2017 Media Releases

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Eagle-eyed residents encouraged to look to the skies and record bird sightings

13 October 2017

Mitchell Shire is home to some wonderful native bird species and Council is calling on residents to become citizen scientists for a week by recording and sharing what birds they see.

BirdLife Australia’s Aussie Backyard Bird Count is on from 23-29 October, with the aim of counting 1.5 million birds in seven days across the nation.

Council is encouraging people to spend 20 minutes outside, whether it is in a backyard, farm, at school or a local park or reserve, and record what birds they see and submit the data to the Aussie Backyard Bird Count app or website.

People of all ages can participate, with the Mitchell Shire Youth Council jumping on board to encourage younger residents to take part.

Council’s libraries are also supporting the event by running bird-themed storytime and craft activities.

Sessions will be held at:

• Broadford Library, Wednesday 25 October, 11am
• Kilmore Library Wednesday 25 October, 9.30am
• Wallan Library, Friday 27 October,10.30am
• Seymour Library, Friday 27 October, 10.30am

Pick up a free copy of the Birds of the Lower King Parrot Valley from any of Council’s libraries to help you with your bird identification.

Mitchell Shire Mayor Rhonda Sanderson said there were hundreds of bird species that could be found in Mitchell and the count had wide ranging benefits.

“Mitchell Shire has so many fantastic native birds including the spotted pardalote, scarlet robin and brown falcon,” Cr Sanderson said.

“We’re also very fortunate to have some lovely parks and bush reserves such as Seymour Bushland Park, Monument Hill Reserve in Kilmore, Colin Officer Flora Reserve in Broadford and Taylors Creek Reserve in Wallan where people can go to spot birds.

“But you don’t even have to venture far from home to take part – many of these birds can be spotted around your own backyards.

“The count is a fantastic way for us to find out more about what birds are in Mitchell Shire and how the bird populations are changing over time.

“The information also informs Council’s environmental management programs in terms of habitat protection and enhancement, and it’s also a great chance to get outdoors, get active and experience the natural environment we are so lucky to have in Mitchell."

BirdLife Australia CEO Paul Sullivan said it was the third year the count had been held.

“It’s wonderful to have the support of Mitchell Shire Council for this year’s Aussie Backyard Bird Count,” Mr Sullivan said.

“After three years of counting, we are now starting to learn more about local bird populations across Australia.”

Last year, more than 1.4 million birds were spotted across the country, including 1423 in Mitchell Shire.

The count coincides with National Bird Week.

For more details or to take part, click HERE.