As a birdwatcher, spring is one of the most exciting seasons to observe birdlife. With the arrival of warmer temperatures and longer days, many birds become more active and visible. Here are five highlights of spring for a birdwatcher in Australia and NZ:
During spring, many bird species in Australia begin their breeding season, and you can witness some amazing nesting behavior. In the warmer regions of the country, birds such as Rainbow Lorikeets and Eastern Rosellas start nesting in tree hollows or nest boxes. Other species such as the Australian Magpie and the Superb Fairy-wren build complex nests from grass and twigs. Watching these nesting behaviors can be fascinating and rewarding.
Spring is also the time for many migratory birds to arrive in Australia, having traveled thousands of kilometers from their breeding grounds in the northern hemisphere. Some of the migratory species include the Eastern Curlew, Bar-tailed Godwit, and Red Knot, which all travel from Siberia to Australia to spend the summer months. Observing these birds can be a unique and rewarding experience, as they often have interesting behaviors and plumage.
Spring provides excellent opportunities for bird photography, as many birds are more active and visible during this season. Birds often engage in mating displays, courtship rituals, and territorial behavior, which can make for stunning photographs. The longer days and warmer weather also make for better lighting conditions, providing optimal settings for photographers.
Spring is also the time for many birding events and festivals in Australia and NZ, which can be a great way to connect with other birdwatchers and learn more about the local birdlife. Some of the popular events include the BirdLife Australia Bird Week, the BirdLife Australia Gluepot Gathering, and the Twitchathon, which is a 24-hour birding competition that takes place in October. These events provide a fun and educational way to engage with birdwatching and the wider birding community.
Australia has a diverse range of national parks, and spring is the perfect time to explore them. Many parks have an abundance of birdlife, and you can see species that are not found in urban areas. Some of the popular national parks for birdwatching include the Daintree National Park in Queensland, the Royal National Park in New South Wales, and the Wilsons Promontory National Park in Victoria. Spring is a great time to visit these parks, as the weather is mild, and the birdlife is more active and visible.
Apart from the migratory birds that arrive in Australia during spring, many Australian birds also undertake seasonal migrations along the coastline. For example, the Eastern Osprey, White-bellied Sea Eagle, and Whimbrel travel along the eastern coast of Australia during spring. These coastal migrations provide excellent opportunities for birdwatching, particularly for those interested in observing seabirds and shorebirds.
Spring is also the time when many eucalyptus trees start to bloom, producing an abundance of nectar that attracts numerous bird species. For instance, the flowering of the Yellow Box Eucalyptus trees in southeastern Australia is known to attract many bird species, including the White-plumed Honeyeater and the Fuscous Honeyeater. Observing birds feeding on the nectar-rich flowers can be an enjoyable experience for birdwatchers.
Spring is a time when many bird species engage in courtship and display behaviors to attract mates. These behaviors can be fascinating to observe, as birds often use intricate dances, songs, and displays of colorful plumage to attract mates. For example, male Satin Bowerbirds build intricate bowers and decorate them with blue objects to attract females, while male Lyrebirds perform elaborate dances and mimic other bird species to impress females.
Spring is also an excellent time to visit wetlands and observe the birdlife that inhabits these areas. Wetlands provide habitat for a diverse range of bird species, including waterbirds, waders, and raptors. Some of the popular wetlands for birdwatching in Australia include the Kakadu National Park in the Northern Territory, the Barmah National Park in Victoria, and the Coorong National Park in South Australia.
Spring is a great time to get involved in citizen science projects that monitor bird populations and contribute to conservation efforts. Participating in these projects through birding events in the Smart Bird ID app can provide a rewarding way to contribute to bird conservation while enjoying the spring birdwatching season.
Overall, spring is a fantastic time for birdwatching in Australia, with many opportunities to observe bird behavior, photograph birds, attend birding events, and explore national parks. Whether you’re a seasoned birdwatcher or a novice, spring is a great time to get outdoors and enjoy the amazing birdlife of Australia.