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Tim Low in Conversation with Richard Fidler

Naturalist Tim Low says Australian birds are noisier, more aggressive and more intelligent than in any other country in the world.

Tim is a biologist, environmentalist and prize-winning writer, and co-editor of Wildlife Australia magazine.

His latest book reveals some startling facts about the unique nature of Australian birds - they are distinctive and powerful, and exert more influence on forests than any other birds.

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Noisy Miners create havoc in backyards with pets and wildlife as mating season sets in

They love a biff with other birds, don’t mind a crack at the neighborhood dog and boy do they make a racket during dating season.

Noisy Miner birds get a little bit crazy during mating season but never fear — you can turn down the volume. The native birds breed from June to December, and the amount of noise they make increases significantly over the period as they compete for mates and protect their territory, according to the Foundation for National Parks and Wildlife (FNPW).

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Push to protect malleefowl continues

Property owners are invited to join the fight to protect a unique and threatened bird that makes its home in Dubbo's backyard.

The malleefowl is present in the Goonoo National Park and other areas of NSW, Victoria, South Australia and Western Australia, but its habitat was once much larger.

A recovery team has invited property owners to come along to a gathering of experts, researchers and enthusiasts from across the country at Dubbo to focus on strengthening the numbers of the bird listed as endangered in NSW.

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National workshop highlights plight of hooded plovers in the south-west

THE south-west’s contribution to halting the decline of the hooded plover has been highlighted at a national workshop in Warrnambool about beach-nesting birds.

Birdlife Australia’s beach-nesting birds project manager Dr Grainne Maguire said a big volunteer effort to protect the nests of the vulnerable birds had allowed 25 chicks from nests along the coast between Warrnambool and Yambuk to survive this year.

The survivors included one chick from a nest at Lady Bay and two from nests at Logans Beach.

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The art of endangered birds: Perth exhibition highlights threatened species

Egg Tooth, an exhibition at Edith Cowan University has invited Western Australian artists to create works based on threatened species of birds.

Money raised from the sale of the works will go to Birdlife WA, an advocacy group for native birds.

"We've brought together around 40 local artists and I've allocated each artist a threatened or endangered bird to make a work in response to," curator Elizabeth Marruffo said.

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Woodland bird expert at Ararat workshop

A leading bird expert will conduct a workshop in Ararat, to help people with various identification tips and survey methods of woodland birds.

Woodland bird expert Dean Ingerwersen is visiting Ararat to deliver a one day workshop as part of the Glenelg Hopkins CMA Woodland Birds project, which aims to protect woodland habitat.

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The 10 top Australian birds to see on holidays

FROM Phillip Island’s famous Penguin Parade to little-known and rarely spotted species, enjoying Australia’s birdlife can be a holiday highlight, even if you’re not an experienced birdwatcher.

From eastern rainforests to Central Australia’s deserts, and rural farmlands to urban parks, Australia is home to about 900 unique bird species.

Here, the authors of new book Finding Australian Birds , Tim Dolby and Rohan Clarke, list their 10 bucket list highlights for the most amazing birds to see in Australia - and where to find them.

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Bird surveys around Grenfell now in their fourth year

The sixth bird survey around Grenfell took place on March 29. Local bird watchers from Grenfell joined members of Birding NSW from Sydney, Wollongong and Dubbo to count all the bird species seen during 20 minutes at 26 sites around Grenfell; 10 sites are on private property and the remainder on public roads.

We started these surveys in 2011 and we have identified 125 different species of birds around Grenfell during our surveys so far; there are certain to be more species to see.

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Giblet-warming sequel to Harrison's magpie saga

Magpie-loving Canberrans! Can it be that some of that hard-to-put-into-words fondness and admiration we have for magpies is a cousin of what lots of Australians admire about Ned Kelly?

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Watchers flock to see birds

International bird watchers will soon be flocking to the Dubbo region with the introduction of the Macquarie River Trails bird watching map. The map, launched by non-for-profit organisation RiverSmart Australia in Dubbo yesterday, highlights 13 sites and five driving trails which broadly follow the river from Lake Burrendong to the Macquarie Marshes, stopping through cities along the river. Find out more on the Daily Liberal website.

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Fish waste link to bird deaths

FISH waste left on beaches by recreational fishers could harm shore-nesting birds by attracting native crows that eat the birds' eggs, a University of NSW study conducted on Stockton Beach has revealed. Researchers found the activity of Australian ravens was 17 times higher near nests that had fish carcasses nearby, than near nests without carcasses. The study also revealed that foxes were not the culprits in loss of eggs from nests, as is often assumed. Read the full story on the Newcas

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Newsworthy wildlife and the harlot in the garden

Here is a picture of a King parrot gnawing a medlar in a Wanniassa garden but before we discuss it we note that Monday's Canberra Times was adorned with the story of another bird, a fledgling magpie.

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Science Article Solves Big Bird Mystery

South Australian Museum Senior Researcher Dr Mike Lee, and Research Associate Trevor Worthy, are part of a team of researchers who have rewritten the evolutionary history of giant flightless birds called ratites, and solved the mystery of how they migrated across the globe after the mass extinction of dinosaurs. Until now, the closest relatives of the New Zealand Kiwi were thought to be the Australian emu and cassowary.

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Twenty endangered Carnaby’s cockatoos released into the wild

TWENTY endangered Carnaby’s cockatoos that have spent up to a year rehabilitating from car strikes and other trauma have been released into the wild. The birds, which are endemic to Western Australia, were released from The Vines and Kensington last week. Department of Parks and Wildlife officer Karen Smith said all the cockatoos had been hit by cars or suffered another trauma that prevented them from being able to fly. They have been rehabilitated at the Black Cockatoo Rehabilitation Centre in Martin and the Native Animal Rescue centre in Malaga. 

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Endangered orange-bellied parrot: Volunteers checking coastal Victoria and SA for sightings

A coastal search of Victoria and South Australia will check on the numbers of one of Australia's most-threatened bird species.

There are only 70 or so orange-bellied parrots left in the wild, the Victorian Department of Environment and Primary Industries says.

The species breeds in summer in Tasmania and flies to coastal Victoria and South Australia during winter.

Loss of habitat, predators and inbreeding are given as reasons for its decline.

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Sugar gliders are eating swift parrots – but what’s to blame?

Swift parrots are one of Australia’s most endangered birds, but until very recently we didn’t know why. New research shows that they’re being eaten by sugar gliders at their breeding grounds in Tasmania, but even that’s not the full story.

Read more about this fascinating research at The Conversation website.

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Hunter migratory birds in danger

MIGRATORY shorebirds that inhabit the Hunter estuary are facing extinction in about 20 years, birdwatchers say.

The birds’ decline was a stark example of humanity’s lethal effect on wildlife and frightening capacity to exterminate animals, they said.

‘‘It’s terrible,’’ Hunter Bird Observers Club member Chris Herbert said.

‘‘You feel rather helpless that you’re monitoring the decline of a whole group of species in the estuary.’’

The Hunter had the most important estuary along the NSW coast for the abundance and diversity of shorebirds, experts say.

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The dangers of bird feeding for wild birds

Up to 80 per cent of Australian households are involved in some kind of bird feeding. So are we creating a generation of bird bludgers dependent on handouts? Associate Professor Darryl Jones takes a look at the science behind backyard bird feeding. Read or listen to this story on the ABC Radio National website.

Read or listen to this story on the ABC Radio National website.

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Great migration from Broome to Siberia

Birds the size of a baked bean tin and an apple can fly non stop from Broome to Siberia or China and back again.

Every afternoon as the sun starts to slide low over the Broome Peninsula, a group of people with binoculars and notebooks can be found on the shores of Roebuck Bay keenly watching the sky.

They're waiting for huge flocks of wader birds to begin their migration to the Northern Hemisphere, which is a non stop journey.

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Blog: Birds of Sydney Olympic Park

The Birds in Backyards/BirdLife Australia Sydney office is located at Sydney Olympic Park. The area is a haven for all sorts of amazing birds - more than 180 species have been recorded. Check out this lovely blog to see some the beautiful birds that we share our space with: http://figjamandlimecordial.com/2014/03/26/the-birds-of-sydney-olympic-park/

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Workbook for Managing Urban Wetlands in Australia

Sydney Olympic Park Authority has published an eBook entitled, Workbook for Managing Urban Wetlands in Australia. This eBook is a distillation and distribution of the contents, partnership, collaboration and research comprising the Wetland Education and Training (WET) program at Sydney Olympic Park. It is both a culmination and celebration of the WET Program, which has been developed and delivered by the Authority for over 10 years.

It includes a chapter on identification, rehabilitation and management of water birds.

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Hawk eyes focus on suburban bounty

"The brown goshawk has adapted so well to suburban life that it sometimes chases small birds under verandas and into houses.

A medium sized raptor with piercing yellow eyes, this elegant bird has a tendency to become so intent on its prey that it pays no heed to its surroundings until the chase is over.

Known to the Noongar as gudjelan, it is as at home stalking small animals through the leaf litter of the forest floor as it is winging deftly between tangled branches in aerial pursuit of wrens and silver-eyes. On occasion it will even catch fish."

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When dieback kills the banksia, birds disappear

"Studies by ECU show that banksia woodlands are critical for birds and plants in the south west.

Professor Robert Davis says the researchers were astounded by the complete change in the bird community where dieback is prevalent.

Dieback, Phytophthora cinnamomi, is a soil borne pathogen which has been dubbed the biological bulldozer for its ability to wipe out plant species.

Jarrah and, particularly, banksia are susceptible. Currently, quarantine is the only effective method of control."

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Angry Birds assault on starlings weeks away

"Starlings may have just three weeks left before birds of prey swoop into their paradise of Dubbo.

The natural predators would fly around rather than strike the introduced pests, Murray Wood from Dubbo City Council said yesterday.

He for one is hoping the falconry estimated to cost $18,000 finally gets the starlings to take flight for good.

The uninvited guests to the city mess the main street with their faeces, in the past leaving the ratepayers with clean-up costs of more than $1000 a week."

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