More nest boxes for turquoise parrots

Friday 7 September, 2018
Another 150 nest boxes for turquoise parrots will be installed in the Warby Ranges-Killawarra region of north-east Victoria.

This is the sixth turquoise parrot-focused project that the Broken Boosey Conservation Management Network has undertaken since 2014 and will bring the total number of nest boxes installed in the area to 552 by the time this latest project is completed in 2020.

Goulburn Broken CMA project co-ordinator Janice Mentiplay-Smith said although not endangered, the turquoise parrot was a threatened woodland bird species due to the loss of habitat.

“Turquoise parrots needs deep, hollow branches to nest in and adding to the complication of finding suitable habitat they only nest in elevated areas, such as the Warby Ranges, Chesney Hills and Killawarra region,” Ms Mentiplay-Smith said.

“They are seed eaters, so also rely on rainfall that stimulates the production of grass and small flowers so they’re a helpful, as well as a beautiful bird.

“The majority of our nest boxes are placed on private land in areas where the turquoise parrot is known to live and breed. Involving landholders in the project is an investment in the birds’ future – to see a little clutch of chicks in the bottom of a nest box is an amazing experience, and once people see this, they are hooked and want to provide more of this vital habitat on their properties.

“When we install nest boxes on private land, we know that people quickly become an ‘advocate’, so the nest box will be looked after into the future.  This means we don’t have to constantly check each nest box and also means that more people in the community become involved in nature conservation, which ultimately, is how we are going to bring about broad-scale results to reduce the risk of the population becoming endangered.”

The Nest Boxes for Neo project (Neo comes from the taxonomic name for the turquoise parrot Neophema pulchella) will also be supported by a series of community workshops and field days.

To find out more about the project, please contact Janice Mentiplay-Smith on janicem@gbcma.vic.gov.au or 5764 7506.

Pic courtesy Chris Tzaros