Nature Kids – Spring 2020

What species am I?*

  1. I am an endangered freshwater wading bird who likes wetlands, marshes and swamps.
  2. My nest consists of a scrape in the ground, lined with grasses and leaves. The male sits on our eggs and mostly cares for the young.
  3. I forage at night on mud-flats and in shallow water, and eat worms, molluscs, insects and plants.

How to make a monoprint & paint with bush brushes

  • Collect foliage (leaves, branches, grasses etc).
  • Apply paint or ink to both sides of some foliage.
  • Place foliage between 2 sheets of paper & apply pressure with your hands, a rolling pin etc
  • Separate the paper & use ink or paint on other foliage as bush brushes to decorate your mono-print with different marks, patterns or textures.

Did you know?

In October of each year, waterbirds are counted in an aerial survey that takes 100 flying hours. The Eastern Australian Waterbird Survey is an annual research project that records the numbers and distribution of 50 waterbird species, and checks the health of rivers and wetlands. Guess how many wetlands the survey covers? (answer below)
Check out the interactive map, plus pictures and videos on the project logs.

WATCH THIS inspiring short clip about his love of nature.

A UK teenager who taught himself to identify bird calls noticed the appearance, during lockdown, of rare birds in places normally occupied by people.
To share pictures, drawings, stories or poems about nature, email


First Bilby joeys in NSW National Parks in 100+ years

In 2018 and 2019 bilbies were reintroduced into two NSW conservation areas. Up till then, this native mammal had not been seen in NSW National Parks for more than 100 years! And now Mallee Cliffs National Park in southwest NSW is home to a new generation of baby bilbies (known as joeys).
Find out more about the Greater Bilby and ecologists’ work to save the species on the Australian Wildlife Conservancy website.

First NSW large-scale Regent Honeyeater release

June 2020 saw the first large-scale release in NSW of captive-bred Regent Honeyeaters, which is designed to boost the wild population. Learn more and listen to the bird call this critically endangered species.

*Australian Painted Snipe

The ABC needs to be defended – for Nature’s sake

Janine Kitson, Convenor, Northern Suburbs of Sydney Branch, ABC Friends NSW & ACT

The ABC, Australia’s public broadcaster, is under threat from the savage budget cuts that have recently been announced by the Federal Government.  Unless these cuts can be reversed in the Federal Budget 2020-2021, to be released on 6 October 2020, there are grave fears that the ABC will have to curtail many of its services, including those relating to the environment. 

Regrow Rewild Update

Stephanie Clark, NPA Citizen Science Officer

We have been busy in the planning stages of Regrow Rewild. The main objectives of the project will be to examine a statewide selection of fire refugia to document the extent to which they are functioning as ‘biodiversity arks’. These sites are important as they offer the best hope for the survival of the many species that have been pushed to the edge of extinction by the 2019/20 bushfires.

Urban Greenspace and Mental Health and Wellbeing

Magella Lajoie, Sydney Region Branch

Since the COVID-19 crisis, my husband and I head off for the bush at the end of our street everyday.  We are very lucky to live in a suburb with abundant greenspace. We have been bushwalkers all our lives and know that feeling of introspection during the walk and value that feeling of rejuvenation after a bush walk.  Now science has bourgeoning evidence that urban greenspace is good for our health, our mental health and our wellbeing.