Surveys and bird counts

Orange-Bellied Parrot Winter Surveys

  • Date and time Ongoing
  • Locations SA, VIC, TAS
Take part in the survey

You can gather important data to help Orange-bellied Parrots

The Orange-bellied Parrot breeds only in summer in Tasmania, with most of the population migrating to spend winter in coastal Victoria and South Australia. Adult Orange-bellied Parrots return to Tasmania around October to breed and leave for mainland Australia in late February to mid-March. Juveniles depart for mainland wintering grounds a little later, towards the end of March to early April. It is thought that they mostly travel at night.

Since European settlement in Australia, the Orange-bellied Parrot population has collapsed. There were as many as several thousand in the late 1800s, but as few as 50 today. Gathering information on these birds is key to ensuring their continued survival.

The Orange-bellied Parrot Winter Surveys are citizen science events that take place over 3 weekends in winter. When you sign up for an Orange-bellied Parrot survey, we’ll put you in contact with a regional coordinator who can provide more detailed information about the count.

How can I get involved in an Orange-bellied Parrot Survey?

Fill out the application form below, and select the region you’d like to survey in. Your details will be sent to the relevant survey coordinator, and they’ll get in touch with more information soon.

Where can I take part in the Orange-bellied Parrot Survey?

The Orange-bellied Parrot Surveys take place in six regions across three different states:

  • South-East South Australia (SA)
  • Western Port Phillip Bay (Vic)
  • Bellarine Peninsula (Vic)
  • South-West Victoria (Vic)
  • Westernport-Bass Coast (Vic)
  • North-West Tasmania (Tas)

Survey Dates

  • 20th- 21st May 2023
  • 22nd-23rd July 2023
  • 9th-10th September 2023

Tips for finding Orange-bellied Parrots

The best time to survey for Orange-bellied Parrots (OBP) is from sunrise to 11.00 am, and then again from around 3.00 pm to sunset. This is when Neophema parrots are most likely to be actively foraging.

OBPs can feed for long periods on the ground or low in vegetation, calling softly to each other and only occasionally. They camouflage very well whilst feeding and it often takes a close approach, sometimes to within just metres, to see or flush the birds. Therefore, any attempt to search for them often requires a lot of walking back and forth through areas of suitable habitat.

This may mean that you will need gumboots or old shoes that can get wet because many habitats are damp and interspersed with shallow pools and channels.

What to bring

  • OBP record sheets and instructions
  • Binoculars
  • Spotting scope/tripod
  • Map of your allocated site
  • GPS unit
  • Mobile phone
  • Pens/pencils
  • Clipboard
  • Notebook
  • Field first aid kit
  • Appropriate footwear and clothing (inc. wet weather gear)