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The Sydney region has over 450 bird species within the Cumberland County alone, providing lots of opportunities to enjoy birdwatching.

Below is information on finding, identifying and recording sightings of birds.  

More useful information for beginners can be found on our Birdwatching Tips page.

For information on other relevant organisations, take a look at our Links page.

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  • Just about all the regular summer migrants should have arrived by the end of October. 

  • It is not until October we get to see Dollarbirds, Leaden Flycatchers and varying numbers of White-winged Trillers (the later in the agricultural and lightly timbered areas out in western Sydney). 

  • It’s also the time that shorebirds that are on their way to other areas, such as Red Knots as well as a few Grey Plovers and Sanderlings, usually turn up at places like Long Reef and Boat Harbour. 

  • Out at sea the Short-tailed Shearwaters should be at their peak migration where one may see tens of thousands passing through in a single day.

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There is a lot of information available on where to find birds including:

  • Birdata using the Explore option which includes various filters to assist with the searches

  • eBird using the Explore option or searching for eBird Hotspots

  • Eremaea Birdlines which is a webpage with reports of rare or unusual birds seen in NSW

  • A number of Facebook groups that are mentioned below

  • ​The book "Sydney Birds and where to find them" by Peter Roberts

  • Various other bird publications covering regions other than just our local area


There are a number of Apps that assist in identifying birds and for recording personal bird lists:

The most popular Apps that are used for bird identification are:

  • PK Birds (by Pizzey and Knight) - $$

  • Birds of Australia (by Morecombe) - $$

  • Merlin Id Help (Cornell Lab) - free

  • BirdCount (BirdLife Australia - Aussie Backyard Bird Count) - free

The most popular Apps used to record personal bird lists are:

  • eBird - free

  • PK Birds (by Pizzey and Knight) - $$

  • Birds of Australia (by Morecombe) - $$

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There are also a number of useful field guide books available, including:

  • The Australian Bird Guide by Peter Menkhorst, Danny Rogers, Rohan Clarke, Jeff Davies (Illustrator), Peter Marsack (Illustrator)

  • The Slater Field Guide to Australian Birds by Peter, Pat and Raoul Slater

  • Field Guide to the Birds of Australia by Nicolas Day, Ken Simpson

  • The Field Guide to Birds of Australia by Graham Pizzey, Frank Knight

  • The Complete Guide to Australian Birds by George Adams

  • Field Guide to Australian Birds by Michael Morecombe

  • Birds of Prey of Australia, by Stephen Debus

  • Shorebirds Identification Booklet published by BirdLife Australia.  A soft copy is also available: Shorebird ID Booklet


There are a number of good birding Facebook sites around that can enhance your birding experiences.  These include:

  • Cumberland Bird Observers' Club Facebook Group - a place for birdwatchers in the Sydney region to share sightings and photographs.

  • Australian Bird Identification - this site aims to provide people with a quick, easy outlet to identify birds they do not recognise, learning along the way.

  • Birds in Backyards (Australia)

  • Macarthur Birds

  • Birds of the Sydney Northern Beaches

  • Birds of Ku-Ring-Gai

  • Sydney Sea Eagle Cam

  • Australian Twitchers

  • Blue Mountains Bird Observers

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Make your birding count by submitting Bird Surveys of your sightings.  Surveys provide data on the abundance and distribution of bird species, and can help to support a variety of conservation initiatives.  The surveys can be submitted in easy to use apps or web portals.  Various different types of surveys can be submitted including formal 2 hectare, 20 min surveys, more general area searches of 500m or 5km, or more informal incidental searches. 

The main apps that are used for this are:

  • Birdata

  • eBird


BirdLife Australia and CBOC recommend the use of Birdata for recording surveys because of the standardised scientific survey basis that is used.  This information goes directly into a national bird database and can then be used for use in research and conservation.​   For more information, see How to use Birdata.

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