Bird interactions in Sydney gardens: some initial findings of the Birds in Backyards program
Holly M. Parsons, Richard E. Major, 2004. "Bird interactions in Sydney gardens: some initial findings of the Birds in Backyards program", Urban Wildlife: More than meets the eye, Daniel Lunney, Shelley Burgin
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A community-based survey by 723 volunteers investigated the relationships between small birds, aggressive birds and garden vegetation. Seven species of small bird were targeted in the survey, and all seven species were less likely to be recorded from gardens in which Noisy Miners were present. The distribution of the Noisy Miner was unrelated to the vegetation composition of gardens. Noisy Miners were equally likely to be present in gardens comprised of Australian native species, exotic species or a mixture of the two. However, several species of small bird, notably the Superb Fairy-wren, Eastern Spinebill and Eastern Yellow Robin, were more likely to be encountered in gardens comprised predominantly of Australian natives. A second aim of the survey was to increase public awareness of issues concerning the status and ecology of birds in Australian cities. The project was reported by several newspapers and radio stations, and there was considerable feedback by telephone, from council newsletters and via the internet, which suggested that the information had reached a diverse audience. This first module of the Birds in Backyards program has provided a good indication that community-based surveys have considerable potential both to collect useful data and to increase community understanding of the ecology of urban wildlife.