Bournda EEC, in association with the Sapphire Coast Learning Community, proudly presents the


Tuesday 18th October 2022

10AM – 2PM

(Week 2, Term 4)

Potoroo Palace – To Be Confirmed

Stage 2, 3 and 4 students – school teams of 4-6 students


Many people are now familiar with the story of how the noble art of bird calling has been revived by SCLC schools in the Bega Valley.  ABC Open Producer Vanessa Milton captured the magic of the wonderful history of bird calling in this great story ,  “Meet the champion bird callers of the South Coast” which ultimately led to the inaugural Bournda Bird Olympics in July 2017!  Tanja Public School were the overall champions of the day, also brilliantly captured by ABC Open .  It’s going to be hard to top the global reach of our 2020 event but, with Covid-19 challenges making us miss out in 2021, we are going  to give everyone SOMETHING positive to crow about in 2022!

The bird call competitions were part of the Gould League’s programs to help students be more aware of the need to protect our precious and beautiful birds and we should all think about how we can help them to thrive, survive and singing for many years to come.

This is your chance to achieve Bird Olympics glory in 2022!

All Sapphire Coast Learning Community Schools are invited to send their team of 4-6 students to compete on Tuesday the 18th October 2022. The event is generously supported by the Far South Coast Birdwatchers and the event will be hosted live from the fabulous, bird paradise that is Potoroo Palace

Events on the day will include:

Bird Identification – Students will be shown pictures of local birds and must correctly name them to get the “worm”.

Identifying Bird Calls – The team that can correctly identify the greatest number of calls, will be puffin’ out their chests with pride.

Bird Brains -A research challenge task that will get the ornithological whiz kids working hard. Full marks will be an impeccable result!

The Noble Art of Bird Calling – students do their best impression of the call of a named species of bird and re-live the glories of past bird calling champions!

Individual and team prizes will be awarded and the school with the highest combined score will fly home with the Jack Lynch Memorial Trophy. We are hopeful that our online team of judges will again include some of the original participants from the Gould League competitions of the 50s and 60s.

We are also delighted to announce that best individual performance will be given the honour of holding aloft the Lisa Freedman Perpetual Trophy for The Champion Bird Caller.  Mrs Freedman, the former Principal of Tathra Public School who very sadly died in late 2020,  supported the Bird Olympics from the very beginning and was renowned for her very convincing kookaburra impression. In her feedback for the first Bird Olympics in 2017 Lisa wrote,

“I could not attend the Bird Olympics, just arranged for students to attend. The students returned very excited and full of positive feedback, so you must have done a great job! They are all keen to be chosen to attend next year and many other students are too. I really hope that this will continue as an annual event.”

This is no event for the chicken-hearted and foul play will not be tolerated. The organisers would be chuffed if you could enter a team.  It’s a cheap event; admission is free and there will be no bill. Register your expression of interest via the contact form below and we will send you an information pack.



Far South Coast Bird Watchers LogoGould League LogoWhere's Ollie?

Read all about the previous events!

It caused a little bit of excitement in our neck of the woods when the BBC World Service picked up the ABC South East NSW story by Vanessa Milton and ran it for an estimated audience of over 100 million! Wow!

Remembering On The Perch

The Home of the Bournda Bird Olympics for 2018 and 2019 was the amazing On The Perch Bird Park. Due to concerns for bird welfare and safety, after near misses with the 2018 Tathra bushfire and the horrific 2019-2020 bushfire season, Steve and Linda Sass made the heart wrenching decision to close the Bird Park.  Their passion for birds and the quality of the zoo was a key ingredient in the success of the Bird Olympics and we wish them all the best for their new adventure with Tiny Zoo!

2019 Results!

Best Bird Caller – Jasper Bright – Tanja Public – Yearly Family Pass to On the Perch Bird Park (Donated by On The Perch) and Science Week Shirt/Cap donated by Sapphire Coast Regional Science Hub Sustainability Education Network

The Wolumla winning team with the Jack Lynch Memorial Trophy


Best Team Score– Wolumla Public School (The Jack Lynch Memorial Trophy for 2019, Family Day Pass for each team member donated by On The Perch)

Best Individual Score by a Primary School Student – Arlie Richardson – Towamba Public School – Book Prize – Donated by Bournda EEC

Best Individual Score by a High School Student – Sonny Burgess – Narooma High –  Book Prize – Donated by Bournda EEC

Best Bird Photograph – Bridie Dixon – Tathra Public – Book Prize – Donated by Bournda EEC

Best Bird Photograph – Indy Myhill – Wolumla Public – Book Prize – Donated by Bournda EEC

And here are some student calls recorded at Bournda!

This is a little faint but this is a talented young lad from Year 6 at Tathra Public in 2013  – we were raven about this one!

And this girl spotted some Yellow Tailed Black Cockatoos flying overhead and called out to them as if they were members of her family.  Bega High Year 7 in 2013.

Bird call history at the Merimbula Museum

The Merimbula Museum story

Read about the reunion that brought past champions together!

Looking for resources on bird calls?

And some more resources!

Tanja PS with the Jack Lynch Memorial Award

From left: The inaugural overall winners, Tanja PS with the Jack Lynch Memorial Trophy

Magpie audio from


Winner of the Best Bird Caller at the Bournda Bird Olympics

Meet Sonny from Cobargo Public School

Sonny won the Jack Lynch Memorial Award for his School and a family day pass to On the Perch Bird Park for highest individual score. He also cleaned up in the Bird Calling section with a fine yellow tailed black cockatoo and a fantastic corella. In the Bird Call ID section Sonny was speculating if the magpie was Gymnorhina tibicen hypoleuca (I think that’s what he said)- that made me sit up and take notice!!

A real birdo and a virtuouso bird caller!! Many thanks to everyone involved in a lovely day – the birds were the winners!

A very big thank you to:

  • Steve and Linda Sass for hosting in their amazing bird Zoo Park.
  • Champion bird caller judges. Bruce Chapman, Marg Liston and Elaine Cozens were our judges and did a great job!
  • Far South Coast Birdwatchers Inc. for their generous prizes and the Merimbula Old School Museum for display items including the historic Dawson Shield.
  • Supporting Principals, teachers and families!!
  • All the wonderful students!!

Special thanks to the Champion Bird Callers who were able to make it for the big event.

Also special mention to Robert Whiter, our trophy maker. Robert couldn’t make it last year due to illness and this year his wife became seriously ill and had to go to hospital in Canberra. Hopefully next year Robert!

Check out this wonderful video of some of the calls by ABC Open’s Vanessa Milton.  Nearly 10000 views!

Check out what happened at the inaugural 2017 SCLC Bournda EEC Bird Olympics in this wonderful ABC Open segment!