We rely on the "many eyes" citizen science to give us valuable data about where our marked birds are going and what they are doing, and to identify new potential innovations for us to investigate. If you'd like to help us out, there are three options:

1. Download our smart-phone app BigCityBirds and get reporting!  

2. You can email videos of interesting behaviour to us at clevercockies.rsb@anu.edu.au   

3. Fill out our annual bin-opening survey (2023-24 survey now closed)

How to get reporting on Big City Birds:

Step 1: Download BigCityBirds on your phone's app store and browse previous spots

Step 2: Add a new spot (public or private) by selecting the species and mark type, and take a photo

Step 3: Tell us what the bird is doing or eating

Step 4: Check the location, and upload to contribute to citizen science!

Marked birds:

We use two methods to individually identify sulphur-crested cockatoos. First, we follow 150 wing-tagged birds in central Sydney, tagged between 2011-2016. 

This is a long term study that allows us to follow them across their lives. For example, from identifying close observations of individuals in citizen science reports, we have found that cockatoos maintain long-term social bonds that become more stable with age (publication here). 

We previously collected observations through the wingtags app  - this has now shifted over to BigCityBirds 

Names and pics of our wing-tagged birds

Second, we give study birds temporary paint-marks on their back using non-toxic dye. These can be applied by our researchers without needing to catch birds, and last 2-4 months before fading. You might see two types of colour-marks: "single colours", which denote a roost-group, and  "three colour combinations", which are individually unique. These might be vertical (down the back, first colour is the one nearest the neck), or horizontal (across the back, first colour is on the bird's left shoulder). 

Please report any paint-marked birds you see on BigCityBirds with a photo, so we can identify the individual. If you'd like to have a go at recognising individuals, here is our naming system:

Red = R | Blue = B | Black (noir) = N |  | Brown (maroon) = M | Pink = P | Purple (violet) = V | Light blue (azure) = A | Orange = O | Green = G | Light Green (lime) = L 

Can you match the names "BNG", "MOV" and "GOG" to the correct birds in the photo?