Roost site and flight observations

To: COG Chat <>
Subject: Roost site and flight observations
From: Ryu Callaway <>
Date: Sun, 24 Sep 2017 21:29:30 +0000
Here are the details of the data being sought as I promised following the talk. Numbers of roosting birds for most species are likely to drop significantly around early summer in the peak of breeding season, so please be diligent in reporting observations while these roosts are still easily detectable.
Please note the additional category of certain absence data being sought for those who were not present at the meeting. Roost flight and roost site observations are being collected for any and all colonially roosting species.

Roost Flight Observations
  • Occurs in the evening or at dusk as birds head for their roost site
    • One or few very large flocks moving purposefully in a set direction
    • Constant movement of individuals and small groups in a consistent direction over a duration of time. 
    • Expect to see similar movement repeated on differing days. 
    • Reverse may be observed in the mornings
  • Details sought:
    • Species
    • Location where you made your observations
      • If different, location where birds are flying over
    • Direction of flight
    • Contact details of observer (name and email)
    • Other notes (eg. Timing or scale of flocks)

Roost Site Observations
  • Roost sites are locations where communally roosting birds gather to sleep overnight. 
  • Details sought:
    • Species
    • Location (with a description or map to identify the expanse of area)
    • Rough indication of bird numbers (a few dozen, hundreds, or thousands?)
    • Contact details of observer (name and email)
    • If known (optional):
      • Direction/s from which birds arrive
      • Seasonality (Is this roost used all year, seasonally, irregularly, or for the short term only?)
      • Tree species. Photos can also be submitted to Canberra Nature Map for ID.
      • Any other useful notes (timing of arrival (time before last light), etc.) 
  • If multiple species share a roost site, please note that and supply details for each species if they differ.
Absence Data
I am now collecting absence data for the species we are likely to target in the first year of the roost survey, to ensure gaps in my data reflect roost absence rather than lack of birder engagement.
  • Sulphur-crested Cockatoos and Little Corella
    • For each suburb
    • For each golf course
  • Large colonially roosting waterbirds (Any combination of ibis, cormorants, darters, and egrets)
    • All lakes and ponds that have Islands with trees
Observations that fit any of these categories with be gratefully received and can be provided by reply email or to

Ryu Callaway
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