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Archer Leddy will tell you his first memory of birding was when he was barely a 1-year-old.

"When I was a baby, [I was] looking through my binoculars out by the front gate, looking for birds," Archer says.

With the days getting shorter and oh, so much colder, it’s a great time to get prepared for spring.

Winter in the southern states of Australia can be bitterly cold, grey and puts most of us into a semi hibernation. However, we also experience beautiful, clear, crisp and sunny days, which are perfect to get our bodies moving and venture outside.

A big thank you to the 398 of you who completed just under 1400 Birds in Backyards surveys this Autumn. We had 58278 birds recorded (297 species) across all the major urban centres of Australia (see the map below).

The events of 2020 saw Birds in Schools, like many programs, move online. Birds in Backyards launched our e-learning platform, with lessons and materials beautifully redesigned and adapted for the online platform in the last term of the year.

The New South Wales Government has requested an emergency permit to roll out huge quantities of bromadiolone in agricultural areas to combat the current mouse plague. Such a roll out will have disasterous consquences for our native birds and other wildlife.

Just as humans learn languages, animals learn behaviours crucial for survival and reproduction from older, experienced individuals of the same species. In this way, important “cultures” such as bird songs are passed from one generation to the next.

The Powerful Owl is Australia’s biggest owl, and one of our biggest nocturnal predators. Powerful Owls may be able to kill a possum in a single squeeze, but they can’t compete with the rapid clearing of their habitat. Our urban spaces may be the saving grace for Powerful Owls. They can survive within cities and, in some cases, even breed in suburban backyards.

Summer has that unusual mix of being both incredibly busy as we celebrate Christmas and the holidays (as much as we could this last year due to COVID) - and also quiet as we seek time to relax and recharge for another year ahead. As we often see, our Birds in Backyards surveys are a little quieter during this period (with 1498 surveys recorded this past Dec/Jan).

If you are in Sydney and have, or know of, a large dead tree - we need your help.  

Last month the federal government released it's much anticipated report into the problem of feral and domestic cats in Australia. The Birds in Backyards Program put forward a submission and was asked to give evidence at the inquiry.

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