We document changes in the avifauna of Longueville, a residential suburb of Sydney, between 1971–73 and 1977–79 based on daily bird lists, and make comparisons with the present avifauna based on surveys in 2013–14. Of the 31 most common native terrestrial bird species, 17 were ‘decreasers’, present in 1971–73 but not recorded in 2013–14 (although 16 of them were recorded in a large bushland remnant 5 km away), and 14 were ‘increasers’, seven of which were absent or very rare in 1971–73. Eleven species decreased during the 1970s, and six species afterwards. Eight species increased during the 1970s and six species afterwards. The decreasers were predominantly small insectivores and nectarivores. The increasers were of three main types: medium to large carnivores, large frugivores or granivores, and medium-sized nectarivores. Two of the nectarivores, the noisy miner (Manorina melanocephala) and rainbow lorikeet (Trichoglossus haematodus), now dominate the urban bird community of Longueville and are by far the most numerous birds. The increase of both species dates from the late 1970s. The noisy miner is highly aggressive towards other birds and its dramatic increase (it was absent in 1971–73) appears to be the chief cause of the decline of small native birds in Longueville.
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Vol. 67 • No. 4