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National Bird Week

National Bird Week is where we celebrate our feather friends and it seems like we have a lot here in Australia – over 850 species in fact, of which 45% are found nowhere else in the world.

National Bird Week

Sheree Marris

A little birdie told us that this week was National Bird Week.

National Bird Week is when we celebrate our feather friends and it seems like we have a lot here in Australia – over 850 species in fact, of which 45% are found nowhere else in the world.

Some of the most fascinating species fly not only in the air but also underwater, and our project Melbourne Down Under captured this in their incredible documentary.

The Australasian Gannet, a species of elegant-looking seabirds who aren’t scared to dive into danger headfirst. They are in fact built for it. From the equivalent height of a six-story building, with wings folded back, these streamlined sea birds spear the ocean’s surface at speeds of 100km/h into schools of fish. It’s a topside attack that sends fish into a frenzy. 

With double-thick skulls that act like crash helmets, and built-in airbags to protect their bodies, gannets take to the sea like a, well… ‘gannet to water’. If a target is missed, the wings turn into fins and are used to swim around to make another pass. With hundreds, sometimes thousands of birds attacking the one school of fish.

Fun fact
Did you know a bird watcher
is called a twitcher?

For more information on the Unico Conservation Foundation projects and initiatives, visit www.unicoconservationfoundation.org.au.