Resources

Part of the fun of the Aussie Backyard Bird Count is getting to know the birds that live in your area. You can probably identify a lot of them already. But there’s always one or two elusive species to learn more about!

We’ve compiled a whole heap of resources to help get you get to know your local birds. Click through below to get started!

(Psst – This list is a good start, but if you can’t find the right resource for you below, try checking with your local library or council.)

Field Guides – Books  

A field guide is a bird counter’s best friend! The Aussie Backyard Bird Count app has a great ‘Find a Bird’ feature, but sometimes only a book will do. A good field guide will help you identify any birds you might be unsure of, and there are loads of great field guide options to choose from. The ones listed here are among of the best known and most popular Aussie bird guides, but there are many worth checking out. All of the titles below will likely be available in your local bookstore, public library, or online.

TitleUsual price
The Field Guide to the Birds of Australia – Pizzey and Knight
The classic guide, known affectionately as The Pizzey. Excellent text.
$35-45
The Slater Field Guide to Australian Birds – Peter Slater
The guide for out in the field – less text but beautiful illustrations and fits in a jacket pocket.
$27-35
The Australian Bird Guide – Menkhorst et al
The most recent bird guide and a firm favourite among many – but quite heavy!
$37-40
Field Guide to Australian Birds – Michael Morcombe
This guide has a very useful section on nest and egg identification.
$50

Bird Sound Identification 

The holy grail of birding, there have been many brave attempts at creating an app that identifies bird sounds – a “Shazam” for birds, if you will.

But it is much bigger ask than it sounds – bird calls aren’t like pop songs, which are identical on each play-through, and often tagged and archived to a convenient internet database upon release. Not only is every bird call and song a unique live performance, a single species may have many different calls, and some species may sound identical as another species. Some birds are talented mimics. To create a repository of all these sounds, and an algorithm to compare and correctly match them is a huge undertaking that requires a lot of resources. Bird song is so varied that machine learning struggles to interpret and match all the possibilities. 

So far, there is not a definite winner among the existing app pool, and most of the big ones don’t focus on Aussie birds. At this point, none has proven accurate enough for BirdLife Australia to wholeheartedly endorse it. Of course, you are welcome to search around and give one or two of them a try – but don’t be shocked if it’s not spot-on every time.

Another option: if you think you might know what kind of bird if might be but want a comparison to be sure, most field guide apps include bird call recordings. If you don’t want to use an app, there are also websites with bird calls you can try.

WEBSITES

Birds in Backyards – Top 40 Bird Songs
Graeme Chapman’s Bird listings with recordings of bird calls
Xeno-canto – Sharing bird sounds from around the world  

NSW Resources 

LocationDescription
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State-wideThe team at Birds in Backyards have put together a handy poster showing the backyard birds of NSW, which you can find here
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SydneyAustralian Geographic article: Urban bird watchers’ guide to Sydney
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Blue Mountains Blue Mountains Bird Observers Website
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CumberlandCumberland Bird Observer’s Club website
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Far South CoastThe good folks at Far South Coast Birdwatchers have put together a publications page, which includes a free bird list of the birds in the Bega Valley, birding sites, as well as a book available for purchase.
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Hunter RegionThe Hunter Bird Observers Club website has many resources available, including an Annual Bird Report – the 2017 report covers 375 species!
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IllawarraIllawara Birders website
Illawarra Bird Observers Club website – scroll down on the home page of the website to find a free download of an A4 brochure with maps, bird lists, location and numerous photos of the Birds that can be found in the Illawarra, Shoalhaven & Southern Tablelands. There is also the option to purchase the physical book “The Handbook of Birds found in the Illawarra, Shoalhaven & Southern Tablelands”
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MurrumbidgeeOur friends over at Murrumbidgee Field Naturalists have put together “Birds of the MIA” – A full-colour brochure with detailed information about 20 of their favourite birding spots in the Narrandera, Leeton and Griffith LGAs. Includes notable bird species that can be found at each site, and a map of the region with each location clearly marked.
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Northern NSWThe resources for Northern NSW were put together by our BirdLife Northern NSW branch and local partner groups
ClarenceBird Routes of the Clarence
Coffs CoastBirds of Bellingen, Dorrigo & Surrounds
Far WestMacquarie River Bird Trail
Far WestGwydir Wetlands
Far WestWaterbirds of the Gwydir Wetlands
Far WestBird Sites of Lightning Ridge
InverellBirdwatching in and around Inverell
Please note: This resource is intended to be printed and folded, so parts of the brochure will appear upside down on your screen.
Kempsey / MacleayBirdwatching guide to the Macleay Valley
Narrabri ShireBird list for Narrabri Shire
Narrabri – Western Namoi FloodplainsWestern Namoi Floodplains Bird List
Please note: This resource is intended to be printed and folded, so parts of the brochure will appear upside down on your screen.
Narrabri – Yarrie LakeYarrie Lake Bird List
Please note: This resource is intended to be printed and folded, so parts of the brochure will appear rotated on your screen.
Northern Rivers – BallinaBird Watching in and around Ballina
Please note: This resource is intended to be printed and folded, so parts of the brochure will appear rotated on your screen.
Northern Rivers – Richmond Valley
Bird Trails of Richmond Valley
Northern Rivers – Byron WetlandsBirds of the Byron Wetlands
Northern Rivers – Byron ShireBirds of Byron Shire
Northern Rivers – Tweed ValleyBirds of the Tweed Valley
North West – Glen Innes & Severn ShireGlen Innes and Severn Shire: Bird Watching in Celtic Country
Please note: This resource is intended to be printed and folded, so parts of the brochure will appear rotated on your screen.
Port Macquarie – Cattai WetlandsCattai Wetlands Self-Guided Wetland Walk – resource includes list of many birds seen in the area
Port Macquarie and Hastings RegionThe Hastings Birdwatchers website has a wealth of resources to explore
Port Macquarie, Hastings and Camden Haven ValleysBirdwatching Guide to the Hasting Valley
TamworthTamworth Bird Routes
Please note: This resource is intended to be printed and folded, so parts of the brochure will appear rotated on your screen.
TenterfieldTenterfield Bird Watching Guide
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ShoalhavenThe BirdLife Shoalhaven branch has created a pictoral list of common backyard birds of the Shoalhaven
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Southern HighlandsThe BirdLife Shoalhaven branch has created the following 2 resources to locals identify birds:
Southern Highlands Birds list
Southern Highlands Birding Guide

Vic Resources 

LocationDescription
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 State-WideThe team at Birds in Backyards have put together a handy poster showing the backyard birds of Victoria, which you can find here
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MelbourneIf you’re within 50kms of Melbourne, chances are our BirdLife Melbourne branch have you covered. Choose a site nearest to you to see the list of birds you might see in your area.
Melbirds ebook by Michael Livongstone and Cindy Hauser. Made for kids, this free ebook features 63 of the most easy-to-find bird species around Melbourne and is perfect for introducing kids to the birds of their area.
Australian Geographic article: Urban bird watchers’ guide to Melbourne
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BallaratBirds of Ballarat list, courtesy of the BirdLife Ballarat branch.
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BellarineBirds of Bellarine list, courtesy of the BirdLife Bellarine branch.
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Bendigo Echuca DistrictPrintable guides to birds and birding sites found around the district
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East GippslandOur BirdLife East Gippsland branch has put together a number of bird lists for the region – just scroll all the way down the page until you see the heading “Downloads”.
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MilduraBirdLife Mildura have put together lists and brochures of birds for counters to print at home – just scroll down to the “Downloads” heading and choose the files that suit your needs.
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Mornington PenninsulaA list of “Birds of the Mornington Peninsula, brought to you by our BirdLife Peninsula branch.
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Wimmera / HorshamA “where to find” guide to birds in the Wimmera, produced by our BirdLife Horsham branch.
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Yarra CatchmentThe BirdLife Branch of the Yarra Catchment have put together a book to purchase – “Birds of the Yarra Catchment and where to find them” by Peter Mason, $20 + $5 p&h.

Qld Resources 

LocationDescription
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BrisbaneThe team at Birds in Backyards have put together a handy poster showing the backyard birds of Brisbane, which you can find here
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South-East QueenslandThese resources come from the team at the BirdLife Southern Queensland branch:
Bird Places of the Gold Coast
Please note: This resource is intended to be printed and folded, so parts of the brochure will appear rotated on your screen.
Bird Places of Ipswich
Bird Places of the Redlands
Please note: This resource is intended to be printed and folded, so parts of the brochure will appear rotated on your screen.
The branch have also put together a book that is available to purchase for $20 ea, with discounts available for bulk orders. The book is a photographic checklist of every species recorded in South East Qld from January 2008 until mid 2019, including images of females for certain species which can be difficult to identify. There’s even a handy tick box under each photograph to help you keep a tally of your sightings.
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Fraser CoastScroll down to the heading “Birds of the Fraser Coast” to find a list of more than 300 species seen across the Fraser Coast since 1997, as compiled by The Birdwatchers of Hervey Bay.
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Northern QldBirdLife Northern Queensland have put together these great brochures for Northern Queensland districts & birding sites:
Cairns and environs
Atherton Tableland
Cooktown and Cape York Peninsula
Northwestern and Inland Northern Queensland
Tropical coast, Ayr to Innisfail
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Sunshine CoastThe team at Birds in Backyards have put together a handy poster showing the backyard birds of the Sunshine Coast, which you can find here
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Toowoomba regionThe team at Birds in Backyards have put together a handy poster showing the backyard birds of Toowoomba region, which you can find here
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TownsvilleThe handy brochures below were put together by the BirdLife Townsville branch:
WOODLAND BIRDS of the Burdekin Dry Tropics
COASTAL BIRDS of the Burdekin Dry Tropics
RAINFOREST BIRDS of the Southern Wet Tropics
WETLAND BIRDS of the Townsville Region

WA Resources 

LocationDescription
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State-WideOur BirdLife WA branch has absolutely masses of Bird Guides from all over the state. Have a scroll through their Bird Guide list to find your nearest location.

SA Resources 

LocationDescription
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State-WideBirds South Australia has bird lists for numerous locations around SA. Scroll through the list or search by location to see if your area is listed.
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AdelaideThe team at Birds in Backyards have put together a handy poster showing the backyard birds of Tea Tree Gully (Adelaide), which you can find here
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Birds South Australia offers an overview of common and uncommon birds seen within 10km of the city centre
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Kangaroo IslandFrom our BirdLife Kangaroo Island branch, we have a list of subspecies that are endemic to Kangaroo Island

Tas Resources 

LocationDescription
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State-WideThe team at Birds in Backyards have put together a handy poster showing the backyard birds of Tasmania, which you can find here
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The following resources were produced by our BirdLife Tasmania branch:
Tasmanian Seabird Identification Guide
The 12 Tasmanian bird species which are found
nowhere else on Earth.
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HobartUrban bird watchers’ guide to Hobart
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King Island.The team at Birds in Backyards have put together a handy poster showing the backyard birds of King Island, which you can find here
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ACT Resources 

LocationDescription
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CanberraThe team at Birds in Backyards have put together a handy poster showing the backyard birds of Canberra, which you can find here
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Canberra Ornithologist’s Group

NT Resources 

LocationDescription
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State-wideCheck out the Northern Territory Bird Watching page to find what birds you might see in the Top End and where you might find them!

Download the Aussie Bird Count app