About BowerBird

"New information does not become science until it is made social." E.O. Wilson.

BowerBird is a social, web-based, biological sandpit – where everyone can come and play.

Add a sighting, see it be recognised, commented on and identified or that find that it contains unknown information about a species; and, then to see the sighting become part of a larger picture for a species or ecosystem and finally to have the sighting information integrated with national and international databases.

More formally, it is a socially networked, web-based, community, biodiversity workspace for Australia, although anyone is welcome to participate. We hope that it will be used by individuals, citizen scientists, amateur and professional science-based Organisations and Societies and Field Naturalists clubs. Its strength will be a single point of entry for biological communication and sharing.

The primary aims of BowerBird are:

  • To share and deliver biological sightings to a broad audience
  • To allow individuals, local, state or national groups to form, manage and develop their own workspaces
  • To encourage comment and forum discussions on sightings or topics
  • To aggregate a minimum dataset (eg. Name, location, latitude/longitude) that will allow sightings to be shared nationally and internationally (ALA, GBIF, EOL etc)
  • To become the community’s eyes for Biosecurity that will detect or monitor invasive species.

We provide the workspace, the tools and the infrastructure to achieve these community and society based goals.


BowerBird was funded by Museum Victoria (MV), Melbourne Australia and Atlas of Living Australia (ALA), CSIRO, Canberra. The primary programmers were Frank Radocaj and Hamish Crittenden and the project was managed by Ken Walker (MV). Ongoing support for BowerBird will be provided by MV and ALA.

The following resources were used to create BowerBird's taxonomic tree and species list:


  • Gauld,. I.D.(1984). An introduction to the Ichneumonidae of Australia. British Museum. 413 pp.
  • Jones, D. & G. Morgan (2002). A Field Guide to Crustaceans of Australian waters. Reed New Holland 224pp
  • Mar Ferrer-Suay, Jordi Paretas-Martinez, Jesus Selfa & Juli Pujade-Villar (2012) Taxonomic and synonymic world catalogue of the Charipinae and notes about this subfamily (Hymenoptera: Cynipoidea: Figitidae). Zootaxa 3376: 1–92.
  • Poore, G.C.B. (2007). Crabs, hermits crabs and allies. Museum Victoria 60pp
  • Poore, G.C.B. (2004). Marine Decapod Crustacea of Southern Australia. 574pp
  • Poore, G.C.B. & A. Syme (2009). Barnacles. Museum Victoria 68pp.
  • The Insects of Australia CSIRO (1991)