Tuesday, October 3, 2023

Volunteers needed for 2023 Annual Cocky Count

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Skye McPherson, BirdLife Australia, Naracoorte Community News

The South-eastern Red-tailed Black-Cockatoo Recovery Team and BirdLife Australia is looking forward to the regional Annual Cocky Count in 2023 and is seeking the help of volunteers.

This year the Annual Cocky Count will be held on Saturday 6 May, with volunteers searching in stringybark sites across the Red-tails’ range in south-eastern South Australia and south-western Victoria. The Count is supported by the Limestone Coast Landscape Board, Wimmera Catchment Management Authority and Glenelg Hopkins Catchment Management Authority, through funding from the Australian Government.

The main reason for conducting the count each year is to find large flocks of Red-tails across their range. Guided by these results, we undertake flock counts to gain an indication of breeding success in previous years.

“We have been getting a lot of sighting reports lately, and that’s a really great sign we will get a good count this year,” said Skye McPherson, BirdLife Australia’s South-eastern Red-tailed Black-Cockatoo Project Coordinator.

“To ensure that volunteers are sent to the areas where the birds have been recently spotted, it’s important the community report as many sightings as they can.”

Sightings can be reported on freecall 1800 262 062, email redtail@birdlife.org.au or by visiting our website at www.redtail.com.au. It only takes a few minutes and can make a big difference.

“In 2022, over 100 volunteers counted a grand total of 1,143 birds in the region,” Skye continued. “We are hoping for an even better result this year.”

Count participants search in pairs or small groups and drive or walk around their allocated site in stringybark forest, stopping at regular intervals to look and listen out for the birds. Survey sites are spread across the range of the cockatoo, from Nelson to Little Desert in Victoria, and from Mount Gambier to Keith in South Australia. Landholders who have stringybark on their property are also warmly encouraged to search their own land on the day.

“People who are interested in taking part in the count don’t need any prior bird survey experience, but they do need to become familiar with what Red-tails look and sound like, as they can often be mistaken for the more common Yellow-tailed Black-Cockatoo,” said Skye. “You can hear the difference between the two species by visiting our website at www.redtail.com.au/audio.html.”

For more information on how to become involved or to register to participate, please contact Skye McPherson on 1800 262 062 or email redtail@birdlife.org.au.

Naracoorte Community News 3 May 2023

This article appeared in the Naracoorte Community News.


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