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Scitech / Earth Matters: Rethink the Future / Earth Matters At Home

Backyard Bird Count

Go on an adventure to learn about the birds in your area and build a habitat that will attract more native species.

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Australia is home to about 830 wonderful and unique species of birds – but over 200 are considered threatened

Do you know how many different species of birds live around you? Let’s do a bird count to find out! By observing and recording data, we can start to build a picture of the different bird species that live locally, and their habitat.

A habitat is the environment in which an animal lives. It provides all the necessary food, water and shelter. Every animal has an important role to help keep their habitat healthy.

Activity 1: Let’s investigate

The first step is to do some observation and gather your data.

What you’ll need

  • about one hour
  • hats and sunscreen, or umbrellas
  • pen and paper
  • a sense of adventure!
  • camera or binoculars (optional)

What you’ll do

Step 1

It’s time to go out on a field trip! Head out to your garden, a local park, the beach or any other open area to do your bird count.

Birds are a good indicator of health for an ecosystem. This is because different types of birds feed on different things in the food chain, so if there’s food available, they will be easily seen flying around.

Things to think about while you’re planning your field trip

  • What do birds need to survive? Why?
  • Where do they eat, drink, sleep, nest and stay safe?
  • Where do you think you’ll find the most birds? Why?

Once you’re out ‘in the field’, remember to move slowly and quietly so you don’t scare the birds away. You might also like to take photos to help you identify the birds.

Step 2

Decide on the best way to record the results of your bird count. You could use a chart, a table or even a map. Can you think of another way? How will you show the different birds?

Step 3

When you’ve finished the bird count, see if you can answer these questions:

  • How many birds did you see altogether?
  • How many different types were there?
  • How would you describe their habitat?

Step 4

You can use your data to do any of the following activities!

Want to take this activity further?

If you enjoyed this activity, you could set up a field journal to track ongoing observations of the birds in your area.

Do you have more birds visiting the area? Is anything else changing as a result?

 

Try another Scitech challenge at home!

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