The 2019 annual RTBC cocky count: Saturday 4 May, SA and Vic
The Red-tailed Black-Cockatoo Recovery Team and BirdLife Australia are again looking for volunteers to take part in the 2019 annual count for the endangered South-eastern Red-tailed Black-Cockatoo.
The 2019 count, to be held on Saturday 4 May, marks the 23rd year of counting cockies across its range which extends across south-eastern South Australia and south-western Victoria.
“The count takes place every year and involves hundreds of volunteers. Many of whom return each year to search the region’s stringybark forests to look for flocks of our beautiful but elusive Red-tails” said Project Coordinator Kelsey Bennett.
Participating in the count is easy – all you need is a survey partner or group, binoculars, a love of the outdoors and a vehicle, preferably 4WD. Volunteer groups are allocated one of around 60 sites in stringybark forest to drive around, stopping at regular intervals to listen out for the Red-tails.
This Volunteer Information Sheet is packed with information for those interested in participating.
Survey sites are spread across the range of the cockatoo from Nelson to the Little Desert in Victoria and Mount Gambier to Keith in South Australia.
The most important reason for undertaking the count is to identify the best parts of the range to conduct flock counts. Flock counts are undertaken each year and provide an indication of breeding success in the previous seasons. Flock counts are our best measure to determine whether breeding has been successful.
Last year, we had more than 175 volunteers participating who were able to locate 839 birds. This year we are hoping for a similar turnout of volunteers but with more birds on the final tally. To do this we need people to report their sightings of the cockies in the lead up to the count.
From now until 4 May anyone that sees Red-tails is encouraged to submit their sightings on freecall 1800 262 062, email firstname.lastname@example.org or by visiting our website.
“We need as many sightings as possible over the next month to maximise the number of birds counted on Saturday 4 May. These sightings are valuable as they help us ensure we place volunteers in areas where we know the birds have been seen,” continued Kelsey.
Image: A flock of Red-tailed Black-Cockatoos, by Wayne Biggs.