Orange-bellied Parrots are on their way back for the winter

Orange-bellied Parrot captured by Chris Tzaros

Orange-bellied Parrot: photo by Chris Tzaros

Orange-bellied Parrots have started their journey back to the mainland and the first wild-bred male parrot has already been sighted near the Werribee treatment plant. The OBP recovery team has again released captive birds at two different sites on mainland Victoria and we have to expect different behaviour with the new releases (click here to find updates on the mainland releases). NGT is again coordinating the  winter counts along the south-west Victorian coast. While we have not had any confirmed OBP sightings in this region for the last few years we have had a possible but unconfirmed sighting towards the end of last year’s season.  Some of the survey sites in South-west Victoria are in good, healthy condition and we are hopeful that we will have OBPs joining the large flocks of Blue-winged Parrots which are regularly observed in the area.

You can be part of the OBP recovery effort

Two volunteers looking for the iconic Parrot

Two volunteers looking for the iconic Parrot

The information collected by volunteers during the winter surveys are a significant part of the ongoing conservation efforts and at the same time it is a great opportunity for participants to enjoy some spectacular Landscape and to observe a variety of bird species including large flocks of Blue-winged parrots.

The three weekends for this year’s OBP winter counts are:

  • 19/20 May
  • 28/29 July
  • 8/9 September

The first official count weekend is only a fortnight away, so if you are interested in being involved, please contact Nicole with the following information as soon as possible:

  1. The date/s you can participate
  2. Whether you have volunteered before and which sites you are familiar with
  3. If you have appropriate survey gear such as binoculars/spotting scope

We have a large number of survey sites along the coast between Portland and Peterborough for anyone who is keen to volunteer.

Those interested in participating will receive further information including a volunteer registration form and survey form. The Birdlife Australia website has great information about OBP recovery including documents which step you through the winter counts, data sheet, and how to become familiar with OBP identification.

On the 30th of June we are  holding an OBP information session and ID workshop in Koroit to increase the confidence of new volunteers. It will also be a great opportunity to meet other volunteers, and learn more about the importance of the winter counts, on how the collected data is utilised and to get current information on the recovery efforts of the species. Please let us know if you would like further information on this event.

If you have any other questions, please do not hesitate to contact Nicole on ph: 0414 778 309 or via email: . We look forward to hearing from you!

The OBP winter monitoring program in south west Victoria is delivered by Nature Glenelg Trust in close partnership with BirdLife Australia and the Department of Environment, Land, Water and Planning. The program is funded by the Victorian Government Biodiversity On-ground Actions program.

Nicole Mojonnier