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Birdwatching Sharpens the Memory, A Birdcall App, and Magpies are Defending their Territories | E25

Owner-operator Neil Hermes shares wonderful stories in this weekly bird wrap. This week, we will talk about How birdwatching can help with long-term, optimal brain function, why you should be careful around magpies, and an innovative app that’s like the “Shazam for birdwatchers”.

Australia is indeed a bird paradise. Visit to book wildlife tours and birdwatching safaris in Canberra to different parts of Australia, and other beautiful locations off the beaten path.

Welcome to another episode of The Weekly Bird Wrap, where I quickly discuss some of the most amazing stories and facts about birds in Australia and from all over the world!


How Birdwatching Can Help with Optimal Brain Function

A recent study suggests that specialist-level knowledge of a certain subject, such as ornithology or birdwatching, could play a crucial role in aging and improving long-term memory. The findings suggest that “birding could potentially be used as an intervention to help people keep their minds sharp as they age.”

Birdwatching can help improve your memory over time, and relentlessly studying a topic as vast as bird life over the span of decades can also help improve attention span and problem-solving skills.

If you’re looking for a sign to get into birdwatching, you may want to consider this.

The Real Reason Magpies Attack People

Magpies are known to be dangerous to some, and this is because these specific species have been known to attack humans, especially children. The reason for this aggression is actually a mother Magpie’s attempt to protect their young.

As the chicks grow older, the protective adult magpies become more aggressive toward humans and other animals and start to swoop and attack. However, once the chicks are old enough to leave the nest, they become less of a threat to humans in the area.

So, if you find yourself being targeted by a swooping magpie, try to stay calm and move away without attacking. Also, wearing hats in areas where magpies usually reside can help protect you from unwanted swooping. While it might be scary, it’s important to remember that they’re just trying to protect their young.


A Must-Have Mobile App For Birdwatchers — BirdNET Sound ID

To all aspiring and existing birdwatchers, there’s a new game-changing mobile app in town called BirdNET. If you know the app “Shazam”, it shares the same concept, except it identifies bird species instead of song titles.

This app was co-developed by scientists from both Cornell University and the Chemnitz University of Technology and it uses an artificial intelligence algorithm to identify specific songs and calls of different bird species. This technology shows promising potential, especially for birders and ornithologists, who often spend hours identifying a particular bird call.

I hope you enjoyed this week’s bird wrap! Be sure to tune in next week for more amazing stories about bird species in Australia and all over the world. If you’re interested in safaris and tours, be sure to visit my website where you can book any of my upcoming bird tours.

The Leading Birding Tours in Australia | Neil Hermes: Our Ornithologist

A scientist by background, and a keen Ornithologist. Neil has lived in Canberra for over 50 years and has decades of experience in the tourism industry. He has turned his talents to guiding guests around Canberra which he called home for most of his life.

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