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Glossy Black-Cockatoo Birding Day  Birding Day Logo

Date: 14 May 2017

Where: Shires across SEQ and northeastern NSW

When: Principally the hours around dawn and dusk, ideally full day

The Glossy Black-Cockatoo is listed as a threatened species in Queensland and the eastern subspecies Calyptorhynchus lathami lathami is distributed throughout south-eastern Queensland (SEQ). The status of the SEQ population is difficult to determine as the species is cryptic in its behaviour and use of natural habitats such that despite a number of agencies maintaining databases for many years there is still little knowledge of the estimated population size and distribution of the species in the region.

To address this shortcoming, the Glossy Black Conservancy initiated the Glossy Black-Cockatoo Birding Days in 2009. The first event was run as a pilot survey on the Gold Coast, SEQ. Following on from the success of this first event surveys have been held throughout the region (SEQ and north-eastern NSW) since. The annual surveys have adopted a staggered survey schdule with dates alternating between October and May in successive years. This decision was based on feedback from members of the community reporting higher reporting rates at different times of the years across the reigon. Future surveys are expected to continue with this approach but there is the potential in include surrounding shires to expand the range of the surveys.

The objective of the census is to gain a better understanding of the Glossy Black-Cockatoo distribution, habitat use and popualtion deographics over time. The surveys are intended to provide the foundations for a long-term monitoring program that in time will be able to assess trends in the population (such as changes in distribution, recruitments etc.) These ongoing efforts will also provide valuable information for determining areas that are heavily frequented by the birds, but also those that might be important refuge areas.

Want to help?

The Birding Day efforts rely heavily on the assistance of local communities and members of the public who have an interest in Glossy Black-Cockatoo. Therefore, this is effectively a 'citizen science' initiative where observations and records from the general public make an important contribution to furthering our understanding of the ecology of the Glossy Black-Cockatoo. If you are interested in participating in the Birding Days please contact one of the regional coordinators to ensure that we have your contact details and can notify you of future events but also of the results from previous surveys. The Birding Days are one of the ways that the public can assist in Glossy Black-Cockatoo conservation efforts. The other is to submit your sightings of the species, or signs of their feeding activity, using our on-line sightings tool at any time of the year. We encourage you to make extensive use of this system.

REGIONAL COORDINATORS: A number of regional councils and Glossy Black Conservancy partners are involved with the coordination of the Birding Days. Regional coordinators oversee the recruitment and deployment of volunteer observers within their regions. If you are interested in participating in the surveys please get in touch with one of the regional coordinators listed below. Please be aware that some of these coordination roles do change from year to year so please check back regularly. If your region is not listed you are still able to take part in the birding day. Simply get in touch with the coordinator nearest to your location or send an email to Guy Castley.

Region Coordinator Email Telephone
Tweed Shire - NSW Marama Hopkins mhopkins(at) 02 6670 2787
Gold Coast - SEQ Guy Castley g.castley(at) 07 5552 8918
Scenic Rim - SEQ Tracey Larkin / Keith McCosh tracey(at) 07 5544 3233
Redland City - SEQ Lisa Bailey lisa.bailey(at) 07 3820 1105
Brisbane City - SEQ Lyn Cole lyncole99(at) 07 3378 3763
Logan City - SEQ Lee-Anne Veage Lee-AnneVeage(at) 07 3412 4382
Moreton Bay - SEQ Andrew Evans Andrew.Evans(at) 07 5433 2256
Sunshine Coast - SEQ Conor Jenkins Conor.Jenkins(at) 07 5499 5142
Noosa - SEQ Tyron de Kauwe tyron.dekauwe(at) 07 5329 6244
Ipswich / Somerset - SEQ Liz Gould Lizg(at) 040 074 8157

Volunteer Glossy Black-Cockatoo enthusiasts can participate in the annual Birding Day events by either searching their own property, or searching a known GBC locality, either as an individual or in a larger group (e.g. schools, scouts, guides, conservation groups etc.). An interactive map viewer is available to identify potential survey sites but we certainly welcome any reports of new areas where the Glossy Black-Cockatoo has been recorded. Please note: if you plan to survey an area as part of a group it will be your responsibility to coordinate your smaller group as the regional coordinators are simply assisting with providing information at workshops and potential survey locations.

You will need to get in touch with your regional coordinator to provide them with the details of you and / or your group. You are also encouraged to attend a Glossy Black-Cockatoo Identification Workshops that are held in various regional areas prior to the event itself. At these workshops local coordinators will instruct you and your group on how to fill in field data forms and correctly identify a Glossy Black-Cockatoo. There will also be instructional material available from this website (see our factsheets and identification pages).

Fantastic Prizes up for grabs!

Each year we have been fortunate enough to offer some fantastic lucky draw prizes for Birding Day participants. These prizes have been graciously sponsored by Mt Barney Lodge (in the Scenic Rim), Currumbin Wildlife Sanctuary on the Gold Coast, Biodiversity Assessment and Management Consultants, Griffith University, Australia Zoo, and Hollow Log Homes. Thanks very much to all our sponsors for your continued support of our cockatoo conservation initiatives! Please have a look at their sites below.

Mt Barney                Currumbin Wildlife Sanctuary                BAAM



WORKSHOPS: A number of workshops are held in various regional areas to provide volunteers with information about the birding day. This includes background about the survey, how to identify, sex and age the birds, as well as information about the actual survey protocols and the completion of data sheets. If you have registered your interest please try and attend one of the workshops being organised in your region. Your regional coordinator should be able to let you know about these further details.

Links to Google Earth KML files of historical Glossy Black-Cockatoo sightings for the southeast Queensland and northeastern New South Wales region are provided below for those wishing to get an idea of where the species has previously been reported from this area. You can download and install Google Earth and the KMZ files for the various regions below (some installations may not be possible on restricted networks if you do not have authorisation to complete these).You will need an active internet connection to view these files interactively. The grid cell colours correspond to the number of sighting reports for each cell (as shown below).

  1   2-5   6-10   11-30   31-82
 Brisbane KMZ  Byron KMZ  Fraser Coast KMZ  Gold Coast KMZ
 Gympie KMZ  Ipswich KMZ  Lockyer Valley KMZ  Logan KMZ
 Moreton Bay KMZ  Redland KMZ  Somerset KMZ  Scenic Rim KMZ
   Sunshine Coast KMZ  Tweed KMZ  


HOW: Register your interest with the regional coordinator in your area. Survey a 1km² site from dawn till dusk using binoculars on foot. Search your own property or be assigned one of the known historical GBC sighting localities. Remember you need to register to ensure that you receive all the survey protocols and information leading up to the Birding Day. We look forward to your participation and thank you for your interest.

PREVIOUS SURVEY REPORTS: Download a copy of the previous survey reports to see how your survey efforts are being used to provide the important baseline information for the future long-term monitoring of the species.

 2009 Gold Coast survey  2010 SEQ and NSW survey




 Birding Day 2016


Glossy feeding
Source: Alan Rash


Glossy Black Pair
Source: Marg Eller


Source: Guy Castley