Birds

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Introduction

The Environmental Living Zone has a variety of habitats and a correspondingly wide variety of birds, some resident, some annual migrants and others varying from occasional visitors to rare vagrants. These include the threatened Powerful Owl and other species that are rarely found so close to Melbourne such as Spotted Quail-thrush, White-throated Nightjar, Spotless Crake, Olive Whistler, Red-browed Treecreeper and Fuscous and Yellow-tufted Honeyeaters.

By observing and recording of the birds in the ELZ over the last 20 or more years, BICA has built a reliable database which gives a clear indication of the status of each of the birds recorded.

There are a number of keen birders in the ELZ who regularly attend the monthly bird survey/walk. This activity is open to all, caters for all levels of experience and is a great way to improve one’s birding skills. A summary of the results of this survey can be found here.

The return of the Superb Lyrebird to the ELZ, after a 40 year absence, is indeed exciting. There have been a large number of sightings since 2000. Please pass on any observation records to Frank Pierce at Ph 97120237 or email: jmandfp@bigpond.com

Identification Assistance

To help get you started or to hone your skills on a few of our common bird groups, here are some articles from previous BICA Newsletters.

  • general introduction to birding in the Bend of Islands. The table in this article shows a list from the most commonly observed to the less common species.
  • Spring arrivals list. This will help you keep track of some of our migratory species i.e., those that only visit during the warmer months.
  • Thornbills are small brownish bush birds and for the beginner, it is often hard to determine which species of thornbill you are looking at. This article gives a simple key to identification of the thornbill species that have been recorded in the Bend of Islands.
  • This article helps sort out the five species of red breasted robins that occur in the Bend of Islands.
  • A guide to cuckoos in the Bend of Islands.
  • Brown Goshawk and Collared Sparrowhawk are similar birds that can be hard to determine. This article gives a number of ways in which these two brown hawks can be distinguished from each other.
  • A relatively recent arrival in the Bend of Islands is the Superb Lyrebird. Here is an account of the observations that have been made so far.
  • Here is a field checklist that can be printed and used in your record taking.
  • The monthly checklist for recording birds on a monthly basis so annual patterns can be recorded.

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