Banded Carnaby’s Black Cockatoo Photographed in the Chapman Valley Travelled from Coomallo Creek!

Heather Beswick’s observation is almost certainly a record for the longest distance between banding site and resighting site for a Carnaby’s Cockatoo, nearly 300km! The bird is a two-year-old male that fledged from an Artificial Hollow installed at Coomallo.

According to Carnaby’s cockatoo expert, Dr Denis Saunders, Heather has ‘hit the motherlode. I am sure this is a record’. Heather has now recorded three banded birds at her monitoring site at Emerald Springs, all with bands on their right legs and all of which have almost certainly travelled north from Coomallo.

Rick Dawson, another Carnaby’s Cockatoo expert based here in WA, said “There is now no doubt that the Emerald Springs population hook up with the Coomallo birds at some stage each year”. This record reinforces the importance of looking for bands, and the ecological insights that resightings of banded birds can provide. We banded the first four nestlings at Murchison House Station, the furthest north known breeding population of Carnaby’s Black Cockatoos, back in October. We are hoping that these birds might eventually give us some insights into where this flock goes when they are not at the Station.

When we started our monitoring of the breeding population at Murchison House in July 2021, we wanted to know when they arrive at the Station to breed, whether there was a significant population of Carnaby’s breeding in the area, where they are finding forage and what management actions could be implement to secure their future.

Six months later, we know that the flock arrives in June each year and consists of about 15 breeding pairs and up to 50 transient, non-breeding individuals. We have located the primary nesting sites and worked with the landholders to develop realistic and meaningful management actions including plans to install nest boxes, fence off foraging sites and repair some natural hollows. We have conducted detailed vegetation and bird community surveys to better understand the environment the birds are using. We have learned so much about these fabulous birds. And we owe it all to the dedicated conservation community in WA and the Mid West.

Thanks for your support and we look forward to learning more about these wonderful birds during the year ahead.

For more information, please contact Senior Conservation Planning Officer, Dr Amanda Bourne amanda.bourne@nacc.com.au

This project is supported by NACC NRM, through funding from the Australian Government’s Environmental Restoration Fund.

Amanda Bourne – Senior Conservation Planning Officer

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