Rare birds in spotlight at local events
03 Aug 2021
Our natural resource management (NRM) team has been in full swing hosting a number of events across the Central West over the past few months attracting a large number of farmers, birdwatchers, and community members. Some of our most significant threatened bird species enjoyed some much needed time in the spotlight.
Over 40 participants attended an afternoon and evening all things Glossy Black-cockatoo at our Glossies and Gelato event in the Pilliga Forest. A walk to nearby dams (an essential water source for glossies in the forest and on-farm), with a hands-on discussion of survey techniques, habitat needs and threats in the late afternoon light was perfect, sadly no glossies came in. Following the walk, a few very interesting presentations from the Glossy project team were presented including a project overview and update, Glossy ID training, survey techniques, threats and management actions were front and centre to the evening. David Walker (DPIE) gave a very engaging SoS (Saving Our Species) presentation, giving us all a very realistic (and sometimes confrontational) picture on the extinction process and the NSW-Australia-world perspective on that. Dr Pat Tap (Forestry Corp NSW) talked all about technology and gadgets and how they are used in research and particularly with the Glossy Black-Cockatoo project work. Other project partners in attendance and assisted with the day were NSW National Parks and Wildlife Service, AWC and members of the Pilliga Birdwatchers Group and Coonabarabran Landcare. Such a wonderful night.
The critically endangered Swift Parrot enjoyed a much needed focus during a variety of face-to-face events and a webinar hosted online.
The 'Breakfast with the birds' event at the Weddin Mountains was co-hosted with Weddin Landcare. After a delicious breakfast, participants learnt how to identify the Swifty by its distinctive red markings, call, and its long maroon tail. The group learnt about what actions can help improve the future of the species, which include planting and protecting winter flowering eucalypts like Grey Box, Yellow Box, White Box and Mugga Ironbark. Hoping to see Swift Parrots, a birdwatching walk was taken in the nearby woodland forest yielding over 20 bird species but unfortunately, no Swift Parrots were seen.
The ‘Secrets of the Swift Parrot’ webinar provided a rare opportunity to hear from, and engage with, experts Liam Murphy from The Australian National University - Fenner School of Environment and Society (Difficult Bird Research Group), and Chris Timewell, Woodland Bird Project Coordinator from BirdLife Australia. Participants were able to learn all about Swift Parrot identification, habitat needs, ecology, management actions, and the new survey technique adopted specifically for searching for Swifties.
And finally, along with the Swift Parrot, its critically endangered partner, the Regent Honeyeater shared the attention of a capacity crowd at the Burrendong Botanic Gardens and Arboretum at the recent ‘Woodland Birds Workshop’. Mick Roderick, Birdlife Australia, kept participants captivated with his infectious passion, knowledge and life-long experience working with both species. Co-hosted with Mid-Macquarie Landcare and the Friends of the Arboretum this event was hugely popular and definitely on the schedule to be replicated.
It was wonderful to see the number and variety of participants that attended these recent NRM events. It shows the depth of community interest in threatened species across the region.
To learn more about these projects visit the webpages:
- Securing the Swift Parrot
- Reaching out to the Regent Honeyeater
- Making Central Inland Glossies Great Again
The Swift Parrot and Regent Honeyeater projects are supported by Central West Local Land Services through funding from the Australian Government's National Landcare Program.
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