Twitchers will flock to Katherine this weekend for an inaugural four-day festival.
Taking centre stage is Australia’s most colourful bird, The Gouldian finch.
Tying science with unique wildlife observation, the Katherine Bird Festival is making the most of one of the world’s best bird watching spots.
Festival organiser and bird expert, Mick Jerram said the festival will showcase Katherine’s distinctive bird life, while also contributing information about the finch to scientific data collection.
“Katherine is an important birding and biodiversity area mainly due to the Gouldian finch,” Mr Jerram said.
With six bird experts on hand at the festival, bird watchers will be able to help out with collecting important data on finch counts.
“The information we get at the festival will be provided to scientists at CDU who are studying the Yinberrie Hills and Mt Todd area,” he said.
Every year, thousands of people make the trip to the bird watching mecca of the Top End hoping to catch a glimpse of the Gouldian finch.
Mr Jerram said he is hoping the festival will become a mainstay event in the Katherine calendar.
“It is a great time of year to come bird watching and with experts on hand guiding bush walks we are providing pathways to see the amazing bird life we have here,” Mr Jerram said.
Over the past week, the Men’s Shed has been working hard to create 30 bird boxes especially for the Gouldian finch.
Enhancing the habitat in degraded areas, the boxes will be fixed to trees and monitored during the festival.
Young bird enthusiasts will have the opportunity to paint the boxes at the festival on Saturday.
In addition to bird bush walks, finch counts and information sessions, festival goers can take a guided breakfast bird boat cruise or canapes at sunset.
For more information about festival activities contact the Katherine Visitor Centre on 1800 653 142 and head here to register for events.