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Birdwatching tips

With more than 120 bird species recorded, there's a veritable cornucopia of our feathered friends for keen birders to spot in Centennial Parklands. One of the most rewarding and unique aspects of birding in the Parklands is being able to follow the lifecycle of species such as swans, coots, swamphens and the Australian purple moorhen as they breed.

This list of bird watching tips from Birds Australia is sure to help you make your next birding expedition a success:

  • Take your time – don’t rush. By walking slowly you will see more birds, especially the quiet or skulking ones.

  • Make sure to listen for birds calling. These records are as valuable as those of birds seen. Take time to follow up unfamiliar calls (never ignore them!).

  • Listen for noises other than bird calls. For example, Crested Shrike-tits are often first detected by the sound of them tearing at bark with their stout beaks; and parrots quietly feeding in the treetops are often first detected by the sound of dropped seed-pods falling to the ground.

  • Be quiet. It lets you hear more birds and disturbs them less. However, talk in your normal voice. Never shout, and try not to whisper, as sibilant noises may disturb birds; many species use similar sounds to indicate alarm or aggression.

  • Avoid wearing bright clothing or clothing that rustles.

  • Be aware that when birdwatching beside a busy road bird calls will be more difficult to hear, as they tend to be drowned out by traffic noise.

  • Try to go birdwatching early in the morning. Birds are more active then, and tend to call more often.

  • Try to avoid birdwatching on windy days. Wind makes it more difficult to hear birds calling, and they are also less active in these conditions.

  • Try to avoid birdwatching on hot days. Birds are inactive during the heat of the day, and are difficult to find.

  • Try not to go birdwatching in large groups; large groups should be divided up into two or three smaller ones.

  • Birds are more easily detected in open habitats than in more heavily wooded ones. However, don’t be lulled into a false sense of security in open areas, as cryptic species can be easily missed. In all habitats, take your time and you will see more birds!

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