• Monitor-Birds
    Monitor birds and habitat

Keep an ear out for Australasian Bitterns at your local wetland

Despite its unmistakable and repeated booming call, reminiscent of a foghorn, the Australasian Bittern remains a secretive and cryptic species, leaving much to be discovered about its basic ecology.

Sadly, both the Australasian Bittern and the Australian Little Bittern are threatened species, with the Australasian Bittern listed as Endangered, both globally and in Australia.

You can help us identify critical bittern habitats across their range by taking part in the Bittern Listening Surveys, which take place during the bitterns’ breeding season – in spring and summer – when their booming calls can be heard, most often around dawn and dusk.

Volunteers will be trained in listening survey techniques and deployed to a local wetland. The best time to undertake a listening survey is on a still, clear, full moon night. In 2023, the dates of the full moon are:

  • 27 September – 1 October
  • 27 October – 1 November
  • 25 – 29 November
  • 27 – 29 December

As a volunteer bittern surveyor, you will:

  • Receive comprehensive training in specialised listening survey techniques to enhance your skills.
  • Use your new skills to listen out for booming by Australasian Bitterns at your local wetland at dawn or dusk.
  • Identify and document bittern habitat across their range.

Role requirements

  • Comfortable working in low-light situations.
  • Available for training in OH&S and Bittern Listening Survey methods.
  • Can participate in surveys intermittently between September and December.
  • Has a car or is willing to join a coordinated survey effort.

This volunteer opportunity is suited to someone who would like to:

  • Engage in hands-on wildlife conservation and contribute to the protection of Australasian Bitterns.
  • Immerse themselves in their local wetlands and gain a deeper understanding of wetland ecosystems.
  • Gain practical experience in conducting listening surveys and applying specialised survey techniques.

Volunteer application

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