Twitching, birdwatching – it’s the ‘trainspotting’ of the feathered world. Or is it? What is it really all about?

Birdwatching is the observation of birds for recreational activity. It can involve observing with the naked eye, or by the use of binoculars or other equipment. Despite the name, birdwatching also includes an aural element of listening for bird sounds.

 

How long have people been birdwatching?

The term ‘birdwatching’ was first used in 1901, however people have been at it a long time prior to that. There are some indications that the activity now known as birdwatching was occurring as far back as the late 1700’s.

In Australia a regular group of ornithologists began meeting regularly in 1896. The Australasian Ornithologists Union was established in 1901. The organisation still exists today, known as Birdlife Australia.

 

A group of Swedish birdwatchers at a visit to Centennial Park in 2010

A group of Swedish birdwatchers at a visit to Centennial Park in 2010

 

What you need to know

Birdwatching in Centennial Parklands can be a very rewarding pastime. Not only does the birdlife change on a regular / seasonal basis, but for the more serious it is possible to follow the lifecycle of species such as swans, coots, swamphens and moorhens as they breed.

For the amateur birdwatcher, here’s our top three tips:

  1. Walk slowly and stop often
  2. Listen and wait for birds to come to you, don’t try to get too close
  3. Visit early in the morning

Want more tips? We have a  detailed list of tips on our website.

To help you further, we’ve also compiled comprehensive details on the most popular spots to visit and what you will likely see throughout the Parklands.

 

Want to ‘dip your toe’ in the water?

We run regular birdwatching tours called a Birdwatcher’s Breakfast. They are led by our chief twitcher, Trevor Waller, who is heading towards 15 years running these tours. Join us on the next one!

 

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