Be a CockyWatch citizen scientist

Carnaby’s Black Cockatoo. Photo by Wendy Slee.

BIRDLIFE’S new citizen science project, CockyWatch, is off to a great start with more than 80 surveys completed since February, but BirdLife need your help to do more.

To protect Black-Cockatoos and their habitats, BirdLife need to know just how many there are, and where their favourite haunts are. This information is critical to conserving them and the CockyWatch project will help answer these questions for all three of our threatened black-cockatoo species in the southwest. That’s why BirdLife are calling for CockyWatch survey data from all across the southwest – from Kalbarri through the southwest to east of Esperance. And each and every survey matters.

Surveys are easy to do. Any time you’re going for a drive that’s longer than 10 kilometres, you can do a CockyWatch survey in addition to providing some details on your journey, you count the groups of black-cockatoos you encounter on the way. Visit to find out exactly what details you need to record, and to download the simple-to-use data sheets.

BirdLife has had enquiries about whether participants can record their CockyWatch survey results electronically. It is working towards putting CockyWatch into a Birdata app, however this is still a little way down the road (pun intended!). For the meantime, the best way for you to record your CockyWatch survey results is the old school way, with a data sheet and pencil.

Remember, if you see black-cockatoos at any other time, while not doing a CockyWatch survey, you can still let BirdLife know through the Birdata app ( as an incidental sighting. These one-off sightings are still useful if you send them to Birdlife through Birdata.

This project is supported by funding from the Western Australian Government’s State NRM Program which is supported by Royalties for Regions, and developed in partnership with DBCA.

Original article by Rebecca Boyland, Forest Black-Cockatoo Project Coordinator (Cocky Notes newsletter – Winter 2018)


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