Listening to birds

Introduction

Gymnorhina tibicen, Australian Magpie

This is an activity that can take all day but should be limited to about 20 minutes for young children and teenagers. It is suitable for groups of people older than about 6 years of age (maximum 30).

Materials

Optional (depending on expertise): Fullagar, P. and Slater, E. 2004. CD: Field Guide to the Birds of the ACT: The Calls and Songs Compiled and Edited, and battery-operated portable CD player that can select tracks on request.

Optional: pictures of commonly seen birds tagged in a Field Guide or pasted onto cardboard cards.

Preparation

The leader of this activity should familiarise themselves with the calls of birds commonly seen in the Aranda Bushland, and how to locate them readily on the Fullagar and Slater CD.

Birdsongs of some commonly seen birds in Aranda Bushland

Cacatua roseicapilla, Galah

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Galah
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Galah

Cacatua roseicapilla



Cacatua galerita, Sulphur-crested Cockatoo

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Sulphur-crested Cockatoo
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Sulphur-crested Cockatoo

Cacatua galerita



Platycercus elegans, Crimson Rosella

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Crimson Rosella
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Crimson Rosella

Platycercus elegans



Platycercus eximius, Eastern Rosella

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Eastern Rosella
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Eastern Rosella

Platycercus eximius



Malurus cyaneus, Superb Fairy-wren

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Superb Fairy-wren
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Superb Fairy-wren

Malurus cyaneus



Cormobates leucophaea, White-throated Treecreeper

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White-throated Treecreeper
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White-throated Treecreeper

Cormobates leucophaea



Anthochaera carunculata, Red Wattlebird

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Red Wattlebird
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Red Wattlebird

Anthochaera carunculata



Acridotheres tristis, Indian Myna

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Indian Myna
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Indian Myna

Acridotheres tristis



Gymnorhina tibicen, Australian Magpie

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Australian Magpie
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Australian Magpie

Gymnorhina tibicen



Strepera graculina, Pied Currawong

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Pied Currawong
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Pied Currawong

Strepera graculina



Corvus coronoides, Australian Raven

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Australian Raven
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Australian Raven

Corvus coronoides



Birdsongs of some birds not so commonly seen but easily recognised

Calyptorhynchus funereus, Yellow-tailed Black-Cockatoo

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Yellow-tailed Black-Cockatoo
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Yellow-tailed Black-Cockatoo

Calyptorhynchus funereus



Dacelo novaeguineae, Laughing Kookaburra

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Laughing Kookaburra
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Laughing Kookaburra

Dacelo novaeguineae



Pardalotus punctatus, Spotted Pardalote

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Spotted Pardalote
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Spotted Pardalote

Pardalotus punctatus



Sericornis frontalis, White-browed Scrubwren

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White-browed Scrubwren
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White-browed Scrubwren

Sericornis frontalis



Philemon corniculatus, Noisy Friarbird

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Noisy Friarbird
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Noisy Friarbird

Philemon corniculatus



Acanthorhynchus tenuirostris, Eastern Spinebill

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Eastern Spinebill
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Eastern Spinebill

Acanthorhynchus tenuirostris



Petroica multicolor, Scarlet Robin

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Scarlet Robin
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Scarlet Robin

Scarlet Robin



We also have a checklist of birds seen in the Aranda Bushland.

On site

Stop at various spots along to the Frost Hollow to Forest Walk to listen for bird calls. Participants should stand or sit quietly without damaging plants and away from ants’ nests, listening carefully. If a bird call is heard, the participants should point in the direction of the call and see if they can see the bird. When the call stops, or if there is a break in the call, ask the participants if they can identify the bird or birds. If you can, play the relevant track from the CD to aid identification. You may wish to hold up a picture of the relevant bird heard or seen.

Specific activity for autumn

Look out for the significant flocks of Yellow-faced Honeyeaters (Lichenostomus chrysops) and the White-naped Honeyeaters (Melithreptus lunatus) which fly from the Brindabellas towards the coast in autumn, usually from late March to late May, especially on sunny mornings between 8.00am and 11.00am.

The Canberra Ornithologists Group

Visit their website to learn about the group and to see pictures taken by members of the group.

With thanks for Sue Robertson of the Canberra Ornithologists’ Society for compiling the bird lists, and Peter Fullagar & Eric Slater the Canberra Ornithologists’ Society for allowing the calls from their CD to be used on this site.

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