The Australian Bird Feeding & Watering Study
 
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The Australian Bird Feeding & Watering Study is a joint initiative by:
Green Catbird, courtesy of Brad

Yellow Robin, courtesy of Yoladne

Twenty-eight parrot and Magpie, courtesy of Anne

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We are crowd funding!

We are currently investigating crowd funding as a means to keeping this study running. If you are not already on our mailing list, sign up here so we can let you know how you can support Dr Gráinne Cleary and her team to develop and produce Bird Feeding and Watering Guidelines for Australian back garden birds.

Download the Summer 2017 report

The Summer 2017 Report, "In the mind of a bird feeder" is available now! Download your copy here

The Australian Bird Feeding & Watering Study: Let's write a book!

Email your stories to g.cleary@deakin.edu.au

I am excited to share with you an opportunity for you to contribute to a book I am writing! The book is focused on birds who visit us in our backyards and gardens and will be published by Allen and Unwin Publication. My working title is “The magic of your garden birds”.

The book I plan to write will be very much about you and your interactions with garden birds. Why you love them so much? What do they do to make you laugh? Have you witnessed any interesting behavior? What is your favorite bird and why? I want to capture and share the passion and love you have displayed for birds while working with me on the Australian Bird Feeding and Watering Study though this book. As always please remember that participation is voluntary and you are under no obligation to be involved.

I plan to structure your stories around what we know in the science community about the birds. To give you a better idea of what I am looking for see these two sample stories on the satin bowerbird:

One of these magnificent birds has built its bower in a garden bed next to our house. Recently I watched a young male bowerbird destroy the bower! Damage done he flew off. When the resident male returned he look shocked to see the damage but pulled himself together and began repairing the trashed bower reusing the pieces the interloper had torn down and thrown aside. It took quite a few hours of constant work, but he eventually had it back together and ready for his next display.”- John Smith, NSW.

Cunning devils, they pinch all your blue pegs and add other items such as drinking straws and bottle tops to decorate the bower. So it was on Sunday that I happened upon one of my blue pegs in the front yard near some shrubs. “ah ha” I thought as I investigated further and there it was! A bower in my garden, how wonderful! The area is so busy now as the suitor zips in and out for his displays and the girls drop by to see the show.” - Hannah Smith, Vic.

I will write about the bird’s behavior to compliment your stories. For example did you know that stain bower birds are quite the artist – literally – as they will paint their bowers! Shredding and feathering the end of a strip of bark they will crush charcoal and mix it with saliva, using the bark to daub the interior walls of their bower with the resulting “paint”. They have also been known to do the same with various fruits, crushing them and painting the walls of the bower with the juice which goes black from smut! Throughout the mating season, male satin bowerbirds chew dried hoop pine needles and apply the resulting brown paste on the inside of their bower walls, focusing on the area midway up the wall at beak level. During visits to bowers, females will nip at the bower wall and swallow, appearing to taste the paint. This occurs in nearly 40% of all courtship visits suggesting that the paint may be a chemical signal used by females to see how fit the male is!

The copyright and ownership of the photos, stories and anecdote you send in will belong to you. We have a Plain Language Statement and Consent Form that will give you more information on what is required. Please read this and contact me if you have any questions. If you do wish to participate by sending in stories and photos please ensure that you tick the consent boxes. You can fill it out on line or download it here.

If your story and photo is published in the book, I will use your first name, surname and the state you live in. So if you do have amusing stories or anecdotes and photos about birds you wish to share and possibly have published in the book, please email them to me at g.cleary@deakin.edu.au. 

Our Reports and Publications

We are delighted to share with you our report from the 2016 winter stage of the Australian Bird Feeding and Watering Study. You can download your copy of the report here.

A paper from the 2014/2015 Bathing Birds Study is now published! This paper looks at hygiene around birdbaths in rural and urban areas of Australia. 

Read the second paper, published by the Journal Of Urban Ecology, Keeping it clean: bird bath hygiene in urban and rural areas.

Read the first Bathing Birds paper at PLOS|ONE 

Avian Assemblages at Bird Baths: A Comparison of Urban and Rural Bird Baths in Australia

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Double-barred Finch, courtesy of Alwyn

Rainbow Lorikeet and Kookaburra, courtesy of Brad

Crested Pigeon and Red Wattlebird, courtesy of Brad

Paleheaded Rosella, courtesy of Linda

Silvereyes, courtesy of Wanda

Magpie Lark, courtesy of Wanda

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What state are you in? (optional)
region_codetotalpercentage
ACT 195 4.03%
NSW 1682 34.74%
NT 31 0.64%
QLD 939 19.39%
SA 291 6.01%
TAS 129 2.66%
VIC 1109 22.9%
WA 466 9.62%
Birdbath 4201%
Feeder 1230%
Feeder & Birdbath 4569%