To better understand how the community feels about providing habitat for wildlife in their back (and front!) yards, Council conducted a community survey during 2010 and 2011. These survey asked residents what they have already done in their backyards, what they would like to do, what they would like to know more about and how Council is going in regards to creating habitat for urban wildlife.
Backyards for Wildlife Booklet
The results from these surveys were used to develop the Bathurst Region Backyards for Wildlife booklet. This booklet has been developed with assistance of leading local naturalists and with feedback from numerous community members.
The booklet is a guide for the local community on the best ways to create a back (or front) yard that provides food, shelter or nest sites for a range of wildlife species, small and large, whilst still allowing space for pets and your family!
Free copies of the Backyards for Wildlife booklet are available from the Bathurst Regional Council Civic Centre, 158 Russell St Bathurst, or you can download a digital version here.
Aussie Backyard Bird Count
Every year in October Australians take time to count their local birds for Birdlife Australia's Birds in Backyards Program. The information is used to find out the most common birds, and which birds are in trouble.
Bathurst Regional Council has coordinated the local participation in the bird count which has included a guided bird walk since 2015.
The next Aussie Backyard Bird Count will be on 18-24 October 2021.
In 2015 over a million birds were counted across the country, with 4,852 counted around Bathurst.
Our most common backyard birds were:
- House Sparrow*
- Common Blackbird*
- Australian Magpie
- Common Starling*
- Superb Fairy Wren
*Three of the top five are introduced or feral species, not Australian natives.
Here are the results from the last 5 counts to be conducted in Bathurst and the top 10 most commonly seen species for 2019. The 2020 results will be available from March 2021. You can also read the full report by clicking the relevant year in the table.
|Total birds counted||4,852||7,426||10,575||11,586||11,690|
|Change from previous year||N/A||+2,574||+3,149||+1,011||+104|
|Total species recorded||136||132||158||162||150|
|Change from previous year||N/A||-4||+26||+4||-12|
|Threatened species recorded||10||13||13||12||7|
|Number of pest birds in top 10||3||3||3||3||3|
|Number of participants||71||95||218||254||198|
|Number of surveys completed||191||191||355||372||358|
The results show that our area has a higher proportion of exotic bird species than other council areas. This is probably due to the amount of exotic vegetation we have in our urban areas. Council conducts ongoing tree planting programs and has provided over 400 nest boxes to the local community to try and improve the habitat for our local wildlife species. Council has a Vegetation management plan which guides the planting of appropriate species to retain the heritage nature of the urban area, whilst adding to habitat in and around woodland and river areas.
You can support local wildlife by planting plant species that will provide homes and food resources (see Backyards for Wildlife above) or participating in a community tree planting program.
Stay up to date with our environmental programs, including the Aussie Backyard Bird Count and tree planting days, by following Sustainable Bathurst on Facebook.
For Birdlife Australia, a not-for-profit dedicated to Australia's birds, click here.
For Birds in Backyards, including the identification tool Bird Finder, click here.