Make your knowledge count
Atlassing in the Cumberland County
Sydney's human population is set to expand by another million people in the next few decades, with inevitable impact on the area's diverse birdlife. Hence there is a need for accurate knowledge of the birds of the Sydney area and their key habitat areas. This knowledge should be used to direct any future development.
Much information about our Australian birds is locked away in the heads of many birdwatchers and doesn't appear in literature; yet this information may provide great assistance to bird conservation. There are enormous gaps in knowledge about even our common birds.
As a group, CBOC members share a love of birds and they provide us with much enjoyment in our leisure time. Atlassing is a very simple and fun way to give something back to birds. It can take you to new areas and lead to exciting discoveries. Many atlas contributors often report that they are learning many new things about birds. For example, finding interesting birds in unexpected places, like Pacific Baza in remnant grey box in Glenmore Park, Speckled Warblers in previously unknown locations and a whole host of interesting sightings resulting from atlassing alone. By adopting a 2 hectare search area, other atlassers have been able to notice characteristics of bird communities, how they change, new arrivals, transient members, dominant and repeatedly observed species, seasonal patterns, etc. These 2 hectare/20 minute searches are our most reliable method of assessing bird abundance, tracking changes in bird communities over time, and for comparing different habitats.
Data collected for the CBOC database is transferred to the National Birdlife Australia Atlas project, and any data that this group collects within the Cumberland County may also be incorporated into our database. In this way a network of atlas groups with similar conservation goals can help each other. The CBOC database focuses on a relatively small area of Australia, the Cumberland County. Because of this we are able to collect more precise additional information such as habitat use and abundance. The habitat data is tied to individual bird records. This extra information can be used to identify key habitats for bird species and seasonal or annual changes in abundance, which can then be used for conservation of key habitats in Sydney itself. Click here to see how this data can be used to identify key areas for the Rose Robin. Click here to see how the database can be used to compare the habits of Red Wattlebirds and Noisy Friarbirds.
The CBOC bird database gives us a means of actively contributing to bird conservation within our own community. Many government and community groups are recognising the importance of our database. The following groups have been provided with data to help in local bird conservation.
Most of the data provided for these groups has been supplemented with reports based on local knowledge. The high quality of our data at a local scale is becoming well-recognised. Atlas contributors should be congratulated as this would not have been possible without their effort.
Click here to see the entire list of birds found in the greater Sydney area (ie Cumberland County). How many of them have you seen?
If you would like to contribute to the club's database please contact Andrew via email