Build it and they will come

B4C has engaged BirdLife Southern Queensland to undertake baseline bird surveys on three of its iconic sites – Bulimba Creek Oxbow, Doboy Wetlands and the Gibson Island rehabilitation project. This year three seasonal surveys will occur, with Autumn already completed.

Double-barred Finch | By Drew Sansness

The idea is to use birds as an indicator of ecological health and habitat success in our rehabilitation areas. And we believe the jury is no longer out on that. Our work is creating essential habitat and the birds are increasing accordingly. 

Gibson Island Rehabilitation Project site (Industrial Landcare)

The aim of the bird surveys are to demonstrate that small-scale plantings in heavily industrialised areas have a positive response from our birds.

Superb Fairy Wrens | By Drew Sansness.
Superb Fairy Wrens | By Drew Sansness.

Two separate areas were surveyed – the initial plantings of up to 2 years ago and newer planted areas from the last year.

The results have shown that small birds in particular are using the planted areas for foraging and habitat. The older area had 11 species and a total of 63 birds. The newer area (vegetation still juvenile and not as complex) had 8 species and a total bird count of 47. So this is an easy and true indicator of the success of our revegetation. 

What birds were found? Small birds like Double-Barred Finch, Chestnut-breasted Mannikin, Double-barred finch, Mistletoebird, Striated Pardalote, Superb Fairy-wren and Welcome Swallow, for a start.  

Small birds, like wrens and finches, need ground foraging and grassy low bush protection (habitat).

B4C’s Catchment Manager Wayne Cameron says Gibson Island could be a major haven for small native birds.

“We will continue with our specific revegetation species and methods to build on this with our Industrial Landcare partners supporting us all the way,” Wayne said.

View the summary report from BirdLife Southern Queensland (1mb PDF)

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