For 10 years, hundreds of volunteers in WA have spent one evening a year counting thousands of threatened cockatoos as they roost.

Story Jill Griffiths  Photo Emma Geary

As dusk falls on an autumn evening and the last shafts of sunlight turn the jarrah tops gold, Logan Anderson follows the flight of black cockatoos as they come in to roost for the night. A public servant from Donnybrook, WA, Logan is one of about 700 volunteers who participate in the annual Great Cocky Count.

The count is a citizen science project run by BirdLife Australia and sponsored by Alcoa. On one evening each autumn (this year it was on March 28), volunteers take a snapshot of the three black cockatoo species endemic to south-west WA – the Carnaby’s black cockatoo, Baudin’s black cockatoo and forest red-tailed black cockatoo. All are listed as threatened under state and Commonwealth legislation, but surprisingly little is known about them.

This story excerpt is from Issue #136

Outback Magazine: Apr/May 2021