Latest Club News

You Should Get Into Birding, The Most Relaxing Of Hobbies

Powerful owl back in the Illawarra after a few years away

If you see one let us know

Mr Tom Walter


Illawarra Birders Inc. PO Box 1355, 116 Auburn St, Wollongong 2500.


Illawarra Birders members have been absolutely disgusted at the sight of the hundreds of dead ducks laid out in protest outside the Victorian Premier’s Office by volunteers. This included 68 Freckled and 21 Blue-billed Ducks which are both threatened species and had therefore been illegally shot. There were many other birds killed and left injured that were not even duck species.


Our issues with duck shooting are as follows:

  • Several of our expert birders who have many years of experience have said it is virtually impossible to positively identify a species of duck as it is flushed and flies in just a few seconds, even with their binoculars.
  • How do hunters, with much less bird I.D. knowledge and skill, have time to identify each bird before they then make a decision to shoot and take their shot. Do they use binoculars to first identify each bird? The answer is they can’t and don’t.
  • The horrible carnage, and loss of many birds that are in fact not supposed to be targeted as has been demonstrated in the first weeks of the ‘season’.
  • Many birds are just shot and left dead or to die. This is not only cruel and inhumane but leaves us asking WHY they were shot in the first place? Was it just for fun and sport? If so wouldn’t clay targets that can be fired through the air be sufficient.
  • We have moral issues with people shooting, maiming and killing our wildlife.
  • We see our birds as beautiful and something to be admired and protected for future generations to enjoy.
  • We cannot believe the damage to the wetland areas caused by the hunters as well as the pollution caused by the discarded plastic shotgun shells that are just left where they fall.
  • As birders we believe in doing no harm – leaving only footprints!


We would like to know how shooting is policed? Are hunters prosecuted when they are found to have shot something they should not have?


Our members have been told the duck season brings great income to Victoria as the shooters use services and accommodation in the area.


Illawarra Birders are part of the BIGnet (Bird Interest Group network) of bird groups in NSW and the ACT. The duck shooting issue was raised at our recent BIGnet meeting. Our members have been asked to take Victoria off their inter-state travel destination lists and to not spend money on any Victorian–based companies. This letter will be shared with the BIGnet groups which encompass thousands of birders across NSW. We will continue to encourage this type of action by our members until the duck hunting season ceases to be a part of the Victorian calendar OR until it can be irrefutably proven that hunters CAN be responsible and target ONLY those species they are allowed, by law, to shoot.


We see duck hunting as turning a blind-eye to hunters that continually do the wrong thing as is consistently proven by the dead and injured bird species that are unnecessarily shot each year.


Yours Sincerely

Michelle Rower

Conservation Officer

Illawarra Birders Inc.



Saturday 24 June, Bargo River Walk 

8.30am, Leaders: Nerida Hudspith, Mobile 0424 417 484 and Michelle Rower, Mobile 0421 335 037
Access from Bargo River Road (Off Remembrance Driveway). Turn into Bargo River Road and cross the railway line. Take the next turn left, Fire Road, and park on the grass beside the river on the left.
Bring food and drink for the day.