Carnaby’s in Kalbarri!

More active nests found in the northernmost breeding population of Carnaby’s Black Cockatoos!

This month, we rustled up a few experienced volunteers from Birdlife Midwest-Geraldton and set off to Murchison House Station to conduct our first bird community surveys and to search for more Carnaby’s Black Cockatoo nests. These endangered birds are nesting in hollows in the old River Red Gums along the Murchison River.

The nestling we found last month has grown a bit and the egg has hatched into a healthy little chick!  We found two eggs each in another two hollows and can confirm that at least another two hollows are occupied, although we couldn’t see inside them.

A chick hides in it’s hollow.

We also saw several pairs investigating or preparing hollows, getting ready to lay their eggs, so we are confident we will find more nests when we head out for monitoring next month.

Our first round of bird community surveys was interesting too, and we have tallied up a list of 52 bird species spotted on the reserve so far. These included several ducks, three species of thornbill, at least two cuckoo species, eight different raptor species, fantails and a few cockatoos. The many tree hollows on the Station are being used by many species in addition to the Carnaby’s Black Cockatoos, including Galahs, Australian Wood Duck, Southern Boobook and feral bees.

We’ll be off to Murchison Station after the Threatened Species Forum in September, this time heading out with Birdlife Western Australia to search for more active hollows and check up on our chicks.

All monitoring is conducted by licensed professionals with the permission of the landholders and the appropriate permits.

Dr. Amanda Bourne – Conservation Planning Officer

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