Incentives continue for the discovery of new nest sites

Incentives are again been offered to landholders and members of the public for the discovery of new nest sites of the endangered South-eastern Red-tailed Black-Cockatoo.

Since 2011, BirdLife Australia and the South-eastern Red-tailed Black-Cockatoo Recovery Team have been calling on the public to help locate new nest sites across the range in south-eastern South Australia and south-western Victoria as part of the Red-tail Nest Incentive Scheme.

Over the last three years, a total of 14 new nest sites have been discovered as part of the program. The scheme, which offers an incentive payment of $500 for each ‘new’ nest site located and $100 for re-use of existing nest sites, is again being offered to landholders and members of the public over the 2014-15 breeding season, thanks to funding provided by the Nature Foundation of South Australia.

The Red-tail Recovery Team believes there are still more active nests out there to be found, and sees this as a great opportunity to engage with the community to help find these.

Red-tails require large hollows (15-50cm) for nesting, which naturally occur in very old, large eucalypts such as River Red Gums. Nests can be in dead or live trees and are more likely to occur in areas where there is stringybark within a 3 km radius.

Knowing the location of nest trees enables us to protect nest trees from terrestrial nest raiders, such as Brush tailed Possums, by placing a collar around the tree at the completion of nesting. It also helps us to understand more about idea nesting sites for Red-tails, including the distance between nests and their preferred feeding habitat, which assists us to prioritise habitat to protect and restore.

There are a number of conditions required when applying for the scheme, with incentive payments only made once the sighting has been confirmed by the Project Team. Nests reported on private land can only be claimed by the landholder. Those found on public land can be claimed by any member of the public, however some exceptions do apply. While the Recovery Team encourages members of the public to search for nests on freely accessible public land, it emphasises care must be taken not to trespass on private land while searching.

While reporting of all Red-tail nesting activity is encouraged, interference or physical disturbance to nest trees is prohibited. All observations should be done from a safe distance (greater than 100m from nest site). Disturbed birds may abandon their nest, which will result in no payment being awarded.

If you observe nesting behaviour or think you know of a Red-tail nest that is unknown to the Recovery Team please click here. You will be re-directed to the Nest Incentive Page where you will find more about the project, nesting behaviour of Red-tails and our guidelines (terms and conditions) for payment. Alternatively you can contact the Project Coordinator on 1800 262 062 or by email

Happy Nest Watching!

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