Surveys and bird counts

The Great Glossy Count

  • Date Saturday, 9 September 2023 - Sunday, 10 September 2023
  • Locations South-eastern Queensland, eastern NSW, ACT, eastern Victoria

What is the Great Glossy Count?

The Great Glossy Count is a citizen science event that collects data across the distribution of the South-eastern Glossy Black-Cockatoo (also known as ‘Glossies’). Participant citizen scientists spend one hour (or more) at any time during the Count weekend exploring their selected survey site to collect data on Glossies and their feeding habitat. Citizen scientists can join the Count as a group or bring a friend along for a great opportunity to enjoy time in nature while supporting the recovery of threatened birds.

Data collected during the Count will support vital bushfire recovery and conservation work for Glossies by informing actions to manage their habitat.

Registrations for the 2023 Great Glossy Count will open in late July/early August. Please get in touch via the contact form on this page if you would like to be sent an email notification when registrations open.

Where can I take part in the Count?

The Great Glossy Count takes place across south-eastern Queensland, eastern NSW, the ACT and eastern Victoria.

When can I take part in the Count?

One hour (or more) any time between sunrise and sunset. You can visit your site on either the Saturday or Sunday, or on both days.

The Great Glossy Count Frequently Asked Questions

Read our FAQs for the Great Glossy Count for answers to commonly asked questions about who can take part, survey sites and identification of birds and their feed tress.

Who can take part?

Anyone who can safely collect data at their selected survey site(s) for one hour (or more) on one or both days of the Count can take part. BirdLife Australia will provide training materials and instructions to teach volunteers how to identify Glossies and she-oak trees, and guidance on how to collect data safely.

How long do I need to collect data for?

We ask volunteers to spend at least one-hour collecting data at their survey site, though you can collect data for as long as you like.

What is a survey site?

Within the distribution of the South-eastern Glossy Black-Cockatoo, survey sites comprise 1 km2 areas (1km x 1km) which support suitable habitat (that is, typically in forested areas with an abundance of she-oaks), or where Glossies have been recorded previously.

Volunteers can choose to collect data at a survey site identified by experts from BirdLife Australia, or select their own survey site if they are aware of other locations which have evidence of Glossies being present.

Can I collect data outside the Count weekend?

Yes. Data collected outside of 9–10 September 2023 is valuable, but will not be included in the ‘Great Glossy Count’ dataset.

You can record Glossy Black-Cockatoos and she-oaks in the Birdata app or on the Birdata website at any time, using the ‘SE Glossy Black-Cockatoo’ program in Birdata.

Can I collect data as part of a group?

Yes, we encourage volunteers to take part in the Count with a friend or in a group.

The first person to book a particular survey site will receive a booking code that can be shared with others, so that the others can join the booking. All group members must register for the Count and pass the Glossy quiz in Birdata to participate in the Count.

You will be able to book a survey site once registrations open in late July/early August 2023.

How can I learn to identify and record data on Glossies and their feed trees?

Watch the training video below

  • Receive the South-eastern Glossy Black-Cockatoo Field Guide upon registering to take part
  • Attend a workshop (details will be provided closer to the time of the Count)

Support the recovery of Glossy Black-Cockatoos by joining the Great Glossy Count

The South-eastern Glossy Black-Cockatoo was recently listed as ‘Vulnerable’ under Australian legislation and is at risk of further population decline after losing large areas of feeding habitat in the bushfires of 2019–20.

Glossies feed almost exclusively by taking the seeds from the cones of she-oak trees (Allocasuarina and Casuarina). These trees must be protected to maintain a food source for populations of Glossies, thereby reducing the impacts of bushfires and other threats.

Data about Glossies and their feeding habitats are vital for planning bushfire recovery and conservation action. Citizen scientists who join the Great Glossy Count collect data to identify Glossy feeding habitats, so it can be protected and restored.