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          Member | Join now

          By joining the biggest community of bird lovers in Australia, you can help us make a positive impact on the future of our native birdlife. The members of BirdLife Australia, along with our supporters and partners, have been powerful advocates for native birds and the conservation of their habitats since 1901.

          We are also the meeting ground for everyone with an interest in birds from the curious backyard observer to the dedicated research scientist. It doesn’t matter what your interest in birds is or how much you know about them, your membership will offer you the opportunity to increase your awareness and enjoyment.

          Birdlife Australia would be delighted to welcome you as a new member and we look forward to sharing our news and achievements with you throughout the coming year.

          Our Programs


          ‘Southern Cassowary’ was the winning image from last year's Bird Portrait Category, in the @BirdlifeOz Photography… twitter.com/i/web/status/1…

          @GichingaWa Amazing huh! "The physiological secret to long migrations does not depend on a single 'magic' adaptatio… twitter.com/i/web/status/1…

          More evidence that conservation works. Breeding seabirds on Macca have also bounced back tremendously since the int… twitter.com/i/web/status/1…


          People doing projects

          BirdLife Australia's conservation activities are given structure by our projects. Typically, a project involves many people, the vast majority of whom are volunteers. Volunteers survey key areas for birds, monitor breeding events, perform on-ground works and gather vital data. They are the backbone of our organisation and the lifeblood of our projects.

          There are thousands of us out there working for birds and their habitats, and we can always use more help!

          Projects are coordinated by Project Officers, some of whom are themselves volunteers, and the project portfolio as a whole is overseen by the Head of Research, James O'Connor. Our Research and Conservation Committee (RACC) provides advice and ensures that the projects we do are relevant, strategic, and deliver effective conservation results.

          Strategic Project Portfolio

          We run a large number of projects, ranging from small survey-based efforts in local areas to nation-wide monitoring programs generating large amounts of data which can be used in an array of sophisticated analyses. As in all areas, we want to provide good value for money with our projects, and therefore tend to concentrate resources on projects which are strategic and effective in terms of conservation outcomes, national or at least regional in scale, and realistically manageable. BirdLife Australia's research strengths lie in mobilising large numbers of skilled people for monitoring, and in modelling and mapping the information they provide.

          All of BirdLife’s projects are guided by our Bird Conservation Strategy to ensure our work is relevant and strategic to the threats facing birds. This Conservation Strategy describes the organising framework within which we conduct our conservation and research work towards that whole-of-organisation goal. It describes how we conceptualise our bird conservation program, set measurable project objectives for research and conservation work and implement projects within an adaptive planning cycle.

          Research and Conservation Committee

          BirdLife Australia's Research and Conservation Committee (RACC) is a group of highly respected scientists and conservationists who donate their time and expertise for the good of our birds and the organisation. The Committee provides advice and ensures the projects we do are relevant, strategic, and deliver effective conservation outcomes.

          The current members are:

          • Dr Jim Radford, Chair (Australian Bush Heritage)
          • Barry Baker (University of Tasmania)
          • Dr Kate Buchanan (Emu Editor / Deakin University)
          • Professor Stephen Garnett (Charles Darwin University)
          • Dr Raymond Nias (Island Conservation)
          • Dr April Reside (James Cook University)
          • Brendan Sydes (Environmental Justice Australia)
          • James Tresize (Australian Conservation Foundation)
          • Ayesha Tulloch (University of Sydney)
          • James Watson (Wildlife Conservation Foundation)

          Click here for more information about individual committee members and their expertise.

          RACC Sub-committees

          RACC also oversees a range of specialist subcommittees and reviews their recommendations for the BirdLife Australia Board. Members of all RACC sub-committees generously donate their time to support BirdLife Australia. All of these committees operate under terms of reference.

          Australasian Ornithological Conference Advisory Committee (AOCAC)

          The Australasian Ornithological Conference (AOC) is a biennial conference run jointly by BirdLife Australia and the Ornithological Society of New Zealand (OSNZ), with the aim of promoting ornithology in the scientific community. The conference runs within a set of policies and guidelines approved by RACC and OSNZ.

          The current Chair of the AOC Advisory Committee is Kate Buchanan.

          Australian Field Ornithology Editorial Board (AFOEB)

          Australian Field Ornithology is BirdLife’s quarterly, peer-reviewed journal publishing original papers on a broad spectrum of topics relating to Australasian ornithology, including ecology, behaviour and history of individual species and groups. It also publishes significant natural history observations and has a particular emphasis on data or observations gained in the field.  It regularly includes authoritative reviews of other ornithological publications.

          First published in 1959 as The Australian Bird Watcher, it took on its present title in 2003. The body of work contained in the journal has added greatly to our knowledge of Australia’s birds and continues to do so; most new Australian species records are published in AFO and it has been an important source of data for our authoritative Handbook of Australian, New Zealand and Antarctic Birds.

          Editorial policy and performance are overseen by RACC. The current Chair is James Fitzsimons who is also appointed to liaise between the Editorial Board and RACC.

          Emu Editorial Board (EEB)

          Emu - Austral Ornithology is BirdLife Australia's premier scientific journal, which has been published for well over 100 years. Bringing together the results of the latest bird research from all over the Southern Hemisphere and the adjacent tropics, it is considered to be the premier scientific ornithological publication for the region. All volumes are available online to subscribers and a full set of the printed volumes is available in our library located at BirdLife Australia's Melbourne headquarters.

          In 2008 a new Emu Editorial Board (EEB) was established to ensure that the journal meets and exceeds the high standards demanded by the wider ornithological community. The EEB comprises the Editor, Dr Kate Buchanan, and approximately 20 Associate Editors whose collective expertise spans topics relevant to the scope of Emu. Associate Editors assist in the selection of referees and make recommendations about publication of papers, advise the Editor in the development of editorial policy, and attract new authors to the journal.

          Editorial policy and performance are overseen by RACC, and Dr Kate Buchanan is appointed to liaise between RACC and the Editorial Board.

          English Names Committee (ENC)

          RACC maintains a Working List of Australian birds. The role of the ENC is to consider the English Names for new taxa, or taxa whose taxonomy has been revised. The English Names Committee of the Royal Australian Ornithologists Union (Birds Australia) established conventions for naming Australian birds over 35 years ago (RAOU 1978), and bird names have remained relatively stable ever since.

          The current Chair of the ENC is Geoffrey Dabb.

          Monitoring Committee (MC)

          The Monitoring Committee advises on the development and implementation of structured monitoring across a number of key BirdLife projects, primarily Birdata (formally known as the Atlas of Australian Birds), the Bird Conservation Portal, and the Key Biodiversity Areas project.

          The current Chair of the MC is Barry Baker.

          Threatened Species Committee (TSC)

          RACC maintains a list of threatened Australian birds based on the IUCN Red List categories and criteria. To ensure that this list is maintained at the highest professional standards it is agreed that all submissions be reviewed by an expert committee with delegates chosen from around the country. The current threatened bird list is based on the Action Plan for Australian Birds 2010. The list is subject to ongoing assessment and review.

          The current Chair of the TSC is Dr Stephen Garnett. Contact the TSC at tsc@www.bianchun.tw

          Scientific Awards Committee (SciAC)

          The Scientific Awards Committee assesses nominations for the D.L Serventy Medal, an award that honours scientists who have made outstanding contributions to publication in the field of ornithology in the Australasian region; the J.N. Hobbs Memorial Medal – which is awarded to an amateur birdwatcher who has made a significant contribution to the knowledge or conservation of birds in Australia, and Fellows – BirdLife Australia's acknowledgement that a person has made a distinguished contribution to the discipline of ornithology in Australia through the organisation either directly through ornithological research or in other, related, evidence based, scientific disciplines.

          The committee is made of previous award recipients and recommends candidates for consideration by RACC and the Board. For more information and details on how to apply click here.

          The current chair of the SciAC is Mike Newman.

          Student Awards Committee (SAC)

          The Student Awards Committee assesses applications for the BirdLife’s student awards, including the Stuart Leslie Bird Research Award and Professor Allen Keast Research Award. This committee is made up of leading researchers and scientists (many of whom are previous recipients themselves) who generously volunteer their time to independently assess the quality of student applications.

          The current Chair of the SAC is Jim Radford.

          Bird banding project in Victoria

          Orange-bellied Parrot monitoring


          Many of our projects are based on monitoring and feed into our central database, the Atlas of Australian Birds. Our overarching aim in monitoring is to establish a fixed-site monitoring network using the Atlas. This will allow us to examine biodiversity and population trends, and long-term effects on bird populations of climate change and other environmental variables. Our monitoring already plays a critical role in informing land managers and governments, and forms a key plank of the federal government's annual State of the Environment reports.


          BirdLife Australia seems to punch well above its weight when it comes to producing quality research and conservation work, and this is in no small part due to the dedication and sacrifice of our staff and volunteers. But we can't do it all alone, and building constructive working partnerships is part of our strategic plan. We work with government agencies, non-government organisations and selected corporations to enhance our strengths and complement our weaknesses. We share data and expertise and forge links with other organisations to build cooperative projects and relationships that add immense value to our conservation efforts.

          Shorebirds 2020 workshop