PIP News

Welcome to our new Coast Count Coordinator

We warmly welcome Rebel Warren as our new Coast Count Coordinator. Many thanks to Rebel for taking on the role. Julia Hazel will continue as Project Manager.

Rebel is starting to plan the coast counts for 2021. Shortly she will contact the wonderful people who counted last year. She’s also keen to hear from anyone interested in getting involved in Coast Counts.

Coast counts are a great way to turn an afternoon at the beach into a valuable contribution to bird conservation, and it’s not difficult – you don’t need to be an expert birder to do this.

For more information please contact Rebel on 0407 914 318 or email rebelwarren51@gmail.com

PIPs/TIPs return for a new season – Aug 2021

It’s always a delight to hear about TIPs/PIPs returning to Queensland for another breeding season.

We already knew they were on their way: thanks to Jon for reporting the first small flock he saw flying south past Muralug Beach (Torres Strait) on 18 July in strong winds.

Thanks to Brian, Carolyn and Gerry for reporting their “firsts” for new arrivals in Cairns during the second and third week of August. Thanks to Jenny for the first report in Townsville on 23 August.

Can you help with December or January Coast Counts?

With the PIP season still in full swing, we are seeking more volunteers to continue the Coast Count series.

What’s involved? Go to your count site on the coast, keep watch from 4pm until dusk, and record the number of Torresian/Pied Imperial pigeons as they fly from the land out to sea. These distinctive birds are easy to identify when they fly out in the open. You don’t need to be an expert birder.

To get started, just download the count guidelines and datasheets here.

Many locations need to be covered. If you have chosen a count site, or would like help in choosing one, please contact Julia Hazel on 0407 431 382 or email: Julia.hazel@jcu.edu.au

You can see previous count results here.

Can you help with November Coast Counts?

The 2020 Birdlife NQ coast counts of Torresian/Pied Imperial pigeons (TIPs/PIPs) need more volunteers – please help if you can!

What’s involved? Go to your count site on the coast, keep watch from 4pm until dusk, and record the number of Torresian/Pied Imperial pigeons as they fly from the land out to sea. These distinctive birds are easy to identify when they fly out in the open. You don’t need to be an expert birder.

The Birdlife NQ target date is Saturday 14 November 2020. If that’s not convenient, it’s fine to pick a nearby date that suits you.

Count guidelines and datasheets can be downloaded here.

Many locations need to be covered. If you have chosen a count site, or would like help in choosing one, please contact Julia Hazel on 0407 431 382 or email: Julia.hazel@jcu.edu.au

Start of the 2020-21 season

The first Pied/Torresian imperial pigeon reports this season came in during July, from Cairns and Muralug Island. The next round of personal “firsts” during August and September were widely spread out between Cooktown and Campwin Beach.

Many thanks to Brian, Jon, Gerry, Atalanta, David, Shane, Lucie, Christin, Jenny and Jaymie for observation reports and extra thanks to Jaymie for the photo below.

New arrival at Alligator Creek

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 2019 to Jan 2020: Can you help with Coast Counts?

Updated 5-1-2020

The annual Birdlife NQ coast counts of Torresian/Pied Imperial pigeons (TIPs/PIPs) urgently need more count volunteers. Please help if you can!

What’s involved? Go to your count site on the coast, keep watch from 4pm until dusk, and record the number of Torresian/Pied Imperial pigeons as they fly from the land out to sea. These distinctive birds are easy to identify when they fly out in the open. You don’t need to be an expert birder.

The Birdlife NQ target date for this season was Saturday 16 November. Many thanks to all who counted on/near that date. Follow-up counts in mid-December and mid-January will also be very valuable. It’s fine to pick a date near mid-month that suits you, and ideal if you can encourage friends to count at a nearby site to yours.

Count guidelines and datasheets can be downloaded here.

Many locations need to be covered. If you have chosen a count site, or would like help in choosing one, please contact Julia Hazel on 0407 431 382 or email: Julia.hazel@jcu.edu.au

Aug 2019: new season sightings in Cairns

During the second and third weeks of August, Cairns observers have been noticing that our beautiful big white pigeons are back in town.

As yet, we have only heard of small numbers. Two TIPs/PIPs were seen in Cairns on 12 August 2019 by Brian, four seen on 15 August by Gerry, and four seen on 17 August by Carolyn. Meanwhile, at the northern beaches, John saw three PIPs flying south past Clifton Beach on 16 August. Thank you all for your reports.

One of the two birds that Brian observed was carrying nesting material, so it seems some PIPs are ready to start breeding activities very soon after completing their migration journey from winter habitat in PNG.

PIPs travelling through Torres Strait… and ripe wongai fruit

Torres Strait observers reported the first flock of PIPS travelling south for this season. They saw 25-30 PIPS flying past Muralug on 17 August 2019 despite a strong SE wind. They noted that the PIPs’ migration coincided with the ripening of wongai fruit, as in previous years.

Many thanks to Jon, Laura and Camilla for this report and their photo (below) of a wongai tree laden with ripe fruit.

wongai tree with ripe fruit