EP bird watching courses help local birds

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EP bird watching courses help local birds

A ten-week bird watching course delivered in locations across the Eyre Peninsula has helped train local volunteers on how to collect valuable data on local bird populations.

Natural Resources Officer Geraldine Turner said groups in Whyalla, the West Coast and Port Lincoln undertook the course delivered by Landscape Biologist Dr Greg Kerr from Natural Resources Eyre Peninsula (NREP).

She said the volunteers spent time in the classroom and out in the field and were taught how to discover birds through listening and recognizing bird calls, because often it can be difficult to see the bird itself.

“There are also some great bird apps available that have allowed participants to listen to bird calls again and again, which have been very handy in our classroom sessions.”

Ms Turner said the volunteers would now be able to report information on the presence of local birds.

“In this region there is very little information about our birds and the people who have participated in the Bird Watching Course on EP will help fill that gap. This information in turn will assist with management of the region’s environment,” she said.

Ms Turner said people participating in the course were fortunate to see a variety of birds when we have been out in the field.

“This included the threatened Diamond Firetail Finch with its beautiful colours, to the tiny Weebill's that are only 8-9 cm long to the larger Sacred Kingfishers and the Great Egret that grows to 1m in size.

“We also learnt many bird calls and can easily recognize the distinctive tweet-tweet of the Striated Pardalote, and the beautiful song of the Western Gerygone.

“In the last 2 weeks of the course, we were able to practice our bird surveying skills and learning how to enter bird sightings onto the Natural Resources web portal 'EP Birds'.”

The web portal will be used for recording opportunistic bird sightings, as well as enter survey results. By participating in bird surveys with other experienced bird watchers over the next few years, NREP will increase its capacity to undertake local bird surveys and assist with the collection of bird data on Eyre Peninsula.

For more information, contact Dr. Kerr on 8688 3075 or check out our Citizen Science page for more opportunities.

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