Something to squawk about
Last week was apparently National Bird Week.
I don’t know about you, but I totally forgot, so I hope someone told the birds. They aren’t always the sharpest creatures on the planet.
National Bird Week is an extension of National Bird Day, which had its origins in Australia at the beginning of the last century when the Royal Australasian Ornitholigists’ Union decided our birds needed conserving and identifying — a very worthy ambition and one that in recent times has seen the NBW joined by the Aussie Backyard Bird Count.
The idea is to record the birds you recognise or look up the ones you don’t on the Aussie Bird Count app on your mobile phone, or you could go to their website.
I would have failed on both counts. I simply couldn’t imagine wandering around what passes for my backyard using a mobile phone app. A crow, a pigeon, a willy wagtail — yes, yes, yes. Got ‘em.
But folks, I’m here to tell you, as I have before, that all my efforts to identify, record, capture and photograph the mystery bird which wakes me up every morning have been spectacular failures. He begins his dull, repetitive, tuneless call before the sun is up. Perhaps the bird is wired to the Eastern States and is already on daylight saving time.
Anyway, during National Bird Week and the Aussie Backyard Bird Count, the warbler had split the scene by the time I got anywhere near the tree where his woeful bird voice usually calls.
The final results of this year’s bird count aren’t in yet, but last year some 2 million birds were identified, with the rainbow lorikeet being the most common with more than 163,000 sightings Australiawide. It was also the most commonly identified bird in WA, coming in ahead of the New Holland honeyeater and the pink and grey galah.
There were 578 different birds in the count, so my own birdbrain logic would suggest that my early morning mate is in there somewhere, perhaps even keeping company with the white fronted tern, of which only one was spotted on the entire continent.
I eagerly await this year’s results. Perhaps my avian alarm clock will make a guest appearance.
One can only hope, but I suspect he didn’t know it was National Bird Week.