Spend time in your local park (or backyard) this National Bird Week

Tuesday 20 October, 2020

Victoria is home to around 450 species of birds. They range from common native birds like magpies and kookaburras to rare and endangered species such as the Mallee Emu-wren and Regent Honeyeater. 

While Victorians have mostly been staying at home during 2020, there are still lots of opportunities to connect with nature and wildlife. This year, more than ever, National Bird Week provides the setting for everyone to take the time to notice what’s literally on their doorstep.

Magpie, photo credit: Deb Pople

“We’re encouraging anyone with the slightest interest in birds or birdwatching to don the citizen scientist hat and go outside and observe the birds they see in their local area” said Dr Mark Antos, Parks Victoria, Science Manager. 

“Last summer’s devastating bushfires have left many birds displaced. While habitats in Gippsland are still recovering, people in Melbourne could see some unusual birds in their backyard.”

Keep an eye out for Yellow-tailed Black and Gang-Gang cockatoos as well as a range of honeyeaters in urban backyards and parks in Melbourne’s East. Even rare species such as the Glossy Black Cockatoo have turned up in Melbourne in recent times.

Gang-gang Cockatoo. Photo credit: Heath Warwick/Museum Victoria

“Birdwatching and recording the results helps improve our knowledge and understanding of birds and their whereabouts in Australia”, Mark said.
For anyone that’s wanted to start birdwatching now is a great time and it’s a relaxing way to enjoy the outdoors. The Aussie Backyard Bird Count, runs 19-25 October: 

Superb Fairy-wren

“There are the added benefits of spending time observing nature which is proven to provide benefits to mental health and well-being,” Mark said.

Birds are one of the few wild creatures at our back doors in the city and regional towns and villages. Avoid feeding them, as this may threaten their digestion and alertness to predators. Take a moment to appreciate their melodies, marvel at their colours and be rewarded for patient, quiet observation.

You can find a great park to see some amazing and colourful birds, on our birdwatching page.


Red-browed finch                                                                      

Make sure you follow the restrictions applicable to where you are from, either Metropolitan Melbourne or Regional Victoria. Everyone over the age of 12 must wear a face mask when they leave their home, observe physical distancing of 1.5 metres, and bring your own sanitiser when visiting parks.
Visit the Coronavirus website for more information: www.coronavirus.vic.gov.au 

Rainbow Lorikeet. Photo credit: Deb Pople


National Bird Week runs:  19-25 October.

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