'Rob Geraghty' <>, 'Stewart Deans' <>
Fewer birds around
Geoffrey Dabb <>
Sun, 14 May 2023 00:21:54 +0000
Here is one useful contribution –
From: Canberrabirds <>
On Behalf Of Rob Geraghty via Canberrabirds
Sent: Saturday, May 13, 2023 8:22 PM
To: Stewart Deans <>
Cc: Canberrabirds <>
Subject: Re: [Canberrabirds] Fewer birds around
The bushfires drove a lot of birds out of their usual habitats. The forests have recovered to a degree over the last two years of la Nina rain, allowing birds to move back into areas which were burnt or simply too dry from the drought.
I would fully expect local changes in populations. My point was simply that looking at records for the whole ACT over a long period of years might give a clearer idea of whether bird numbers at the moment are unusually low, or fairly normal for the season.
Even then, other factors like the rainfall may have a big impact which isn't obvious from counts alone.
On Fri, 12 May 2023, 16:11 Stewart Deans, <> wrote:
Yes but I have been surveying for over two years so have seen this season before but haven’t seen it like this previously. There were fairy wrens, honeyeaters, wattlebirds around last winter.
The government have increased mowing in the area which may be impacting the habitat and there has been an increase in human population, lots of cyclists and dog walkers, also BMX bikers building paths and stuff - but still.
On Fri, 12 May 2023 at 3:58 pm, <> wrote:
Wouldn't you need to take the time of year into account? The long term data for bird sightings in Canberra should show whether there's an overall drop year on year.
From: Canberrabirds <> On Behalf Of j.stewart.deans--- via Canberrabirds
Sent: Thursday, 11 May, 2023 12:47 PM
Subject: Fewer birds around
I wonder if people noticed fewer birds around lately.
When doing GBS I would see 25 - 30 species on a walk around the area and now perhaps half as many.
I have been surveying the area for 2 years or more and it seemed like there have always been good numbers until perhaps 6 months ago.
I look at one of the Holder ponds which always had swamphens moorhens and coots. Often fairywren reedwarblers etc. One day the swamphens left and then the rest. Perhaps the pond went sour. I used to see ducks visiting there but not now.
I have seen a bit of a return now but ones and twos a like visitors.
I would see a dozen fairywren on a walk around now none. Today I saw a group of four, the first I’ve seen for a while.
Red Wattlebirds were always there, then gone, even the currawongs that nested there have been absent.
Grey fantails were very dependable, now I don’t see them.
Perhaps things will change when the Spring arrives.
When we moved in 10 years ago we had skylarks opposite us but haven’t seen them in that location for some years. Perhaps they don’t like the development nearby.
Sent from my iPhone
This is the email announcement and discussion list of the Canberra Ornithologists Group.
Emails posted to the list that exceed 2 MB (2,000 kB) in size, including attachments, will be rejected.
All emails distributed via the list are archived at
http://bioacoustics.cse.unsw.edu.au/archives/html/canberrabirds. It is a condition of list membership that you agree to your contributions being archived.
Canberrabirds mailing list
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 Canberra Ornithologists Group 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 list contact David McDonald, list manager, phone (02) 6231 8904 or email
If you can not contact David McDonald e-mail
Andrew Taylor at this address: