Successful migration: Peterborough OBP returns to Melaleuca

This year we had a fantastic Orange-bellied Parrot (OBP) season in south-west Victoria. With our first confirmed sighting in many years, we had a very exciting start to the season. Now towards the end of November, we do not expect to see any more OBPs on the mainland, but this season’s good news hasn’t stopped!

By the end of November, 51 OBPs have returned to Melaleuca. Twenty-four male and 27 female parrots successfully managed to migrate to the mainland and back. The composition of these returns are as follows:

  • Ten wild-born birds >1 year of age that have successfully migrated in previous years;
  • Two captive-bred adults released at Melaleuca in previous spring releases (one from Priam in 2017, one from DPIPWE in 2018);
  • One captive-bred adult released at New Harbour in spring 2019 (from Healesville);
  • Four wild-born juveniles that were head-started in their first year and have now completed their first migration in their second year;
  • One wild-born juvenile that was head-started in its first year, ranched in its second year and has now completed its first migration in its third year;
  • Fifteen juvenile release birds (1 from 2019 juvenile release from Moonlit, and 14 from 2020 juvenile release from DPIPWE, Moonlit and Healesville);
  • Fourteen wild-born birds <1 year of age on their first successful migration.

This information was provided by the OBP Tasmania Program.

Orange-bellied Parrot on the mainland (image provided by
Orange-bellied Parrot captured on the mainland (Image provided by

However, for us in south-west Victoria the most exciting news was when we found out that our female bird, GoldT/Yellow sighted in Peterborough in May successfully returned to Melaleuca at the end of October. Keeping in mind that OBPs often return to the same areas in consecutive years, we have a great chance of seeing OBPs in south-west Victoria during the next OBP winter season.

The current OBP population at Melaleuca, including captive spring releases, is 77 birds. This is a great start to another promising breeding season in Tasmania.

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.

Nicole Mojonnier