River

Turquoise Parrot chicks make nest boxes home

Turquoise parrot chicks are hatching in purpose-built nest boxes installed to provide shelter for the threatened bird in the Chesney Hills and Warby Ranges.

Pic by Chris Tzaros

Goulburn Broken CMA Conservation Management Network (CMN) Co-ordinator Janice Mentiplay-Smith said recent monitoring had found Turquoise Parrot chicks in a number of the 100 nest boxes built and installed as part of the Broken Boosey CMN’s  and Birds, Bush and Beyond’s Practical Parrot Action and Bed and Breakfast for the Birds projects.

“We’re so excited to find the sites are being used,” Ms Mentiplay-Smith said. “The majority of the boxes were installed in 2014, however it took until 2015 for the birds to discover them.

“In early spring, Birds, Bush and Beyond’s Chris Tzaros photographed a female parrot using some of the artificial nest boxes on a property in Taminick, and since then, he has witnessed the male feeding chicks at the boxes.  This is wonderful proof that the nest boxes are obviously very agreeable to the Turquoise Parrot.”

Ms Mentiplay-Smith said regular monitoring of the nest boxes improved understanding of how works, such as building artificial hollows, fencing and revegetation, helped protect the region’s Turquoise Parrot population.

“Many of the old trees with hollows that would have provided shelter to the Turquoise Parrot in the past are gone so that’s why we’re installing these nest boxes,” she said. “Turquoise Parrots are proving to be very adaptable with several sites currently being used; monitoring has just concluded for the year, so accurate figures will be available soon.”

Landholder and community involvement have been the keys to the two projects’ success.

“The projects have been extremely well received in the local region, with community groups such as the Glenrowan Warby Lions Club, the Glenrowan Primary School parents club, Hamilton Park Inc, Jubilee Golf Club and the Fruit Industry Employment Program all coming on board to help deliver different aspects of the projects,” Ms Mentiplay-Smith said. 

“There have been great turnouts for the field days and community information events in the region, and as well as installing 100 nest boxes, 4km of protective fencing and 80ha of revegetation has been completed on private and public land. The Turquoise Parrot is an extremely attractive bird of the region, and it is obvious by the amount of community interest it has generated, that it is a species greatly valued by the local community.”

The Practical Parrot Action and Bed and Breakfast for the Birds projects have been funded through the Victorian Government’s Community for Nature grants program.