5 July 2021

Some of the Orange-bellied Parrots released in north Western Port Bay in April as part of the OBP Mainland Release Trial, have moved away from the immediate area of the release site. This makes searching for them tedious or even impossible when the birds are in areas the field staff can’t access.

The installation of an 8m tall, fixed tracking antenna at the release site, enables the detection of OBPs wearing VHF transmitters from approximately 1.5 km away. It has a data logger that records when the birds are in the area. As well as detecting birds that are in tricky spots to access on foot, the antenna is also valuable during COVID lockdowns when field work is not permitted.

Since the antenna’s installation, it has detected six of the released OBPs in north Western Port Bay, and we are hopeful that the wild migrant and one of last year’s release birds (both spotted last month), could still be in the area with this year’s release birds.

Pictured is the antenna and one of the released birds which we are no longer finding during our field surveys but which the antenna is detecting regularly.

The Orange-bellied Parrot Mainland Release Trial is being delivered by @Department of Environment, Land Water and Planning, @Zoos Victoria and @Moonlit Sanctuary Wildlife Conservation Park.

For the fifth year, the project team has released captive-bred birds into ideal habitat at Victorian sites in autumn, in a bid to attract wild birds and increase their chance of survival.

This project is supported by the @CorangamiteCMA, @BirdLife Australia, @Melbourne Water and @Parks Victoria, through funding from the Victorian Government’s Icon Species Program, the Australian Government’s @NationalLandcareProgram, @ZoosVictoria and Moonlit Sanctuary.

Orange-bellied Parrot in the wild