Survey Instructions

Before submitting a survey for the first time, please read the instructions below. Unfortunately our Single Species surveys will not be available for a while, however our Backyard Bird and Schoolground surveys are still available.

To take part in our surveys, you need to register with us as a Backyard Birder (its free!). Membership is free, providing you with your own password that allows us to keep track of repeat records from the same location. You can also choose to select a membership option that will allow you to receive email updates of research results and bird news. Membership

Backyard bird and Schoolground surveys:

Step 1: Log in to the website on the home page or create a new account if you are new to Birds in Backyards.

Step 2: Go to the ‘About My Garden’ section of your account and select 'Edit'. If you have not entered garden details previously, then please fill out the forms to tell us about your garden. If you have entered these details previously, check they are still correct (in case you have modified your garden). Your location and garden information will automatically transfer over to your survey form (and can be changed if you are surveying a different site).

Step 3: Decide which survey method you wish to use (20 min, weekly or annual). A 20 min survey provides us with the most robust data but every option is available to you.

Step 4: Select the Backyard Bird survey or the Schoolground survey from the Survey toolbar.

Step 5: Set the time and date of the survey you are completing and either fill in or check your entries for the location, your garden characteristics and other features of your garden. Click on the tabs to display the options. You can also enter other information and notes about the birds you saw. If you are doing the Schoolground survey, please enter your school's name. Fields marked with a red * are compulsory.


Step 6: Select your region from the drop down list if it doesn't automatically update. Familiarise yourself with the 30 (or so) target species for your state or region. If you have entered your address in 'About My Garden' details of your membership, your location and the 30 birds from your region will automatically load. If you have not done this or you are surveying a different location, select either the state or region you are in from the available options in the 'Location' box, and a list of birds will appear at the bottom of the page. 

To show a photo, call and information about any of these birds, click on the link for each species.

Step 7: Collect your bird observations according to your chosen method.

Step 8: Log back in and fill out the on-line form.  All of your "About my Garden" information will automatically appear in the survey form if you previously entered it. Please adjust the information, including your survey location, if you are surveying a different site.

If you are doing a 20 minute survey, type in the numbers of individuals you saw. If you are completing a weekly or annual survey, type '1' in the 'number' box corresponding to each bird species that you recorded (as we only use presence/absence data for these survey types). To add a bird not in the list of 30 bird species, type the name in the box above the bird survey table and select from the list that appears. This will automatically put the bird species into your table. (Hint: type slowly and wait for the bird list to load. Check you know the proper common name for the species)

Step 8: When you have finished your survey, click 'Save' to submit your survey to us. Note there are other tabs of information at the bottom of the page. Ignore these - they are simply default options in place with the software used.

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