I had some sound recorders (Song Meters) out in burnt areas of Ribbon Gum forest in Namadgi last Autumn, and am hoping to put some out again over the next few weeks.
I haven’t done detailed analyses, but there was certainly a decline in calling by both species (and by Bassian Thrush) post-fire.
My impression is that both species are still present in burnt areas, especially where the burn was patchy and low-intensity, but in reduced numbers. I get the feeling that Lyrebirds survived the fire reasonably well, but may have subsequently
struggled to find enough food.
Looking at eBird, most post-fire records of Pilotbirds in or near the burn area are from close to the boundary of the fire (Stockyard Spur and the Cotter River near Corin Dam: these places were either lightly burnt or not at all), as well
as one location (which was pretty badly burnt) on Corin Road. There is also one record (mine) last spring of a Pilotbird calling on the slope between Smokers Trail and the Orroral River, well within the burnt area – so they are still present, at least to some
extent, in the burnt country.
From: Canberrabirds <>
On Behalf Of Geoffrey Dabb
Sent: Friday, 21 May 2021 10:01 AM
To: Canberrabirds <>
Subject: [Canberrabirds] FW: information request - lyrebirds and pilotbirds
CAUTION: This email originated from outside of the ACT Government. Do not click links or
open attachments unless you recognise the sender and know the content is safe.
Please see my message below from last December. Looking at eBird, I see a number of recent records of Pilotbirds in the Brindabella. My question now is whether any of those records relate to burnt areas. Has anyone been looking for birds
in such areas, in particular Pilotbirds and Lyrebirds?
I think it would be relevant to Stephen’s work, if anyone is looking in burnt areas, that those 2 species are absent in places where they were previously found.
Please see below. I suppose this will be for the coming Action Plan. I think the answer will be that people are still not allowed in burnt areas. Does anyone know of any official counts that might be taking place for these species?
I don’t see any pilotbird records for this year in Tallaganda or Monga forest areas.
From: Stephen Garnett <>
Sent: Friday, 4 December 2020 3:48 PM
To: Geoffrey Dabb <>
Do you know anyone who has been birding in the burnt areas near Canberra who might have an idea of whether pilotbirds are coming back into regenerating vegetation, and lyrebirds?
(nice to ask about real birds and not just their names!)