Thursday, 11 February 2016

Orange Grove Primary

When you find out a school has a resident population of Forest Red-tailed Black Cockatoos, and a 'peace garden' composed of native vegetation, you know the students are probably well ahead in terms of environmental education! It was a pleasure to work with Orange Grove Primary today for another workshop which focused on building cockatoo boxes to hopefully encourage breeding in the resident red-tails.

After a presentation to the whole school at their morning, assembly we began construction with students from the Year 5 class, who assembled 3 cockatoo boxes. These were installed in some fantastic tall eucalypts around the school, including a giant Rose Gum (Eucalyptus grandis) at the edge of the oval, as well as some beautiful native Marri (Corymbia calophylla) trees at the front of the school.

This project was funded by the local building company Boral, and coordinated by Conservation Volunteers Australia (thanks so much to Katie for all her hard work in organising the day!).

Saturday, 16 January 2016

Hollis Park

Today a group of keen bird-boxers gathered at Hollis Park in the City of Fremantle to build some nest boxes for local parrot species (especially Australian Ringnecks, and hopefully not invasive Rainbow Lorikeets!). This former landfill site has seen a great deal of restoration works in the form of planting and rehabilitation by the local Friends of Hollis Park. The weather was very warm but a nice shady spot beneath some trees helped us brave the heat and humidity! We made 6 parrot boxes in total, with 3 being installed in Hollis Park and 3 at the nearby Clontarf Hill.

If anyone would like to provide feedback or observations of fauna seen inspecting the boxes, please post your comments below.

Saturday, 6 June 2015

Bushfire Recovery

We have recently completed two nest-box workshops run in conjunction with the Mundaring Shire as part of their Bushfire Recovery Program. These workshops saw a happy bunch of fire-affected residents from Stoneville, Parkerville and Mount Helena learn a new set of skills in how to build and install nest boxes for their own backyard. All attendees got to take their own nest box home and we had some very positive feedback, suggesting everyone had a great time!

Attendees at the post-fire recovery nest box workshops had a great time.

Friday, 23 January 2015

Cockies at Canning River

Today we visited the Canning River Eco Education Centre and ran another nest box workshop as part of Nearer to Nature's school holiday program. You can read more about some exciting observations we made on Simon's blog here.

Saturday, 8 November 2014

Trayning Primary School

TRAYNING! Today we had some great fun visiting Trayning Primary School in the WA Wheatbelt and getting back into the swing of workshops, conducting our first one since February this year. We worked with a brilliant bunch of kids who were all so well mannered, and super keen to learn about Australian birds and tree hollows. They were very excited to have a few different designs to work on (bats, parrots, pardalotes and a cockatoo) and had a great time at the end of the day painting each box under the shade before we installed all 6 in some very pretty gum trees in the school grounds.

Thanks to Glen Buder from the Shire of Trayning/Nungarin for organising this workshop, and of course to the teachers and parents at Trayning Primary for having us attend the school. We know the kids had as much fun as we did!

Thursday, 27 February 2014

Wandoo Prison

Last Monday we took our nest box workshop to yet another sector of the community - residents of the Wandoo Prison. We worked with 10 young blokes to engage them with the environment through constructing nest boxes for Endangered Black-Cockatoos. When the woodwork was underway and everyone had a good idea of how to build a cockatoo nest box, we stopped for morning tea and Gill and Simon gave a talk about the importance of tree hollows, and re-using waste material for nest boxes. Phil Digney then showed some live cockatoos to the young guys, demonstrating their placid nature and amazing feeding capabilities. Above is a picture of the team involved.

Today (a week and a hlaf later) we returned to the prison to find the residents had completed all 10 next boxes for which we provided materials, a fantastic outcome! Simon then installed one box in a tree inside the prison grounds, so the lads and staff at Wandoo are able to keep an eye on the box for birds showing interest. The location of this tree is only a few hundred metres from similar nest boxes in the Murdoch University grounds, which have had Red-tailed Black-Cockatoos successfully breeding since 2011. Fingers crossed that Wandoo's new box has similar luck!

Thanks to the staff at Wandoo Prison and Extra Edge Community Services for coordinating the event, and Phil Digney from Conservation Outcomes for including Re-Cyc-Ology in this fantastic event!

Thursday, 21 November 2013

Parkerville Primary

This morning we went to Parkerville Primary with a lot of excitement, Simon in particular, as this was Simon's school when he was young. What fun we had there! We got directed to the new library, past all the great little hidey holes and tunnels through the gardens and under bushes where the kids had their "nature play" area - what a fantastic space. In the library we ran our presentations on hollow-using animals and waste to the whole school. 

One thing that always amazes and inspires us in our work is the fantastic questions kids throw at us, and their great understanding of how things work when we throw questions back. Parkerville Primary students were no exception - what a great bunch! Although we could only do the building part of the workshop with one class, the presentations we gave inspired other classes to conduct a cleanup of the school, their cross country track, and a whole lot of other ideas on new ways to recycle their waste. 

While Mrs Boyd's class was putting together seven nest boxes (two Black-Cockatoo, two parrot and three possum), some of the younger classes came in to see what all the fuss was about. We got some of the older students to describe what they were doing and why, much to the interest of everyone. Once all the boxes were assembled it was time to paint, and what better place to do it than out on the lawn under a big marri tree.

Finally it was time to start hanging the possum and parrot boxes, although we had barely got the first one in a tree when the bell rang. Thanks to the students who stayed back after school to help! Due to windy conditions we could not hang the larger Black-Cockatoo boxes on the day of the workshop, but that just gave us an excuse to come back! Under the supervision of a number of classes, Simon put them up when the conditions were safer. There was much excitement to see how he was going to get them up into the tall marri trees in the school ground.

We would like to thank Leonie Boyd for organising the day and the staff and students at Parkerville Primary for making us feel so welcome. We would especially like to thank the students involved in the workshop for their lovely letters of thanks! If any of the students from the school want to tell us what has been using their we would love to hear from you! Please put your comments below.