Orange-bellied Parrots

Subject: Orange-bellied Parrots
From: Chris Tzaros <>
Date: Wed, 12 Apr 2006 15:57:52 +1000
G'day birders,

Thanks to Martin O'Brien and Peter Menkhorst for an earlier response to a request for information on recent sightings of OBPs on King Island. In addition to that helpful posting, I'd like to add a few comments.

Mark Holdsworth and I have just spent the past week searching for OBPs at various locations in Victoria, and we also included a brief visit to King Island last weekend. We were unable to find any OBPs in Victoria (searched WTP, Lake Connewarre, Breamlea, Swan Bay-St Leonards, French Island) but we did come across 4-5 OBPs at Sea Elephant Lagoon on King Island. Complete band details were recorded for one individual - a captive bred bird released at Birch's Inlet, Tas., in October 2003. It was observed to associate with other OBPs and feed on Sarcocornia. The birds were consistently found on the northern side of the lagoon but there is certainly plenty of habitat on both the north and south sides, and both would be worthy of searching if anyone visits.

I also take this opportunity to plug the upcoming winter surveys. This year, official survey dates are:

14 May
22-23 July (annual mainland survey)
17 Sept.

Apart from those official dates, I encourage anyone to search for OBPs at any time they can spare. If it's a glorious winters day and you're feeling a bit twitchy, why not consider searching for OBPs! I think searching for OBPs is a thoroughly satisfying pastime and I couldn't recommend it highly enough!

Of course, this has nothing to do with the fact that I'm now conducting a three-year research project examining OBP mainland habitat and site selection. This will involve the recording of a range of parameters that will be used to generate a series of habitat models that are intended to guide future survey efforts for the species, as well as to predict OBP occurrence by identifying 'potential' habitat. I'm gearing up for a busy field season ahead - just waiting for some OBPs to arrive on the mainland, and relying on people contacting me as soon as they see OBPs. My contact details are listed below.

I'll be offering a small prize to the first person who reports a mainland OBP sighting and takes note of the following:

- Band details (please record colours of bands on each leg, and take note of the letter printed on one of the leg bands) - If you find OBP, please take note of the precise location, either with an accurate GPS reading, by drawing a detailed mud-map, or by marking the site in some way - Complete one of the new OBP record forms (will be available from the Birds Australia web site late this week) and submit asap
- Contact me on the same day as your sighting

I'll be waiting for your call!

If anyone would like any additional information on the OBP project, or wishes to take part in the winter survey program, please feel free to contact me.

Happy parroting!


Chris Tzaros
Orange-bellied Parrot Project Coordinator
Birds Australia (Royal Australasian Ornithologists Union)
National Office
415 Riversdale Rd
Hawthorn East, Vic., 3123
Ph: 03-9882-2622
Mobile: 0409 235 263
Fax: 03-9882-2677
Website address:
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