What makes a species a "garden bird"?

To: "'Laurie Knight'" <>, "'Birding Aus'" <>
Subject: What makes a species a "garden bird"?
From: "Philip Veerman" <>
Date: Tue, 8 May 2012 23:55:54 +1000
Hi Laurie, 

It depends how you define your survey. The short answer is obviously you
need to define your methods and keep to them, not decide which species are
and are not before the event, otherwise the survey is meaningless. Thus it
is I think irrelevant to ask if Tawny Frogmouths are garden birds, but that
about Boobooks and Powerful Owls may not be, even though they are much less
common and in marginal habitat. It depends on what fits the rules of the
survey.  As for migrants, of course they should be included. Certainly in
Canberra, broadly speaking about a third of species are more common in
summer, about a third of species are more common in winter and the rest not
so obviously consistently different. 
My book: as in The third edition of my report, entitled: "Canberra Birds: A
Report on the first 21 years of the Garden Bird Survey" goes into great
detail about this particular survey and the methods used for it. It is 130
pages. The report is based on the first 21 years of continuous data, from
53244 observer weeks of data, from 1316 observer years of data, from a total
of 294 sites. It also has a detailed discussion of the literature of urban
bird surveys around the world (three pages). It is a very useful reference
for anyone who has ever participated in or planned a long-term volunteer
based bird population survey.

Philip Veerman
24 Castley Circuit
Kambah  ACT  2902
02 - 62314041

-----Original Message-----
 On Behalf Of Laurie Knight
Sent: Tuesday, 8 May 2012 9:15 PM
To: Birding Aus
Subject: What makes a species a "garden bird"?

  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  

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.


To unsubscribe from this mailing list,
send the message:
(in the body of the message, with no Subject line)

<Prev in Thread] Current Thread [Next in Thread>

The University of NSW School of Computer and Engineering takes no responsibility for the contents of this archive. It is purely a compilation of material sent by many people to the birding-aus mailing list. It has not been checked for accuracy nor its content verified in any way. If you wish to get material removed from the archive or have other queries about the archive e-mail Andrew Taylor at this address: andrewt@cse.unsw.EDU.AU