It’s that time of year again; next week is Bird Week and The Backyard Aussie Bird Count 17th -23rd October 2016. You can register for the bird count and become part of this great citizen science project here http://aussiebirdcount.org.au/
So let’s celebrate and get involved, especially as we are lucky enough to live in one of the most fantastic regions in Australia for bird species, bird watching and intact bird habitat. At Land for Wildlife we also and have a whole list of fantastic members in our program who manage their land to support wildlife, including our wonderful birdlife.
Land for Wildlife has organised 2 special events next week for members and friends of the program in the Darwin ‘rural’ area:
On Thursday 20th October from 5- 7pm join author of “Birds of Australia’s Top End region” and “Birds of Palmerston” on her property in Darwin River for some laid back evening bird watching. She will give an overview of bird life in the region, bird behaviours and how best to attract birds and manage bird habitat. This will be followed by light refreshments and info on how to take part in the bird count. RSVP (firstname.lastname@example.org) for directions.
On Saturday 22nd October from 8- 10am join Parks staff and friends of Fogg Dam at Fogg Dam Conservation Reserve for some morning bird watching, an introduction to bird species and habitats in the rural area. This event is for Land for Wildlife members, friends of and interested others and is run in collaboration with Parks and Wildlife (please RSVP to confirm- see the poster below).
Other great events happening in the Darwin region include–
A bird watching cycling tour at East Point in Darwin on Sunday 16th October at 8am
A whole host of Events including Bird art at CDU-
and lots more, so take this great opportunity to learn more about our bird life.
It’s bird week, Land for Wildlife ran some great bird focused events at the weekend and we thought we would share with you some Top End bird profiles during the week and some bird spotting tips.
Firstly here is a bird that we featured in our newsletter- the interesting and quirky Bowerbird. (photographs by Land for Wildlife member Jacinda Brown)
The Bower bird is a curious bird, grey with a brownish grey back, up to 40cm tall. This bird is usually solitary and has a lilac attractive nape crest, which is larger on males. The most distinctive feature of this bird is probably their bower, an open over arched mate magnet of twigs on the ground. These are usually found under low hanging shrubs such as Turkey Bush (Calytrix exstipulata) This is built by the males to attract females and is surrounded by found blue, green or sliver shiny luring objects like white shells, plastic bottle tops, green fruit and broken glass. It is here where the male will display by dancing and opening his tail and hopefully along with the shaking of his funky lilac head piece and shiny entrance ornaments tempt the female to mate with him.
The female leaves the nest (more like a love den) after mating and then goes off to build her own nest and raise her young alone. The call of these birds has been described as someone vomiting violently or shredding paper and the birds can mimic sounds and human laughter.
Bower birds are found across northern Australia in open woodland and the edges of mangroves or monsoon forest. Another interesting fact is they are noted to to eat Strychnos fruit (Stychnos lucida) which contains strychnine and are poisonous to other creatures.
Information is taken from the very useful book “A natural History and Field Guide to Australia’s To End” by Penny van Oosterzee, Ian Morris, Diane Lucas and Noel Preece and “Birds of Palmerston” by Denise Lawungkurr Goodfellow