Volunteers flock to inland NSW for Great Glossy Count

Calling all bird lovers! The NSW National Parks and Wildlife Service is seeking volunteer ‘cockatoo counters’ to be part of the next Great Inland Glossy Count this February.

Glossy black-cockatoo (Calyptorhynchus lathami) in flight, Gwydir Watercourse

National Parks and Wildlife Service (NPWS) Senior Project Officer Adam Fawcett said bird enthusiasts, citizen scientists or anyone keen to spend a summer weekend in a stunning NSW national park are welcome to come along and help count glossies.

‘With their distinctive red tail panels, glossy black cockatoos are one of Australia’s most recognisable and stunning birds,’ Mr Fawcett said.

‘With this beautiful bird listed as vulnerable in New South Wales, the count is part of a wider project to conserve the species at three key sites: the Pilliga Forests, Goonoo National Park and Goobang National Park and surrounding landscapes.

‘By volunteering your eyes and ears, you’ll be helping scientists to monitor the size and extent of the glossy population across these areas, which will help us to better protect this iconic species for future generations.

‘We’ve got an amazing group of past volunteers who are extremely keen to participate in the count again this year, so much so, that our volunteer slots for Goobang National Park have already been filled,’ Mr Fawcett said.

The available dates for volunteers wanting to be part of the 2023 Great Inland Glossy Count are:

  • Pilliga Forests – Saturday 18 February 2023 (signup by 15 February 2023)
  • Goonoo National Park – Saturday 25 February 2023 (signup by 22 February 2023).

‘Volunteers will be stationed at a dam on their chosen weekend to count glossy black cockatoos as they come in the drink in the late afternoon,’ Mr Fawcett said.

‘If you’ve got some birdwatching experience that’s great, but the glossy is a very distinctive species and easily identified.

‘All you need is a pair of binoculars, a comfy chair and a notepad.

‘It’s a pretty fantastic way to spend a summer evening – perched up by a water hole in a beautiful national park, watching glossies and other native birds in their natural habitat,’ Mr Fawcett said.

Anyone interested in volunteering should pre-register using the Department of Planning and Environment volunteer portal.

The project is funded by the NSW Government’s Saving our Species program and the NSW Environmental Trust and is led by Central West Local Land Services in partnership with NPWS, NSW Forest Corporation, Dubbo Field Naturalists, Australian Wildlife Conservancy, and other land managers.

/Public Release. View in full here.