black-Cockatoo

116

746

46

Common Starling*

114

642

47

Peaceful Dove

108

269

48

Australian Wood Duck

104

437

49

Australian Ringneck

104

338

50

Red-rumped Parrot

101

573

 

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