Orange-bellied Parrot season off to an early start

After a great Orange-bellied Parrot (OBP) season on the mainland last year, the good news kept on coming throughout the summer. By the end of winter, 52 OBPs returned to Melaleuca, Tasmania to join successful captive bred and released birds, resulting in 76 OBPs in the wild ready for breeding. Beginning with 38 potential breeding pairs was a great start and the final results were excellent. Eighty-six wild-born fledglings were observed at the feed tables, the highest number of banded fledglings since records began in 1986. In addition to that, a total of 50 captive-bred juveniles were released in spring 2020. By mid-March resightings of adults started to decrease as they began to depart on their northern migration to the mainland, with juveniles were expected to follow in late March. Supplementary feeding and feed table monitoring ceased in early April.

On the 30th of March we received the great news that the first OBP had arrived in Werribee, western Melbourne (at the waste treatment plant that is also internationally recognised bird habitat) – this means that the OBP winter season has started a little early this year!

Check out the videos below to refresh in your mind where to look for OBPs…

… and the key ID features to look out for.

If you’d like to take part in this year’s official winter count please contact me. We’ll be heading out on the following dates:

15/16 May

24/25 July Survey

11/12 September

We’ll also be holding a workshop updating you on the current recovery efforts and going into a little more detail on how to identify an OBP in the wild. If you are interested in attending the workshop send me an email and I’ll keep you informed once the date and location is set.

We are looking forward to seeing many of you out in the field this season and keep our fingers crossed to have some more birds visiting our region this year.

The OBP project is supported by Glenelg Hopkins CMA and the Department of Environment, Land, Water and Planning through funding from the Australian Government’s National Landcare Program.

Jess Bourchier