Assets with Eyes

Listen to the birds sing!

30 Aug 2020

A spring morning is the best time to survey birds and collect data on the state of Sydney Olympic Park’s birds, providing crucial knowledge towards their conservation. This year, Sydney Olympic Park and the Cumberland Bird Observers Club will be conducting the annual Spring Bird Census every Tuesday from 15 September – 3 November 2020. Would you like to join in?

The information gathered by some 40 volunteers of the Cumberland Bird Observers Club – who will survey more than 46 sites throughout Sydney Olympic Park – will build on information and surveys that date back as far as 1998. The Park’s annual bird count began in 2004 and is now in its seventeenth year. It is the fundamental source of data for measuring the health of habitat for the thousands of birds which reside within the 425 hectares of picturesque parklands at Sydney Olympic Park.

The Park is an amazing mix of different types of habitats – from freshwater lakes or estuarine wetlands to woodlands and mown lawns. This is why so many quadrats are surveyed at the one time, providing a snapshot of the bird population across the Park. Timing the surveys in spring also means we capture migratory movements up and down the east coast of Australia, as well as the breeding activity of our local resident population. The total number of species now recorded at the Park since the census started is over 210 – almost one quarter of Australia’s birds!

The long-term monitoring of birds at the Park allows for thorough, ongoing assessment of trends in bird abundance and diversity, as well as the performance of management actions. Last year volunteers contributed 3,824 records composed of 102 native species (20,871 birds) and 7 introduced species (322 birds). Over time, this data is showing that our Park is part of an incredible network of habitats that stretch across states and countries with birds moving fluidly across huge distances. Migratory, nomadic and vagrant species are often recorded in response to state-wide climatic events with the catastrophic bushfire season of 2019-20 pushing many birds to the coastal zone.

So if you are keen to become part of the extraordinary team that collects this valuable data, new volunteers are always welcome and a training day will be held on the 8 September. If you are interested in learning more about the birds of the Park and contributing to this fantastic program visit the Sydney Olympic Park website on volunteering.

Bird surveys are done by small teams of volunteers
White-winged Triller – one of the interesting species recorded in the 2019 Census © Fujiko Watt
Lake Belvedere – one of the richest sites for both bird species and abundance

Bird surveys are done by small teams of volunteers

 White-winged Triller – one of the interesting species recorded in the 2019 Census © Fujiko Watt

Lake Belvedere – one of the richest sites for both bird species and abundance