10 Years of Tempe Birdos

Wednesday 2 February 2022

Inner West Council will hold a morning tea to celebrate the 10th anniversary of volunteer bird watching group, Tempe Birdos.

Tempe Birdos began monthly surveys at Tempe Lands wetlands in early 2012 and meet monthly for an early morning bird walk and survey.

The area was a shale quarry in the 1920s and a greyhound track in the 1940s, before becoming the ‘Tempe Tip’ - a landfill site until the mid-1970s.

In 2004, Council began remediation of the site. Two years later, the then-Mayor was quoted saying, “Birdlife not seen in the area for some time is already starting to return.”

In 2016, Tempe Birdos reached a milestone when they recorded their 100th species – a Little Egret.

Recently, the total number of species recorded reached 120, showing how Tempe Lands has been transformed from a rubbish tip to a thriving biodiversity area.

Virginia Niven and her daughter Isabella are founding members of the Tempe Birdos. They coordinate morning tea and enter data into the Atlas of Living Australia where it can be accessed by Council, other agencies and the public ensuring the data is widely available to inform local and regional conservation efforts.

“In February 2012, with a small band of volunteers and support from Council, we began regular monthly bird surveys at the Wetlands.

“To give you an idea of what the area looks like, imagine a piece of the Australian bush carved out of the landscape and dropped into the Inner West behind the Princes Highway,” Virginia said.

“It’s incredible to think that this area was once a tip, and now it’s a hot spot for birds and other creatures that have made it their home and breeding ground, or a stop-off on their migrations.”

2022 is also an important milestone for GreenWay Birdos – another Inner West citizen science group. GreenWay Birdos is celebrating their fifth anniversary this year.

Dr Holly Parsons from BirdLife Australia said, “Tempe and GreenWay Birdos monitoring of Inner West birds in partnership with Council should be celebrated. Without them, we would miss so much valuable information.

“The Birdos data shows that our cities can be havens for a huge variety of birds.”

Council encourages residents to join an existing Birdos group or contact Council to start a new group.

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Page last updated: 02 Feb 2022