Eva is a self-declared, certified Bird Nerd. She’s been anticipating the Aussie Bird Count for weeks now, like a kid at Christmas. So naturally, she’s made a definitive guide on how to know if you’re a Bird Nerd too.

They can often be seen on beaches, in national parks and in botanic gardens, moving slowly through bushes, gazing ever upward into the trees, typically with binoculars in hand. Although once considered endangered, The Bird Nerd is making an extraordinary comeback by infecting everyday Australians with their knowledge and enthusiasm. 

Although symptoms may vary in strength, there are some clear signs to keep an eye out for. Here’s how to tell if you’ve become a Bird Nerd.

Read more: Why Birdwatching Will Improve Your Next Adventure


Stage 1: Early Signs

  • Seeing a bird and having a strong desire to know the creature not simply as ‘a bird’, but by its real name
  • Googling a bird you’ve seen to try and identify it then wondering ‘Surely there’s an app for this…’ (spoiler alert yes there are many apps for that)
  • Wondering if there’s a better way to get a closer look at the birds, perhaps if your eyes could somehow zoom in…

Stage 2: The Transition Has Begun

  • Hikes take longer, likely due to the need to pause in curiosity each time you hear a rustle or a bird song nearby (‘What was that…’)
  • You’ve discovered the beauty of eyes that zoom aka binoculars!


How To Tell if You're a Bird Nerd, Eva Davis-Boermans, man, sunrise, silhouette, binoculars, birdwatching


  • When someone points out a bird, instead of saying ‘Oh cool’ you say ‘Oh cool, a White throated tree creeper’
  • Your willingness to get up early has increased dramatically. Early worm gets the bird, or whatever 
  • You have a written tally of birds you’ve seen
  • You’ve begun connecting and bonding with other transitioning Bird Nerds

Stage 3: Bird Nerd Transition Complete

  • You’ve got a second list of birds you really want to see but haven’t spotted yet
  • You’ve perfected the art of the silent walk on even the crunchiest of path surfaces 
  • You have the ability to get binoculars adjusted and out of your bag while not taking your eyes off the bird you just spotted. 
  • You have a bird book filled with written notes and dog eared corners



  • You actively plan hikes and other adventures to find cool rare birds
  • You have a favourite bird. Actually, you probably have a few favourites you struggle to choose between
  • You get so excited for bird week that you sign up to the Aussie Bird Count two months in advance (this is 100% autobiographical)

If you’ve discovered, upon reading this list, that you are in fact a bird nerd, congratulations! It’s not a curse, but a blessing. Be free to embrace the full extent of your nerdiness and make sure you self-medicate with regular walks in nature and some good quality bird chat at least once a week. 

If you happen to encounter a Bird Nerd in the wild, approach eagerly, with an open mind and a willingness to listen and talk for hours about birds. But beware! Interactions like these are incredibly contagious and you may find that soon enough you become a Bird Nerd yourself.


The Aussie Bird Count starts on Monday 17th October 2022! Sign up now to document the birds you spot in your local area.