‘Great Aussie Bird Count’ swoops kids

The Free Press (Corowa) - - LOCALREALESTATE -

Chil­dren at­tend­ing a Corowa Dis­trict Ju­nior Land­care event at Red­lands Hill Re­serve on Thurs­day, Oc­to­ber 25 took part in the Aussie Back­yard Bird Count.

This event is one of Aus­tralia’s big­gest cit­i­zens’ sci­ence pro­jects. Stu­dents from Sav­er­nake, Oak­lands, St Fran­cis Xavier and Urana pri­mary schools iden­ti­fied 15 species of bird in 20 min­utes on the day and logged them into the na­tional sur­vey.

The over­all aim of this na­tional event is to count two mil­lion birds in the week of Oc­to­ber 22-28 and to get peo­ple in­ter­ested in our amaz­ing Aussie birdlife.

Corowa Dis­trict Land­care is proudly part­ner­ing with Fed­er­a­tion Coun­cil to sup­port the Aussie Back­yard Bird Count and they hope to en­gage peo­ple of all ages in this an­nual event.

Stu­dents also learned about the abo­rig­i­nal and white his­tory of the re­serve. Stu­dents were shown a num­ber of scar trees and learned how bark was cut off gum trees to make coola­m­ons, shields and ca­noes. The chil­dren were in­ter­ested to learn that the vanilla scented wild­flower called the choco­late lily (that grows lo­cally around the dis­trict) was an im­por­tant food source for abo­rig­i­nal peo­ple. They roasted and ate the tu­bers of the plant.

To de­ter­mine which birds and an­i­mals in­habit the re­serve stu­dents looked for clues in­clud­ing scats, feathers and bones. They sighted two goan­nas, a few swamp wal­la­bies, ev­i­dence of hares and echid­nas. They even found a fox skele­ton.

The chil­dren were in­ter­ested to learn that min­ers lived at the re­serve in the 1860s. They saw ev­i­dence in the form of old iron rem­nants, wash tubs and glass.

Red­lands Hill Re­serve was vir­tu­ally cleared for gold min­ing but lit­tle gold was found.

For­tu­nately the plant life re­cov­ered and the 150-acre re­serve is now a flour­ish­ing Grey Box Grassy Wood­land which is an en­dan­gered eco­log­i­cal com­mu­nity.

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