Webinar — Free

Discover the birds that love our farms : webinar recording now available

Fri, 4th Sep 2020
12:00 pm

Discover the birds that love our farms : webinar recording now available

This event has now concluded but you can watch the recording below. 

Join ANU Sustainable Farms ecologist Dave Smith and Ben Humphries from Birdlife Australia to learn more about birds on farms.

  • Find out more about how Sustainable Farms & Birdlife Australia monitor birds on farms and in backyards, and why monitoring is important
  • Discover the tips & tricks the experts use to identify birds

Brilliant Birds: Discover the birds that love our farms from Sustainable Farms on Vimeo.


Q&A – Answers to some of the questions asked by webinar participants


Q: What should I plant on my farm to encourage bird life?

A: Aim to plant a wide range of local plant species that will provide both floristic diversity, with different species flowering throughout the year, as well as structural diversity (especially understorey), which provides habitat for many smaller birds. Having a dense mid-storey layer (eg. taller wattles) has been shown to deter Noisy Miners, which is an aggressive species that scares away smaller birds. Also choose species that are indigenous to your local area – your Local Land Services office (in NSW) or Catchment Management Authority office (in VIC) should be able to assist in providing a list of appropriate plants for your property.

Sustainable Farms researchers have also published a number of books (CSIRO Publishing) that discuss our long-term research regarding restoring native vegetation on farms, including:

Restoring Farm Woodlands for Wildlife (2018) by D. Lindenmayer, D. Michael, M. Crane, D. Florance & E. Burns

Wildlife Conservation in Farm Landscapes (2016) by D. Lindenmayer, D. Michael, M. Crane, S. Okada, P. Barton & K. Ikin


Q: What incentives are available to farmers to re-plant paddocks with native vegetation?

A: The incentives available for landholders vary depending on where you are located. Contact your Local Land Services office (in NSW) or Catchment Management Authority office (in VIC) to find our what’s on offer. Most will have programs that offer funding for environmental restoration works such as re-vegetation and fencing of remnant vegetation or waterways. Funding may also be available though your local Landcare network or group.


Q: Are starlings becoming a problem in Australia; do they compete with native birds?

A: Yes they are a problem, particularly as they outcompete native species for breeding hollows in large old trees.


Q: What brands of binoculars do you recommend?

A: Ben’s recommendation is to buy the best binoculars you can afford and to look after then. An inexpensive pair is fine for beginners! A few suggestions of high quality brands if you are getting more serious are Nikon, Bushnell, Zeiss, Leica, and Swarovski.

Here are some more tips from Birdlife Australia about choosing binoculars:  www.birdlife.org.au/images/uploads/education_sheets/INFO-Golo-Binos-Guide.pdf


Q: Where would one purchase that very fashionable birdwatching vest?

A: Multi-pocket vests are widely available from many camping & fishing stores (often sold as fishing vests) and from photography stores (sold as photography vests).


Q: How can I get involved?

A: Here’s some opportunities to contribute to birdwatching projects:





Q: What birding phone apps do you recommend?


Morcombe’s Birds of Australia:



Pizzey & Knight:




Online (Zoom)

Date & Time


4th September 2020


12:00 pm


1:00 pm