How to survey

Welcome to the Birds in Backyards Surveys! These surveys form an important part of our research into the birds that live where people live and allow anyone with a backyard - large or small, urban or rural - to take part. The aims of our surveys are two-fold; 

  1. To monitor changes in the distribution and abundance of either whole groups or individual birds that live where people live. In many cases we can relate these changes to the types of gardens that people own.
  2. To encourage people to take notice of what is going on around them and to connect to their local wildlife.

Our Birds in Backyards surveys are run quarterly (each season). All you do is submit at least one 20 min count alongside some information about your garden. Surveying the same garden each season helps us collect important information - and thats just 80 mins per year!


Become a Backyard Birder (it's free)

You don't need to be an expert bird-watcher to help out! In fact we have features in the survey to assist you. The survey gives you a list of 30 common birds in your area with photos.

To take part in the survey, you will need to record your observations via BirdLife Australia's data portal Birdata. You need to set up a BirdLife Australia Account to access the data. Membership is free, providing you with your own password that allows us to keep track of repeat records from the same location. Just remember to choose "Birds in Backyards" under the Record Survey tab. You can also choose to select to receive Birds in Backyards eNews from us. In this we will be giving you results from the surveys.


How do I do a survey?

We have some instructional material for you. Check out the instructional video on BIBYTV here or download the PDF instructions for the


What happens to the survey data?

Birds in Backyards uses the survey data in a variety of ways. We send results to Birds in Backyards members in our e-News, it is used in seminars and workshops conducted by Birds in Backyards staff around the country and update the website regularly with survey findings. We also use survey results for specific projects such as our Powerful Owl project or at the request of different universities, schools or local councils.


Got questions? Check out our FAQ or go to Contact Us

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