2014 Red-tail Annual Count - 3 May 2014

With another new year comes the chance to get involved in the upcoming annual count for the South-eastern Red-tailed Black-Cockatoo. This year the count will be held on Saturday 3 May across the cockatoo’s range in the South East of South Australia and South-west Victoria.

Pair of SE Red-tailed Black-Cockatoos. Photo Bob McPherson.

Volunteers are encouraged to gear up for a day in the bush searching the stringybark for our charismatic cockatoos. As per previous year’s volunteer search groups will be allocated one of around sixty sites in stringybark, which they will cover by vehicle, preferably 4WD, to search for the birds. Landholders who have remnant stringybark on their property are also encouraged to search their own property on the day.
Search areas are scattered from Keith to Mount Gambier in South Australia and Nelson to Little Desert National Park in Victoria. You can request a particular area to search when you register, or nominate to search your own property. Almost all of our search sites (except for those searching their own property) will be located on public land. While the Recovery Team encourages volunteers to search all freely accessible habitat for cockatoos, it emphasises that care must be taken not to trespass on private property when searching for birds.

Quite often large flocks are encountered at water troughs located on private property or in other stringybark patches that are inaccessible to our counters. Hence, we really appreciate if landholders who notice birds on their property to call in the sighting on the day by phoning 1800 262 062, even if you haven’t registered. The same goes for anyone who observes birds on the day.

To register your interest or to find out more information about what’s involved or how to become involved please contact Bronwyn Perryman on 1800 262 062 or via email Registrations are taken up to two weeks prior to the count, with site allocation and a package of instructions (survey kit) sent out in the fortnight leading up to the count.

The annual count is undertaken annually to help us gain important information on the location of large flocks, patterns of habitat use and the minimum number of birds.

This year we will again run an annual count training session on the morning of the count for those that haven’t participated or would like some pointers when searching for Red-tails. Please indicate your interest in attending when registering for the count. Volunteers can also attend the annual Bailey’s Rocks Campout on the Saturday night to close out a big day of counting. An information sheet detailing what's involved will be available on the website soon.

The success of the count relies heavily on sighting information that we receive in the weeks leading up to the count. If you see Red-tails from now onwards please report all sightings to Freecall 1800 262 062 or click here to report a sighting via the website.

The Recovery Team looks forward to hearing from both returning and new participants and hopes that we can top last year’s tally of 1118 birds. Most of all, we hope our volunteers have an enjoyable day out in the bush with their families and friends.

To register your interest or secure your search area for 2014 please contact Bronwyn at your earliest convenience.

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