Red-tail Sightings Wanted in Preparation for 2013 Annual Count!

Have you seen a Red-tailed Black-Cockatoo lately? If so, the Recovery Team wants to hear about it!

Photo: Bob McPherson 2012

BirdLife Australia and the South-eastern Red-tailed Black-Cockatoo Recovery Team are urging the local community to report all sightings of the endangered South-eastern Red-tailed Black-Cockatoo in the lead-up to this year’s annual count, which will be held on Saturday 4 May.

“Each year at this time we ask the public to help us locate Red-tails to make sure that these birds are included in the annual count,” said Bronwyn Perryman, Project Coordinator of the Recovery Program.
“The cockatoos’ range extends from Natimuk to Nelson in south-western Victoria and from Mount Gambier to Keith in the South East of South Australia,” she continued. “It’s an area far too big for our team to cover alone and so we need as many sightings as possible from the local community to help maximise the number of birds counted on Saturday 4 May. We want to make sure that volunteers participating in the count are strategically placed in areas where the birds are currently known to be feeding.”

While it is often difficult to find Red-tails, it’s easy to record a sighting. Simply phone 1800 262 062 or email “We accept all credible sightings, large and small” said Ms Perryman. You can also contact us if you would like to take part in the count or if you just want to know more of what is involved.”

The South-eastern race is one of five subspecies of Red-tailed Black-Cockatoos that occur in Australia. In south-eastern Australia it is endangered, with only about 1500 remaining in the wild. Loss of habitat, particularly buloke and stringybark trees is considered the most significant threatening factor.

Since 1996, hundreds of volunteers have enjoyed searching for the magnificent Red-tail in stringybark forests across the species’ range. Volunteers will be allocated an area in stringybark forest, where they can drive along forest tracks and stop to listen for the birds’ distinctive calls. Landholders who have stringybark on their property are also encouraged to search their own land on the day. You can request a particular area to search when you register, or nominate to search your own property.

This year we will also run annual count training sessions in Casterton and Struan on the morning of the count to help those who haven’t participated before, or for those who feel they need a little more hands-on experience. For more information on our training sessions or how to become involved in this year’s count, please click here.
After the count, a Campout and BBQ is planned at Bailey’s Rock to close a big day of counting. All are welcome. Please indicate your interest in attending when you register.

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