COG bird record collecting
ACT bird records have been collected by individuals since the days of the early settlements. Recording took on a new lease of life with the formation of the ACT Branch of the Royal Australasian Ornithologists Group in 1964 (Canberra Ornithologists Group from 1970 onwards), and with its publication of annual bird reports. 1986-1989 saw the data collection period for the ACT Bird Atlas; there have also been surges in recording activity associated with BirdLife Australia’s ongoing Atlases and with specific COG projects such as the Woodland Survey, the Garden Bird Survey and the Waterbird Survey. Because we have systematic records of the avifauna in the ACT and surrounds over such a period, COG has a reasonably accurate picture of local birds, and is well-placed to detect the changes in species and numbers that are occurring as a result of habitat and climate change. Continued monitoring is essential, however, so that we are in a position to provide up-to-date information to government and its agencies on request.
COG’s area of interest
The COG Area of Interest (AoI) includes the ACT and surrounding region, encompassing Yass and Burrinjuck Dam in the north-west to Goulburn in the north-east, Adaminaby in the south-west and Bungendore, Captains Flat and Lake Bathurst in the east. The area is bordered by parallels of latitude 34° 45′ and 36° 00′ S and meridians of longitude 148° 40′ and 149° 45′ E. For precision in recording, and before the widespread availability of online mapping tools, COG divided this area into 2.5 minute grid cells, numbered from A1 in the north-west to Z30 in the south-east. There is a map on the COG website and it is published annually in COG’s annual bird report.
Threatened Bird Surveys
COG created a survey protocol for the long-term monitoring of the abundance of two listed threatened species, Brown Treecreeper and Hooded Robin, at a number of sites around Canberra. These sites included existing woodland survey sites, some Atlas of Australian Birds sites and others. The survey is no longer being conducted.