CENTRAL Victorians will soon turn their gaze to spotting native birds in their backyards as they take part in a nationwide survey.
Fledgling birdwatchers at Winters Flat Primary School are among those joining in the Aussie Backyard Bird Count.
The count aims to track and protect native birds. It has become especially significant after summer bushfires killed millions.
Winters Flat Primary School gardening specialist Terry Willis said students learnt to respect and acknowledge the entire ecosystem by taking part in the count.
To do the survey, the children visit a "birdscape" at the back of the school's oval, planted in 2016 to provide habitat.
They've seen up to 30 different types of birds in previous bird searches, including brown treecreepers, musk lorikeets and red wattlebirds.
Mr Willis said sometimes students could be a bit optimistic in their identification of rare birds, but they were generally pretty accurate.
BirdLife Australia National Public Affairs manager Sean Dooley said this year's count was more important than ever before, given the effects of the bushfires.
Mr Dooley called on all Australians to get involved, to get a snapshot of native birds. He said this would help protect birds for future generations.
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He said people could take part in the count everywhere, from their own backyard, to local parks, schoolyards, bushland and beaches.
Mr Dooley said anyone could take part in the bird count, with an app that did the hard work.
"It's a great way to take a break from the anxieties and stresses that we've all faced this year," he said.
"Whether you're new to bird watching or a bird nerd, everyone can take part in the bird count.
"It's the perfect activity to unwind this spring."
Aussie Backyard Bird count takes place from October 19-25. Find out more at: aussiebirdcount.org.au
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