Incentives for nests

Bob McPherson
Incentive payments are again being offered for the discovery of new nest sites of the endangered South-eastern Red-tailed Black-Cockatoo.


Since July 2011, the Recovery Team and BirdLife Australia have been working with the community to locate new nest sites of the cockatoo across the range in the South East of South Australia and South West Victoria as part of the Nest Incentive Scheme.

The program, which offers a $500 reward to landholders and members of the public for the discovery of new nest sites, has had great success with a total of 14 new nests found since 2011. New nests have been found near Benayeo, Casterton, Powers Creek, Edenhope, Dry Creek and Naracoorte.

An incentive of $100 will also be offered for information on the use of existing nest sites by Red-tails.

Red-tails require large hollows 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. Although Red-tails have been found to nest year round, most breeding activity occurs over spring and summer.

New nest sites found as part of the scheme will be protected from terrestrial nest raiding predators, such as Brush tail possums, by placing a collar around the tree at the completion of nesting.

Information gained through this project also helps us to understand more about ideal nesting sites for Red-tails, which assists us to target/prioritise habitat restoration works for the cockatoo.

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 follow the link to the Nest Incentive Scheme Page by clicking here. This is where you will find out more about the project, nesting behaviour of Red-tails and our guidelines for payment.

Alternatively you can contact the Project Coordinator on 1800 262 062 or by email

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