August 22, 2022
Cockatoos well watered with new bird drinking station
Black-cockatoos in Mandurah’s south now have permanent access to fresh drinking water within their habitat with the recent installation of a watering station especially for birds.
The Dawesville area supports large numbers of black-cockatoos, particularly white-tailed Carnaby’s, the white-tailed Baudin’s, and the Forest Red-tailed species. During the non-breeding season, hundreds of Carnaby’s use the tall trees in the Dawesville area to roost and rest overnight
Thanks to a partnership between the City of Mandurah, BirdLife and the Alcoa Foundation through the Alcoa Community Black-Cockatoo Recovery Project, a four-metre high watering tower with perches and troughs has been installed at the Westbury Way Reserve close to important roosting and foraging habitat.
The watering station is connected to a water metre and will provide birds with a consistent water supply throughout the year. The raised troughs also reduce the risks of car strikes as birds are flying in and out, as well as protecting them from potential predators on the ground such as cats, dogs and foxes.
Loss of appropriate habitat is the main threat to black-cockatoos, with water being a critical part of their diet as they need to drink several times a day.
Mayor Rhys Williams said the new infrastructure was just one of the ways the City and community worked together to support and protect the environment.
“We are lucky to have such a beautiful and unique natural environment around us, which we know is of great importance to our community and visitors alike,” he said. “It’s great to have worked with the Alcoa Foundation and BirdLife to get the watering tower installed to support the habitat of our important black-cockatoo population in our southern areas.”
Alcoa Foundation Australian Lead Suellen Jerrard said installation of watering points was just one part of the broader Alcoa Community Black-Cockatoo Recovery Project, which also included planting vital food habitat and citizen science projects like the Great Cocky Count.
“We hope efforts like this will help protect these iconic species so we can continue to see them grace our skies for generations to come,” she said.
BirdLife WA Black-Cockatoo Project Coordinator Merryn Pryor said the watering station would provide cockatoos with a consistent fresh water supply throughout the year, which is becoming increasingly important with the drying climate. “The raised troughs also reduce the risks of car strikes as birds are flying in and out, as well as providing them with a safe place to drink away from potential predators on the ground such as cats, dogs and foxes,” she said.
The new water station was officially opened on Sunday, August 21 with a community celebration followed by tree planting activities at the reserve.
In an effort to improve the habitats for these birds and many other native animals, revegetation has been ongoing at the Westbury Way Reserve, and the last of this year’s planting was completed during the celebration event. The community planting program was supported by the Alcoa Foundation.