Operation PKO

AU$87404of AU$40000
0mins left


Thanks to the amazing generosity of our supporters, we hit our target in 1 day!!! I don't know if that's some kind of record, but it sure feels like one!!!

Now thanks to this support, we can start building the PKOs tomorrow and getting them ready for all the parrots that move into our boxes. Any extra money we can raise will help to buy additional nest boxes, and go towards sustaining the huge cost of maintaining the work we do for difficult birds. 

Even though we've hit the target, please support our campaign and keep the donations coming- every extra dollar is a dollar that will go toward protecting our most endangered birds!

thanks again!

Difficult Bird Research Group  


We need your help to equip 100 Swift Parrot nest boxes with a 'Possum Keeper Outter' (PKO)

Hi Everyone!

We've been busy at the Difficult Birds Research Group. Remember when you helped us in 2015 to raise money to buy nest boxes for the critically endangered swift parrot? It was a great success and we found more swift parrot nests last year than we have in any previous year of monitoring- see here for more details. Last year, we raised funds for an emergency intervention to help the orange-bellied parrot, which was also a success. This year, we are coming to you again, to follow up on our work with swift parrots and nest boxes.


Swift parrots move each year to a new breeding area in Tasmania depending on where the most abundant food is. This year things have changed, and the swift parrots have settled the east coast of mainland Tasmania. Unfortunately, introduced sugar gliders (the main predator of swift parrots) are common on the Tasmanian east coast. We're very concerned that parrots will be eaten by sugar gliders this year. Birds have already begun to arrive in nesting areas where sugar gliders occur, and are busily looking for nests - it's a matter of a week or two before birds begin to nest. 


We've been working hard to try and figure out how to protect swift parrots from sugar gliders in nest boxes. We've designed and trialled a new device called the 'Possum Keeper Outter' (PKO). PKOs are a mechanical door, triggered to open by light, allowing the parrots to go about their business in the day. The PKO shuts at night, locking the gliders out and keeping the parrots safe inside nest boxes. We trialled PKOs on swift parrots last year to check if the birds are disturbed by the PKO, and we were thrilled to find they didn't mind the machinery at all. Based on those results, we're ready to mobilise PKOs across danger-zones for swift parrots on the Tasmanian mainland.

We need your help to raise enough money to equip 100 nest boxes with a PKO. We need to act quickly because birds are already looking for places to nest. We've got a great headstart, because volunteers from the Victorian Tree Industry Organisation have already helped us deploy 100 boxes at likely nesting locations, but we urgently need to build 100 PKOs to accompany every box to keep the parrots safe from predators. That's why we're going for a short campaign, to quickly get the funds we need to build the PKOs in time for the breeding season in a couple of weeks.

                                                                                                PROJECT PARTNERS

Budget Overview

100% of the budget will be spent on monitoring and protecting breeding swift parrots this season. PKOs will be attached to nest boxes that we've already deployed in potential breeding areas of swift parrots.

PKOs don't come cheap, as they require batteries, solar panels, light sensors and a motor (plus a range of other bits and pieces like screws, waterproof casing and cables). 

Each PKO costs $400 by the time it is deployed on a nest box in swift parrot breeding sites. 

We have 100 boxes that need PKOs, so our funding target is $40,000.

Any money in excess of our target will go towards supporting our work on saving the swift parrot by purchasing additional nest boxes to replace those that get a bit worn out, and to support our other difficult birds like the orange-bellied parrot and regent honeyeater.

Potential Challenges

Our main challenge is timing. Some early arriving swift parrots have already begun to look for nests in locations where they are at risk of sugar glider predation, and more birds are arriving at these breeding areas every day looking for places to nest. We've already deployed 100 nest boxes in these areas to try and encourage parrots to use boxes that can be protected with PKOs, and some birds are looking interested in the new real estate. Now all we need is to build the PKOs so they're ready to deploy as soon as the birds move in. We have about two weeks before we expect the busiest time for nesting begins, so we need to act fast.

on 25th Oct 2017 at 7:00am. The payment portal is closed now.
AU$20 +BirdLife swift parrot lapel pinBirdLife Australia will send you a swift parrot lapel pin as a big thanks for supporting our project!
514 Chosen | 486 AvailableEst. delivery is January 2018
AU$30 +FLOCK WILDLIFE collectionKeen on some wildlife art? Award winning wildlife photographers David Stowe, Shelley Pearson and Henry Cook might be providing what you're after. The talented photographers at flockwildlife.com have donated a collection of 20 beautiful medium resolution digital images that would be *perfect* for a continuously changing desktop background. Images will be supplied via a dropbox link to your email. This little female scarlet robin is an indication only
127 Chosen | Unlimited AvailableEst. delivery is November 2017
AU$35 +AUSTRALIAN ANIMAL CHRISTMAS CARDS!Big Sky Creative has generously donated 50 packets of six wildlife christmas cards. This is just an example image, the final cards will not have a watermark on them :-)
34 Chosen | 16 AvailableEst. delivery is November 2017
AU$40 +Jon Kudelka swift parrot fridge magnetJon Kudelka is making us fridge magnets with parrots on them! Get one - stick it to your fridge!
143 Chosen | 57 AvailableEst. delivery is January 2018
AU$50 +All GoneFirst Dog On The Moon Tea TowelsFirst Dog on the Moon is deeply concerned about (1) saving swift parrots and (2) the dryness of your dishes. Help him to help you dry your dishes with these fantastic tea towels! THEY WILL EVEN BE SIGNED!!!
20 Chosen | 0 AvailableEst. delivery is January 2018
AU$50 +All GoneBruny Island Cheese Gift VoucherThe Bruny Island Cheese Co. has supported the difficult bird research group for years with sumptuous lemon curd, salted caramel spread and life-changing cheeses, and now they're helping swifties again by giving us some amazing gift vouchers on the last day of our campaign!
10 Chosen | 0 AvailableEst. delivery is January 2018
AU$60 +FIRSTDOG PLUSH TOYS!The Firstdogonthemoon Institute has very kindly donated some plushies! You can have your very own Ian-the-climate-denialist-potato or give someone an ABC-interpretive-dance-bandicoot for Christmas! What a gift!
38 Chosen | 12 AvailableEst. delivery is December 2017
AU$75 +All GoneRed Parka - The Endemic Birds of TasmaniaThis fantastic book has been generously donated by redparka.com.au and is a beautiful collection of artworks showcasing the beautiful birds of Tasmania.
51 Chosen | -1 AvailableEst. delivery is January 2018
AU$100 +All GoneFirst Dog on the Moon Cartoon PrintsFirst Dog on the moon has offered ten signed prints of your favorite cartoons! He's 2 swift parrot cartoons (obviously these are the best - Walkley Award pending) but you can choose from hundreds of hilarious and heart breaking cartoons, and then put them on your wall.
11 Chosen | -1 AvailableEst. delivery is January 2018
AU$100 +All GoneParrot of the Day T-ShirtAs seen on Twitter, @Parrotoftheday are long time supporters of our work, and they've offered 20 of their Orange-bellied Parrot T-shirts to help save swifties!! They already donate the proceeds of sale of these shirts to us (THANKS!), so snap one of these limited shirts up before they're all gone!
20 Chosen | 0 AvailableEst. delivery is January 2018
AU$150 +All GoneBirdLife Australia Magazine gift subscriptionIf you like swift parrots, you'll love a year's worth of beautiful photographs and fascinating stories from BirdLife's beautiful quarterly magazine.
50 Chosen | 0 AvailableEst. delivery is January 2018
AU$600 +BIRDING ALICE SPRINGSMark Carter Birding and Wildlife has generously donated a half-day Alice Springs Birding experience private tour for up to 4px. Alice Springs has some astonishing wildlife living just a short distance from the city. Mark is one of the best in the business and knows the top spots to see the red centre's biological treasures. (Prize is subject to tour availability and prize has to be used by end of financial year, year ending June 2018)
0 Chosen | 1 AvailableEst. delivery is October 2017
AU$800 +Overnight in the INALA cottages (Bruny Island)On offer is a one night stay in a cottage at Inala for two adults. You will have exclusive access to the Raptor Hide and the 40 Spotted Pardalote Platform as well as being allowed to roam the flora & fauna packed Inala reserve (with the potential of Swift Parrot sightings up where all the boxes have been installed ) and have access to the Jurassic Garden and the Nature Museum.
1 Chosen | 1 AvailableEst. delivery is October 2017