Thanks to Coast Counters! See results for seven seasons

Another round of VERY BIG THANKS to everyone who helped with coast counts!

If you can, please plan ahead for the 2020 season. If you missed the Birdlife NQ target date, it’s fine to choose any other date(s) that suits you right through November, December and January.

Our online map of results now shows the coast count totals for the past seven PIP/TIP seasons. You can see the details here.

Oct 2018: Vale Margaret Thorsborne, Conservation Champion

We are mourning the passing of Margaret Thorsborne, an extraordinarily dedicated and courageous champion for the protection of Torres Strait Pigeons (PIPs/TIPs) and other vulnerable species and their habitat.

You can read more here.

Pigeon counts at North Brook Island were started in 1965 by Margaret Thorsborne and her late husband Arthur. For the next fifty years Margaret continued counting, and campaigned tirelessly to keep these counts going. In this 2015 picture, Margaret is counting with friend and scientific advisor Dr John Winter. Photo courtesy of Bryony Barnett.

PIP island counts 2016-17

This is a preliminary report to keep PIPwatchers up to date with island counts. Count totals might need to be updated after data quality checking has been completed.

North Brook Island
Very grateful thanks to Emma for arranging the logistics and coordinating staff and volunteers for monitoring PIPs and seabirds. PIP totals were: October 19023; November 22336; December 19881
Unfortunately there was no count in January. A February count was scheduled but this has been postponed.

Green Island
Huge thanks to Gerry and Carolyn who continued their dedicated effort and conducted a count each month this season: October 4134; November 7642; December 5392; January 3481; February 1375.

Low Isles
Very grateful thanks to Caretakers Wayne and Jenni and their count volunteers this season. We look forward to reporting count results when they are received.

Film launch : The Coming of the White Birds

A wonderful new film was recently launched! “The Coming of the White Birds” celebrates an amazing half-century of conservation effort on behalf of PIPs at the Brook Islands near Hinchinbrook.

Read about the film and the launch event here

There will be a public screening of the film at the Birdlife Mission Beach PIP count in November – see here for details and please join in if you can.


Above: Late arriving PIPs fly in towards North Brook Island while counters on the boat keep a running tally of PIP numbers. Photo courtesy of D. Dickson, a longstanding member of the dedicated count team.

North Brook Island PIP count Oct 2014

Strong winds delayed the first count of the season for North Brook Island. The rescheduled count took place just before the end of the month in fine but still breezy weather.

A total 15,974 incoming PIPs were recorded on the afternoon of 30 October. MANY thanks to QPWS staff and long term volunteers. The team was once again gallantly led by Margaret Thorsborne who instigated these counts and has been “keeping on counting” for the past half-century, as well as championing many other local conservation projects.


North Brook Island PIP count Dec 2013

Many thanks to John for this news report:

“Marine National Parks, Cardwell, organised the last of this season’s PIP counts for North Brook Island.

The count took place on 12th December 2013 and comprised a party of seven – four counters, Margaret Thorsborne and the boat skipper.

It was a beautiful clear day and a count of 22,494 incoming and 2,516 outgoing PIPs was obtained.”