Ballarat residents are encouraged to celebrate National Bird Week by taking part in the Aussie Backyard Bird Count.
Birdlife Ballarat branch secretary Roy Chester said citizen science like the bird count helped fill a knowledge gap, particularly on urban bird species.
He said the data helped ecologists track large-scale biodiversity trends, but the count also gave people the chance to connect with their natural environment and gain a greater appreciation of nature.
"It is a simple way of getting everybody involved and everyone more interested in what they see out of their kitchen windows," Mr Chester said.
"The longer term impact is the more people who are interested in seeing birds, the more pressure there is on providing or maintaining the places where the birds are found, whether it is a waterway, a forest or a coast.
"People become aware of the problems the birds are facing, these very attractive animals are struggling to survive, and then there is a great pressure group to maintain the environment for them."
More than 108,000 people participated in the Aussie Backyard Bird Count last year with the Rainbow Lorikeet, Australian Magpie and Noisy Miner the top three sighted birds in Victoria.
It is a simple way of getting everybody involved and everyone more interested in what they see out of their kitchen windows.Roy Chester, Birdlife Ballarat
Participants can use the Aussie Backyard Bird Count app to spend 20 minutes recording birds they see at any location, with help from the app or website to identify unknown birds.
Mr Chester said anybody could get involved.
"With most backyards you don't even need binoculars. If you sit quietly and look in the bushes and trees around you, you will be close enough to see birds," he said.
"That is possibly the revelation, becoming aware and realising there are birds and they are of significance.
"From that, Birdlife Australia can find out the distribution of birds, how common various species are and what differences in populations we are getting now."
Ballarat nature writer Roger Thomas said it was valuable to keep track of bird numbers and make comparisons to previous years.
Friends of Canadian Corridor is encouraging members to join in the count, with a particular focus on monitoring numbers and species at 13 sites across Woowookarung Regional Park.
Friends of Canadian Corridor member and avid bird photographer Rob Loveband said he compiled the list of locations from places where he regularly saw birds.
He said providing different locations to the public for birdwatching was an invitation to explore more of Woowokarung Regional Park.
"Birds are a bit of an indicator of the health of the bush," he said.
"There is a really good diversity of birds in Woowookarung which changes over the year and birdwatching is a rewarding hobby to pursue.
"My favourites are the Yellow-tailed Black Cockatoo and the Square-tailed Kite."
Friends of Canadian Corridor and Birdlife Ballarat branch member Joel Ellis said he found birdwatching a relaxing and meditative past-time.
"It is really good to slow down and take in the surroundings to connect with nature, what I see and hear," he said.
Mr Ellis has also been running a citizen science program to capture sightings of the endangered Powerful Owl.
The Aussie Backyard Bird Count runs during National Bird Week, from October 18 to 24.
Bird Week was started in the 1990s to encourage action and involvement in bird conservation efforts.
Actions residents can take to help our feathered friends include creating a bird-friendly garden, keeping cats indoors, keeping dogs on a leash to minimise bird disturbance and participating in conservation projects.
People are invited to join guided birdwatching walks by Birdlife Ballarat at Lake Wendouree, starting at the cannons near Pipers by the Lake on Sunday at 9am.
Visit aussiebirdcount.org.au/ to participate in the Aussie Backyard Bird Count.
Visit focc.asn.au/birds/ for information on the birds of Woowookarung and details on the 13 identified birdwatching sites.
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