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During October 1990 an elderly English birdman from the English Parrot Society, Mr John Mollindinia conducted a study on Major Mitchell’s Cockatoos in Western NSW. This study clearly indicated that almost 80% of Major Mitchell’s nests were taken by predators that climbed the nest trees from the ground.


Very successful deterrent to protect nests, who thought of that? During October 1990 an elderly English birdman from the English Parrot Society, Mr John Mollindinia conducted a study on Major Mitchell’s Cockatoos in Western NSW. This study clearly indicated that almost 80% of Major Mitchell’s nests were taken by predators that climbed the nest trees from the ground. On his return to England following his study he indicated to the English Parrot Society that they should fund a trial project to protect the nesting trees of the Major Mitchell’s Cockatoos in Western NSW. That could be achieved by placing a smooth tin or plastic collar around the trunk of each nest tree making it impossible for predators to climb to the nest. That trial project set the benchmark for tinning trees to species such as Major Mitchell’s or Glossy Black Cockatoos to mention just a few.


Since that time a new heavy duty flat plastic is now available and has proven to be an upgrade on tin. Also clear plastic does not stand out and makes it almost impossible for any person


34 BIRD SCENE


to identify the nest tree. The English Parrot Society is very proud of being able to fund a project to protect one of Australia’s most outstanding Cockatoos. The fund has been ongoing for many years thanks to Mr Mollindinia. The Parrot Society attached a plaque at the base of a Major Mitchell’s nesting tree in honour of the late John Mollindinia for his outstanding work.


So how can we find the nests to collar them up and how do we inform the landowners? Firstly you have to search for the nests when the Major Mitchell’s are on eggs or very early young. Following that time they are difficult to find at the nest site. A good pair of binoculars is essential and out of bed early. Try and get to an elevated spot and watch for the white birds. Once you find a nest you must remember where it is so you can return and collar the tree, provided the landowner agrees.


How do we get this message across to landowners whose properties are the habitat of Major Mitchell’s? Local newspapers and any media coverage is good value. Let them know how important this issue is. Take pictures of any tree protection you are doing and give talks at school meetings.


Once you find a nest you must remember where it is so you can return and collar the tree, provided the landowner agrees.


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