Rare parrot sighting

RARE SIGHTING: Two critically endangered Orange-bellied Parrots were identified on Hindmarsh Island. Picture: BOB GREEN

TWO critically endangered Orange-bellied Parrots were sighted on Hindmarsh Island last week as part of a Limestone Coast Landscape Board-backed parrot identification workshop.

SA Orange-bellied Parrot regional coordinator Bob Green spotted the birds, believed to be the first South Australian sighting of the species in eight years.

“The most recent confirmed sighting of an Orange-bellied Parrot was in 2013, so this was certainly an exciting and important find,” Mr Green said.

The parrots breed along the plains of Tasmania’s South West Wilderness World Heritage Area, with juveniles being banded for identification purposes.

Mr Green was able to photograph the juvenile parrot’s leg band details, enabling the bird’s origins to be identified.

“I have been informed that the bird is a wild born juvenile, meaning it was only hatched in the most recent breeding season over summer in South West Tasmania and has made the migration across the Bass Strait and up to the Coorong National Park,” Mr Green said.

The parrot identification workshops were supported by the Limestone Coast Landscape Board, with funding from the Australian Government’s National Landcare Program.

Mr Green explained the workshops were necessary to help observers correctly identify birds and ensure records were accurate.

“The workshops are held because there are four similar parrots that all occur in the same coastal areas so making sure that observers know how to correctly identify the birds is really important, as we need to make sure that records are 100pc accurate,” Mr Green said.

The recent parrot sightings are also a positive result for the board’s Our Coorong Our Coast project.

The project team is currently halfway through a five year program, focusing on restoration and enhancement of the Orange-bellied Parrots habitat throughout the Coorong.

More workshops are planned over the coming months.

If you believe have seen an Orange-bellied Parrot, or would like more information about upcoming identification workshops, contact Bob Green on 0407 649 909 or shriketit@bigpond.com.