National Twitchathon | 26-27 October 2019

What we have achieved so far

Funds Raised

Get ready for this year's Twitchathon!

The National Twitchathon is BirdLife Australia's spring race for bird conservation. It's a friendly competition in which teams of birders race to see or hear as many bird species as possible in a set time, while raising funds for BirdLife Australia and our crucial conservation and research projects.


The first step is easy: think of a great team name, register your team, then plan your route across multiple habitats in order to score more birds.

Next, seek out local sponsors to support your team, then fundraise amongst family, friends, and co-workers on how many species you will see. We recommend 20c to $1 per bird as a good starting point, or just ask for a set donation in support of your efforts. Donations here.

Below are the three race categories, including rules, how we score the Twitchathon and a check list on getting started. If you’re a junior team, register on the same forms.

Race categories

The 30-hour ‘Big Weekend’

A marathon race where teams can collect a massive species total.

The 12-hour ‘Big Day’

A full-day race during daylight hours with an optional lunch break.

The 3-hour ‘Birdathon’

A super-strategic event that could take all day or just one morning.

State Fundraisers

State by state, BirdLife Australia collaborates with branches, staff and affiliates to choose the threatened species most in need of our efforts. In previous Twitchathons, we've raised more than $45,000 for our vital conservation and research projects. Even if you're busy on the race weekend, you can still play an important role – sponsor a team or, if you can’t choose between them, donate directly to a species or your state’s cause.

Below are species state by state teams will race for in 2019.

Victoria – Shorebirds floating roost project

The lack of roosts in shorebird feeding areas means desperately needed stop over sites become useless for long distance migrants. Providing supplementary, artificial roosts can unlock wetlands once again for exhausted shorebirds to refuel after their epic flights.  

Many coastal wetlands are globally recognised Key Biodiversity Areas (KBAs) e.g. in Port Phillip Bay, in Gippsland and throughout th East Asian Australasian Flyway. High-tide roost sites for shorebirds in many of these KBAs are increasingly jeopardised by coastal development, recreational disturbance and sea-level rise.  

A project initiated by BirdLife Australia is trailing floating artificial roosts modeled on long-line oyster bags (LLOB) as a cheap, low-impact and safe alternative where natural roosts have been lost and artificial islands etc. are not an option.  

Phase 1 at three Ramsar listed wetlands and KBAs in Australia and the Republic of Korea in 2018-2019 was encouraging: overall, 42 waterbird species (including 17 shorebird species, 5 listed as threatened) have been recorded using the floating roosts to date. At times roosts reached capacity with 600 shorebirds on a single roost!

In 2020, phase 2 of the project will adapt the design and extend the trials. To do so we’re seeking $10,000 to contribute to: 

  • Investigations into the use of non-plastic materials in partnership with RMIT industrial design department and Indigenous communities. 
  • Purchase of roost additional infrastructure. 
  • Purchase of additional remote cameras to monitor the roosts. 

Contact - Matthew Crawford -

Victoria Funds Raised

Funds Raised

Victoria Leaderboard

South Australia - South Eastern Red-tailed Black Cockatoo

The target for the BirdLife Twitchathon for South Australia in 2019 is to raise $5000 to fund recovery efforts for the South-eastern Red-tailed Black Cockatoo (SERTBC) Recovery Project.

The South-eastern Red-tailed Black Cockatoo only occurs in the south-east of SA and the south-west of VIC, and long-term monitoring of the population suggests numbers are in decline.

Recent studies have shown that nest availability may be a limiting factor in the recovery of these beautiful cockatoos in South Australia. The Recovery Team will be installing 50 nest boxes over the next two years in priority areas across the Red-tail’s range in SA.

While we have installed nest boxes for the Red-tails in the past, monitoring of the boxes has always been limited due to funding. Over the past few years a PhD student has been developing bioacoustic monitoring technology as a cost-effective way to monitor Red-tail nests.

The Recovery Project is hoping to raise funds to be able to effectively monitor our new nest boxes and other Red-tail nests using bioacoustic equipment for next year’s breeding season. Monitoring nests and nest boxes would allow us to gain more information about breeding success and fledgling survival of the population, which would help direct our recovery efforts into the future.

Contact - Ian Reid -

South Australia Funds Raised

Funds Raised

South Australia Leaderboard

Queensland - Eungella Honeyeater

It is almost tradition now that funds raised in the Twitchathon help protect species in globally important Key Biodiversity Areas (KBA’s) and the 2019 QLD Twitchathon proudly stands in this tradition. 

The Eungella Honeyeater has a mythical status in the birding community as the last bird species new to science in Australia. However, in late 2018 a bushfire ravaged the Clarke Range Key Biodiversity Area destroying at least 5% of Eungella Honeyeater habitat and leaving a question mark over the long-term survival of the species in its minute distribution range.

Now is the time to establish the current threat status for Eungella Honeyeater by  assessing the population of the species and determining some key ecological and conservation needs to identify and protect critical habitat for the species outside the Eungella National Park.

The $10K targets of funds raised in the 2019 Twitchathon will help will help prevent the extinction of the Eungella Honeyeater, a bird that still holds the promise that Australia’s bush has many natural wonders for us to discover. 

Contact - National Birdathon Coordinator - Elliot Connor -

Queensland Funds Raised

Funds Raised

Queensland Leaderboard

WA - Carnaby’s Black Cockatoo

The most important wintering site for WA’s iconic Carnaby’s Black Cockatoo is a globally recognized Key Biodiversity Area (KBA) in Danger. 

Much needed feeding habitat in the Northern Swan Coastal Plain KBA has now been chopped down but a community group has decided to act for the Cockatoos. Our aim is to plant native bush for cockatoos in the former pine plantations north of Perth as soon as possible.  

The funds raised in the Twitchathon will purchase native seedlings to grow roosting and feeding resources for Carnaby’sfor planting in winter (June to August) 2020.  

Please help us achieve our initial goal of $10,000 which should purchase 4,000 seedlings in the first year. There will be no overheads for this campaign, with time and associated costs all covered by volunteers and donations from our friends, family and community. 

The task of regenerating the glorious Perth bushland is massive and cannot be achieved without government taking responsibility too. This is why your support will not only help grow trees but send a clear message to government: 

“The community does not accept inaction on Carnaby’s population decline. The time for talk and promises has passed. We will act to revegetate the ex-pine plantations of Perth and we expect the government to come to the party” 

Contact - Stewart Ford -

Western Australia Funds Raised

Funds Raised

Western Australia Leaderboard

NT - Migratory Shorebirds 

Darwin’s Shoal Bay is a globally recognised Key Biodiversity Area (KBA) for Migratory shorebirds and owing to its vicinity to Darwin it is the most important window on migratory shorebird populations on the NT coast.  Like many of Australia’s Northern Coast it is not only a stopover site for birds on their journey from and to the arctic but also a place where young birds not yet strong enough for the full journey will stay during winter.  

The funds raised through the Twitchathon will help BirdLife Australia new local Top End branch buy a much-needed Telescope to train and grow our local team of counters. It will also help them to support the Larrakia Rangers, who won the 2019 BirdLife Indigenous Grant for Bird Research and Conservation for their work looking after Shoal Bay. 

The new knowledge of Shoal Bay shorebirds will help with managing local threats and will fill some critical gaps in our ability to gauge the population trajectory for some of our most threatened species such as Great Knots and Eastern Curlews.  

Contact - Pam Keil -

Northern Territory Funds Raised

Funds Raised

Northern Territory Leaderboard

TAS - King Island Brown Thornbill

The King Island Brown Thornbill has the unfortunate distinction of being the Australian bird most likely to become extinct over the next two decades—and its neighbour, the equally inconspicuous King Island Scrubtit, isn’t far behind, coming in at number three on that list.

After decades of habitat clearance and more recent out-of-control fires in one of the few remaining reserves suitable for these birds, it was thought there may be only a handful of Brown Thornbills left on the island.   

The odds looked to be against their long-term survival. But some great news has arrived from the dense, leech-infested swamps and fragments of tall eucalypt forest that these birds call home. Our Preventing Extinctions team, together with our partners, funded the first systematic searches for the thornbill which not only found the birds alive and well on the Bass Strait island, but provided hope that their population may be larger than initial estimates.  

But this does not mean these birds are out of the woods just yet. Although this is great news, the King Island Brown Thornbill is still one of our most threatened birds. To ensure their continued survival, the Preventing Extinctions team and our partners will be back on King Island working with landowners to protect and enhance the places they call home and start a recovery program.  

We need your help to stop this extinction. All funds raised will go towards undertaking priority conservation actions to help improve the populations of these two special King Island birds.    

Contact - Peter Vaughan -

Tasmania Funds Raised

Funds Raised

Tasmania Leaderboard

NSW/ACT - Bush Stone-Curlew 

Canberra the Bush-Capital is well deserving of its title. Most of the heart of the nation, including parliament hill, lies within the boundaries of a globally recognized Key Biodiversity Area (KBA).  

Now Canberra is getting one of the most distinctive sounds of the bush back, the wailing calls of the Bush Stone-curlew filling the night. Bush Stone-curlews became extinct in the ACT around 1970. Its reintroduction was started through a community driven project of several releases of birds over 2014 to 2016 establishing a small breeding population within the Mulligans Flat Woodland Sanctuary. Re-introductions of these birds have been trialled elsewhere but have largely failed, for reasons poorly understood.  

Twitchathon funds will build upon this previous work and will help with:

Further releases of Bush Stone Curlews

- Analysis of the core mechanisms behind success and failure of introduction

- Development of frameworks for reintroductions of other ground-dwelling birds  

- Development of a method for long-term GPS tracking of Bush Stone-curlews

Contact - Mick Roderick -

NSW/ACT Funds Raised

Funds Raised

NSW/ACT Leaderboard

2019 Twitchathon Sticker

 It has become almost a tradition that the Twitchathon is raising vital funds for conservation work in Key Biodiversity Areas (KBAs). As is definitely tradition now the KBA team would like to say 'Thank You' to all Twitchers with our 2019 Twitchathon Sticker. 

If you would like to show that you are part of the 2019 Twitchathon, fly the flag for KBAs or just like a cool bird sticker, please e-mail to get free stickers for you or your team.

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