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Byron Shire
December 1, 2021

Call for ‘citizen scientists’ to count cockatoos

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A Glossy Black-Cockatoo: Image: George Gornacz
A Glossy Black-Cockatoo: Image: George Gornacz

Volunteers in the Tweed are being sought to help with the conservation of the rare Glossy Black Cockatoos by taking part in an annual survey of the birds on Sunday, 19 October.

It will be the sixth year in arow the ‘Glossy Black-Cockatoo Birding Day’ survey has been conducted to gather information on the threatened species.

Tweed Shire Council and the Glossy Black Conservancy are seeking volunteers to help with the count in Tweed shire.

This year’s count will involve volunteers in regional areas from the Tweed to the Sunshine Coast and out to the Great Dividing Range.

Glossy Black-Cockatoos are much less common than their yellow-tailed relative but the two are often confused.

‘Affectionately known as “glossies”, the more rare variety is less gregarious and a lot quieter than Yellow-Tailed Black-Cockatoos,’ council’s biodiversity projects and planning officer, Marama Hopkins, said.

‘They are the smallest of the black cockatoos, have red panels on their tail feathers and the females have characteristic yellow patches on their heads,’ Ms Hopkins said.

‘Fussy eaters, they eat only the tiny seeds of Forest Oak, Black Sheoak and Horse-Tail Sheoak.’

The annual surveys contribute to a long-term monitoring project by the conservancy, identifying trends in habitat use and population movement.

‘This is ‘citizen science’ at its best, where observations and records from the general public make an important contribution to furthering our understanding of Glossy Black Cockatoo ecology,’ Ms Hopkins said.

‘Volunteers can survey on public land where Glossy Black-Cockatoo feeding habitat is available or on their own properties, either as an individual or in a larger group.’

Council will provide information to help volunteers identify Glossy Black-Cockatoos, their feed trees and feeding remains, as well as information on how to collect data.

‘Residents can also submit sightings of the species, or signs of their feeding activity, any day of the year by using an on-line sightings tool on the conservancy’s website, www.glossyblack.org.au,’ she said.

To participate in the Glossy Black-Cockatoo Birding Day on Sunday 19 October or for further information, call Ms Hopkins on 6670 2787 or [email protected]

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