Superb Fairy-wrens

We’re calling on all bird lovers to help with conservation this spring. Grab your phone and have a sticky beak in your local park, backyard or anywhere else you think you might have a feathered encounter. All you have to do is record what you see. This information will help not-for-profit bird conservation organisation BirdLife Australia, better understand where birds live in our city and what habitat they like.

Apart from helping with insect control and seed dispersal – as well as stealing hot chips and pooping on clean washing – our local city birds have some pretty fascinating talents. Warning for ornithophobics!

The non-traditional family forming wren 

Although Superb Fairy-wrens (pictured at the top of the article) form pairs for life, both sexes are known to have liaisons with other individuals and often assist in raising the young from these unions.

The long-haul travellers

Sharp-tailed sandpipers fly all the way from Siberia to gorge on the banks of inland floodplains in Australia. Latham’s snipe flies directly from Japan to take a holiday from its breeding period in our summer months. The small bird with a grandiose name – the Spectacled monarch – comes from Queensland.

Spectacled Monarch
Spectacled Monarch
Latham's Stripe
Latham’s Stripe

The face-readers

Yes, that magpie you’ve been suspecting for having it in for you is actually targeting you. It’s spring and this is their breeding season. Magpies have great facial recognition and that’s why they mob some of us and not others. If you have threatened them or scared them, they won’t forgive easily. Cockatoos also have excellent facial recognition.

Australian Magpies bathing
Australian Magpies bathing

If you’re feeling anxious, perhaps it will put you at ease to know that this guy is watching. This majestic falcon, along with another, was spotted 67 floors up in the MLC Centre. Being a pair and this high up, they’re probably looking for a nesting place.

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One half of a pair of falcons spotted overlooking the city

Head to from 17 to 23 October and tell the Aussie Backyard Bird Count what you see. You can do this via the site or by downloading the app for free from the App Store and Google Play. If you don’t know how to tell your aAlisterus scapularis from your Threskiornithinae, the app will help.

You can do as many surveys as you like during this week. This is the season when birds are more lively and visible. They begin nesting, breeding and flocking and generally appear more playful. Bird lovers also won’t want to miss our Urban nature and birdlife photography workshop.

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