Keeping up with the superb parrot

Superb parrot on a tree. Image: Leo Berzins ©CC2.0 Source: Flickr

Male superb parrot feeding in flowering ironbark Image: Leo Berzins, Flickr Copyright: CC BY 2.0

The superb parrot is a highly-mobile, seasonal visitor to the NSW South-West-Slopes and Western Riverina where it breeds in spring and summer. Most of the population departs in autumn and winter, but their movements and non-breeding habitat are not well known.

The Office of Environment and Heritage has been working with the community to collect important population and distribution information that will contribute to the understanding, conservation and management of the superb parrot. Our community members take note of when the birds arrive and depart their local area, where they are nesting, where and what they are eating and other important behavior information. They often share photos, and sometimes videos of the birds. And we would like to share our observations (and yours) with everyone. Find out more about the superb parrot citizen science project.

Survey sign in - Register as a Superb Parrot citizen Scientist

Male superb parrot feeding in flowering ironbark Image: Leo Berzins, Flickr Copyright: CC BY 2.0

The superb parrot is a highly-mobile, seasonal visitor to the NSW South-West-Slopes and Western Riverina where it breeds in spring and summer. Most of the population departs in autumn and winter, but their movements and non-breeding habitat are not well known.

The Office of Environment and Heritage has been working with the community to collect important population and distribution information that will contribute to the understanding, conservation and management of the superb parrot. Our community members take note of when the birds arrive and depart their local area, where they are nesting, where and what they are eating and other important behavior information. They often share photos, and sometimes videos of the birds. And we would like to share our observations (and yours) with everyone. Find out more about the superb parrot citizen science project.

Survey sign in - Register as a Superb Parrot citizen Scientist

  • Large flocks of Superb Parrots seen at Gooloogong and Forbes

    almost 3 years ago
    Dscf9228

    With a few exceptions, the general consensus from community observers from Boorowa, Yass and south to the ACT is that the number of Superb Parrots seen this year is lower than previous years. However, I have received recent news from our network in Gooloogong and Forbes that flocks of up to 50 birds are present in the central west! About 50 birds were seen on the Forbes Golf Course last weekend and 40-50 birds were photographed feeding on the edge of a canola crop near Gooloogong (see the attached photos).

    Thank you to those dedicated Superb Parrot observers who are...

    With a few exceptions, the general consensus from community observers from Boorowa, Yass and south to the ACT is that the number of Superb Parrots seen this year is lower than previous years. However, I have received recent news from our network in Gooloogong and Forbes that flocks of up to 50 birds are present in the central west! About 50 birds were seen on the Forbes Golf Course last weekend and 40-50 birds were photographed feeding on the edge of a canola crop near Gooloogong (see the attached photos).

    Thank you to those dedicated Superb Parrot observers who are emailing me their sightings or lodging them at the Atlas of Living Australia Superb Parrot monitoring tool (http://root.ala.org.au/bdrs-core/oeh-sp/home.htm ). More than 50 people have added their more than 250 records for 2016 so far - great effort!

    Best wishes

    Damon


  • Boorowa Superb Parrot road signs finally in place!

    almost 3 years ago
    Img 1042

    After nearly 12 months of organising, OEH and Hilltops Council today erected two new Superb Parrot road signs on the outskirts of Boorowa, which is a town that has supported the conservation of the species for over 20 years. A big thank you to Wendy Tuckerman, Tim Good and Jim McGrath from Hilltops Council for all their help getting the Superb Parrot road signs up on the posts today! They look great and I’m sure the kids will be thrilled to see them.

    The old road signs that were commissioned by NPWS Queanbeyan Area in 1995 were faded and missing...

    After nearly 12 months of organising, OEH and Hilltops Council today erected two new Superb Parrot road signs on the outskirts of Boorowa, which is a town that has supported the conservation of the species for over 20 years. A big thank you to Wendy Tuckerman, Tim Good and Jim McGrath from Hilltops Council for all their help getting the Superb Parrot road signs up on the posts today! They look great and I’m sure the kids will be thrilled to see them.

    The old road signs that were commissioned by NPWS Queanbeyan Area in 1995 were faded and missing their Superb Parrots, so I organised a Superb Parrot artwork contest at the two local schools last December. The winning three entries from each school have their designs on the new signs. Both new signs also boast the Saving Our Species logo. One sign is about 10 km south of Boorowa on the Lachlan Valley Way and the other is on the outskirts of town on the Rye Park Road. I'm sure the kids will be thrilled to see their artistic talents on display for a good conservation cause!

    Superb Parrot counting

    Thank you to everyone who is sending me their records or lodging them on the Atlas of Living Australia Superb Parrot online tool http://root.ala.org.au/bdrs-core/oeh-sp/home.htm – we now have over 50 contributors who have added over 220 records for 2016, which is a great effort. I have been logging my records, too, but am only seeing small flocks of 1-4 birds in my travels to Boorowa and Young. A few of you are seeing larger flocks of 20-30 which is good news. For those of you who have been doing the annual transect counts, please try and get a 2016 count done before the end of the year as it is good to be able to compare numbers in different years.

    Best wishes to you all

    Damon


  • Video of Superb Parrots at Lake Burley Griffin in January 2016

    almost 3 years ago
    Img 0597


    As mentioned in the last news item, 20-30 Superb Parrots were lurking around the northeastern shore of Lake Curly Gerkhin in early to mid January. Take a look at the video captured by Sandra Walpole while biking to work.



    As mentioned in the last news item, 20-30 Superb Parrots were lurking around the northeastern shore of Lake Curly Gerkhin in early to mid January. Take a look at the video captured by Sandra Walpole while biking to work.


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  • Superb still seen in some areas in January 2016

    almost 4 years ago

    Greetings Superb Parrot lovers and Happy 2016

    After a four week break, I thought I would relay some interesting observations of Superb Parrots during the first half of January 2016.

    Around Canberra, there are birds in the Watson/Hackett area for the second year in a row, and a flock of five birds flew past the War Memorial at 8 pm on New Years Eve! In the last week or so, a flock of around 20 birds has been seen along the northern shore of Lake Burley Griffin near the Clare Holland Hospice. Further west, a flock of 100 or more...

    Greetings Superb Parrot lovers and Happy 2016

    After a four week break, I thought I would relay some interesting observations of Superb Parrots during the first half of January 2016.

    Around Canberra, there are birds in the Watson/Hackett area for the second year in a row, and a flock of five birds flew past the War Memorial at 8 pm on New Years Eve! In the last week or so, a flock of around 20 birds has been seen along the northern shore of Lake Burley Griffin near the Clare Holland Hospice. Further west, a flock of 100 or more birds has been feeding in a recently harvested paddock between Hovells Creek and Wyangala Dam.

    If you are still seeing Superb Parrots on your farm or in your district, please post a reply so everyone can enjoy your stories!

    Finally, a huge thank you to all of you who started to use the Superb Parrot Online Reporting Tool - it was a great success for the first year, with almost 250 records from 40 observers in the first 5 months of the program being launched.

    If you would like to become a new online user, it's not too late to log your records here: http://root.ala.org.au/bdrs-core/oeh-sp/home.htm

    I wish you all the very best for 2016

    Damon

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  • Greening Australia direct seeded wattle plantings at Yass being used by Superb Parrots

    almost 4 years ago

    Some good news from Greening Australia about direct seeding of wattles near Yass being used by Superb Parrots after just 5yrs. Go to #SuperbParrots pic.twitter.com/wYKfiEl3Ql for the story

    Some good news from Greening Australia about direct seeding of wattles near Yass being used by Superb Parrots after just 5yrs. Go to #SuperbParrots pic.twitter.com/wYKfiEl3Ql for the story

  • Poaching still a threat to the Superb Parrot

    almost 4 years ago
    Tree 2

    While visiting one of the river red gum national parks along the Murrumbidgee River, David Parker, a Threatened Species Officer from OEH, came across a very disturbing sight. At the edge of a main track leading into a popular beach location a large, hollow bearing tree had been deliberately felled at its base. Closer inspection of the tree showed that the tree wasn’t felled because it posed a risk to public safety, nor that the vehicle track required realigning. It became clear that the tree had instead been felled to gain access to the inhabitants of a nesting...

    While visiting one of the river red gum national parks along the Murrumbidgee River, David Parker, a Threatened Species Officer

    from OEH, came across a very disturbing sight. At the edge of a main track leading into a popular beach location a large, hollow bearing tree had been deliberately felled at its base. Closer inspection of the tree showed that the tree wasn’t felled because it posed a risk to public safety, nor that the vehicle track required realigning. It became clear that the tree had instead been felled to gain access to the inhabitants of a nesting hollow.

    This tree was located within a key breeding site for the Superb Parrot on the Murrumbidgee River and the Riverina population. Once felled, the section of the trunk containing the hollow had been cut out either side of the hollow, exposing the hollow cavity and its occupants. The remains of an egg shell and a couple of feathers indicated that this tree was used this season by a pair of Superb Parrot.

    While it can only be assumed that the person responsible was successful in getting their desired catch, the photos speak for themselves as to the fate of this potential nest tree. No longer will this hollow be available to nesting parrots.


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  • Boorowa kids show their support for the Superb Parrot through art

    almost 4 years ago
    Superb drawings winners

    Next year Boorowa roads will be adorned with some new or restored road signs thanks to the artistic talents of local school children from Boorowa Central School and St Josephs School. Over 100 kids painted vibrant pictures of the Superb Parrot. The high standard of artwork made the decision of the panel of local judges very difficult. After careful consideration, the judges chose the following winners: Boorowa Central School: Logan Mears, Kiara Shean and Matthew Lahay and from St Josephs School: Ella Cross, Maggie Gorman McKnight and Edwina Braid. Each of the winners will receive a prize from OEH later...

    Next year Boorowa roads will be adorned with some new or restored road signs thanks to the artistic talents of local school children from Boorowa Central School and St Josephs School. Over 100 kids painted vibrant pictures of the Superb Parrot. The high standard of artwork made the decision of the panel of local judges very difficult. After careful consideration, the judges chose the following winners: Boorowa Central School: Logan Mears, Kiara Shean and Matthew Lahay and from St Josephs School: Ella Cross, Maggie Gorman McKnight and Edwina Braid. Each of the winners will receive a prize from OEH later this week.

    The winning Superb Parrot paintings will be added to existing or replacement road signs in the Boorowa Shire in 2016

    A big thank you to the Principals, Teachers and students at both Boorowa Schools and to our panel of judges - Heather McLeod, Pat Thompson and Melissa Henry.

    Here are the six winning entries:

    A dozen of the most notable runners-up - there we so many to choose from!


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  • Kangarooby Catchment Landcare Group monitoring Superb Parrots at Gooloogong

    almost 4 years ago
    Imag3103

    Last Thursday evening, ten members of the Kangarooby Catchment Landcare Group invited Damon Oliver from OEH to join their Superb Parrot community monitoring survey on the outskirts of beautiful Gooloogong. Warm and calm conditions were perfect for birdwatching by the enthusiastic locals, including two young budding naturalists who were keen to find some Superb Parrots! During the one hour, one kilometre walk, we saw at least seven Superb Parrots, including at least two breeding pairs that were nesting in large trees on the Lachlan Valley Way. Along the walk, the group also saw or heard another 25 bird species, including...

    Last Thursday evening, ten members of the Kangarooby Catchment Landcare Group invited Damon Oliver from OEH to join their Superb Parrot community monitoring survey on the outskirts of beautiful Gooloogong. Warm and calm conditions were perfect for birdwatching by the enthusiastic locals, including two young budding naturalists who were keen to find some Superb Parrots! During the one hour, one kilometre walk, we saw at least seven Superb Parrots, including at least two breeding pairs that were nesting in large trees on the Lachlan Valley Way. Along the walk, the group also saw or heard another 25 bird species, including the threatened Brown Treecreeper and a pair of nesting Pied Butcherbirds. A very enjoyable and productive way to spend a late spring evening! After the survey, Damon presented a talk to the group about ways to help save the Superb Parrot, through protecting living and dead paddock trees, replanting habitat and getting involved in the community monitoring program
  • The New Superb Parrot Online Monitoring Tool a Success!

    almost 4 years ago

    New Online Superb Parrot monitoring tool a success!

    It is very impressive to see that nearly 30 people have already registered and used the Superb Parrot online monitoring tool: http://root.ala.org.au/bdrs-core/oeh-sp/home.htm

    There are already over 130 new records in the database, with Neville Schrader, a highly regarded ornithologist and conservation advocate from Parkes, providing nearly 50 of these records alone – well done and thank you Neville!

    There is still plenty of time to become a registered user and lodge your sightings from single point locations as well as your transect data. Otherwise, please keen sending me your transect count results...

    New Online Superb Parrot monitoring tool a success!

    It is very impressive to see that nearly 30 people have already registered and used the Superb Parrot online monitoring tool: http://root.ala.org.au/bdrs-core/oeh-sp/home.htm

    There are already over 130 new records in the database, with Neville Schrader, a highly regarded ornithologist and conservation advocate from Parkes, providing nearly 50 of these records alone – well done and thank you Neville!

    There is still plenty of time to become a registered user and lodge your sightings from single point locations as well as your transect data. Otherwise, please keen sending me your transect count results and I will add them to the database.

    If you have any photos of Superb Parrots, please share them on this website - it's easy to add your stories and photos.

    Keep up the great work, folks!

    Regards

    Damon

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  • Superb Parrot post on ABC Central West

    about 4 years ago

    Looks like Superb Parrots are the flavour of the month - see ABC Central West's photos for photos and conversations about Superb Parrot sightings across the NSW Central West. Pleasing to see how much interest is out there for our beautiful green friends!

    Looks like Superb Parrots are the flavour of the month - see ABC Central West's photos for photos and conversations about Superb Parrot sightings across the NSW Central West. Pleasing to see how much interest is out there for our beautiful green friends!