We have created a guide to the most common birds that you will find in the Macedon Ranges. The Bird guide(PDF, 19MB) is available in digital form or can be picked up from one of our offices.
In the Macedon Ranges we have had more than 227 species of birds recorded and of this, 18 per cent are considered threatened with extinction.
In 2020, a total of 2,575 individual birds were recorded from 86 species. This was an 8% reduction in total birds recorded compared to the surveys conducted in 2019. We also recorded fewer species, with 97 recorded the year previous. It is too early in our monitoring to understand if this reduction in bird sightings and species is significant or just an anomaly due to the number and expertise of participants.
In spring of 2021, we plan to host another bird blitz event involving the broader community once again.
On 19 October 2019, we hosted our inaugural Bird Blitz with 83 citizen scientists undertaking 58 bird surveys across the shire. In the days following, an additional 20 surveys were completed by Council, the Woodend Bird Observers Group and other community volunteers. A survey of 79 sites across the Macedon Ranges has revealed some exciting discoveries and rare bird species found within the region.
Significantly, the bird surveys recorded 2,769 new observations and a total of 97 different species. Five of the bird species are listed as threatened including White-bellied Sea Eagle, Pied Cormorant, Hardhead Duck, Brown Treecreeper and Black-chinned Honeyeaters.
Other interesting discoveries included White-winged Trillers, a rare visitor to the region, in large numbers across multiple sites around Kyneton and an unusual observation of a Western Gerygone was recorded in Barringo.
The 2019 survey was the first of its type in the Macedon Ranges and an important milestone in the implementation of our Biodiversity Strategy. All survey data and information will form a long-term dataset which will allow us to monitor landscape changes and threats to biodiversity.
For full survey details on our Bird Blitz, view our survey report for 2019(PDF, 3MB)
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- Use locally native plants – building a garden of local indigenous species ensures that you are catering for birds in the local region and supporting local plant genetics. Locally native plants are also easier to grow as the climate and soil conditions best support these species. See creating a bird friendly garden(PDF, 1MB) for a few locally native species to consider.
- Supply a source of water – birds require a regular source of water. A bowl is sufficient for small birds. It is important to keep the water topped up as the birds will rely on it.
- Provide leaf litter – rake leaves under trees and shrubs as this encourages insects and worms. It also provides an excellent source of nutrients for your plants.
- Avoid harsh chemicals and pesticides – these can be harmful to birds and will lead to reduced diversity of insects which are a primary source of protein for birds.
- Hollowed logs and fallen branches – loose timber provides shelter for small lizards and native mammals. Logs also provide birds with cover from predators and places to search for food.
- Cats – keep your cat inside or consider an outdoor cat enclosure, particularly after dark. It is also advised to have a bell on your cat’s collar which can alert birds of their presence.
If you would like to find out more about local bird species, see our fact sheet Common Birds of the Macedon Ranges(PDF, 2MB).
At certain times of the year, birds such as Magpies and Masked Lapwings (commonly called plovers) will swoop if they feel threatened. However, not all birds swoop to protect their eggs and young during breeding season, so don't be concerned simply because there are Magpies or other common swooping birds in the area.
Common swooping birds are:
- Australian Magpie - They breed from August to October and are very protective of their young. Visit Victoria's Swooping Bird Map to see locations where people were swooped.
- Magpie-lark - Swooping is less common and most swoops are only a bluff. They breed from January to December.
- Laughing Kookaburra - During the breeding season from September to January, Kookaburras attack their reflection in windows. Feeding Kookaburras encourages this behaviour.
- Red Wattle Bird - Their breeding season is from July to December.
- Grey Butcher bird - They breed from July to January and like the Australian Magpie, may swoop if they feel threatened.
- Masked Lapwing - commonly called plovers, their breeding season is from July to November.
For more information and to see some tips on how you can protect yourself, visit Swooping birds.
Indian Mynas present a threat to biodiversity, primary producers, and our urban landscapes and are increasing in numbers in many urban and rural areas.
The species was introduced to the Australian landscape to combat insect pests that were a problem in Queensland. It is now a common resident across eastern Australia and is very successful at competing with other species for food and nesting sites.
You can help prevent their spread and the problems they cause by recording siting's in your area with MynaScan, or getting involved in the Macedon Ranges Indian Myna Action Group.
The Macedon Ranges Indian Myna Action Group seeks to remove the introduced Indian Myna from the local environment. It operates with a team of coordinators that provide volunteer participants with specially designed Myna Traps. To find out how you can get involved to assist with the program, contact Ron Fink on email firstname.lastname@example.org.
The Sulphur Crested Cockatoo (easily identified with their white body and yellow crest) is particularly prone to becoming a nuisance as a result of being fed by humans. It is natural for these birds to spend a large part of the day browsing for seeds, grass, plants, nuts and insects.
Cockatoos need to chew items to maintain their beaks at the correct length and condition. In the wild, they achieve this by chewing bark and branches in their roost trees. When people feed them, they tend to hang around that location. This can result in cockatoos chewing on fittings, outdoor furniture, or vegetation on neighbouring properties. Removing the food source may be enough to move them on to another area.
For more information, Wildlife Victoria have produced a detailed document, Guidelines for Reducing Cockatoo Damage - Wildlife Management Methods.