Bird species moving out of bushfire impacted land in the Port Macquarie-Hastings region

Regent Bowerbird. Photo: Mark Worthington.

Regent Bowerbird. Photo: Mark Worthington.

Port Macquarie-Hastings residents can expect to witness increased numbers of bird species in their gardens due to the bushfire crisis on the Mid North Coast.

Hastings Birdwatchers committee member Ken Monson said some species of birds have been forced to move to higher density areas of Port Macquarie, due to their food source being destroyed.

Mr Monson has recently examined the fire ground at the Lake Cathie village track. He said birds which feed on berries or nectar have been particularly impacted.

In the Lake Cathie area, Mr Monson said there are usually hundreds of honeyeater birds.

"Unfortunately over the past three days we have not seen any," he said.

Mark Worthington lives in Port Macquarie and has captured a diverse range of bird species in his backyard recently.

Mr Worthington has lived in the area for three years and said previously had been lucky to see the Regent Bowerbird once a year.

"This year it's been hanging around and we see it almost on a daily basis," he said.

Mr Worthington has also been visited by other species including the wompoo fruit-dove, green catbird and white headed pigeon.

Mr Monson said it's too early to say what the long-term impact of the fires will have on the birds.

Some areas of the burnt land in Lake Cathie have been signalling positive signs of regenerative growth.

"Given that it's only been a month since the fires in that area, it's very uplifting to see the regrowth of some of the plants and trees," he said.

"We have witnessed birds which forage off seeds come into these burnt-out areas."

Mr Monson said he's uncertain whether all species of plants will recover out of the fires. Unfortunately from his observations the banksia was not any showing positive signs of regrowth.

Members of the Hastings Birdwatchers are also concerned about the habitat of the swift parrot and regent honeyeater. Both species are classified as critically endangered under the federation conservation status.

"We're worried as loss of habitat could wipe out an entire generation of those species," Mr Monson said.

"It's still too early for us to get in and check on a lot of the habitat they tend to reside in."

Mr Monson said due to the fires burning through large pockets of land, it's vital to preserve what is left.

"We can't afford to keep losing land, as regeneration of those old tall trees takes a long time," he said.

Members of the Hastings Birdwatchers have been unable to enter Werrikimbe National Park, due to safety reasons.

They are particular concerned about the endangered rufous scrub-bird, which is poor flying and might not have been able to escape the strong fires which ripped through the park.

Hastings Birdwatchers are encouraging people to leave out water for birds in their gardens.

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