What makes a species a "garden bird"?

To: Birding Aus <>
Subject: What makes a species a "garden bird"?
From: Laurie Knight <>
Date: Tue, 8 May 2012 21:15:01 +1000
Today's weather was lovely and fine - 100% azure sky, slight breeze, temp in the mid 20s - just what you expect in Brisbane in May. You have to go out at lunch time when conditions are like this.

As I was perambulating around the Roma St Parklands taking in the floral displays set up for Mother's Day, I observed a Buff-banded Rail fossicking through the garden beds. This led me to reflect on how much time / proportion of lifecycle must a species spend in gardens to qualify as a "garden bird"? (This begs the question as to what is a "garden bird"?)

Clearly, species that breed in and spend extensive proportions of their lives in urban parks and gardens qualify as garden birds. By this measure, Bush Thickknees and Turkeys are garden birds. So are Pacific Black and Maned Ducks, Eurasian Coots, Dusky Moorhens and Aus Grebes.

Tawny Frogmouths would be garden birds, but what about Boobooks and Powerful Owls? Do species that periodically visit gardens (like Cassowaries) qualify? What about migrants (such as Koels) that frequent gardens when they are in town?

Regards, Laurie.

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