Gang-gang Cockatoo Surveys and Investigations

The Gang-gang Cockatoo has special importance to COG members.  As well as being a particularly endearing and well known species, it is our home city’s faunal emblem and an important and much loved part of many Canberra people’s lives.  Little is known about Gang-gang breeding or in fact any aspect of their lives, and we don’t know how well they are thriving or otherwise in the face of the threats from clearing, other land-use changes, global warming and the spread of suburbia.  Starting in 2014 and again in 2021 COG has undertaken two projects in an effort to better understand how Gang-gangs live and how well the species is doing in our area.


2014 – COG’s 50th Year Gang-gang Survey Project

GgangChrisEdOne of the special activities to mark 2014 as COG’s 50th Year was a “citizen science” project to learn more about the ACT’s faunal emblem and COG’s Bird of the Year — the Gang-gang Cockatoo.

The survey was a new venture for the Canberra Ornithologists Group (COG) where observations from the general public were encouraged, the survey went over a specific period, there were two different surveys embedded in the one project and where observations could be recorded on paper forms or on-line.

The aims of the project were to expand our knowledge of the Gang-gangs within the COG area of interest, involve the membership and general public in a project on birds and promote the activities of COG. The public were asked to submit Gang-gang observations from the ACT and local region. There were 7189 records submitted. In addition to these primary observations, there were 6160 secondary observations giving a total of 13,329 Gang-gang records for analysis.

2014 Outcomes and Reports

Two reports on the project were published in January 2016 (see links below) and a third report on the supplemental breeding study will be published soon.  These reports cover social, communications and science aspects of the project.

REPORT — The Gang-gang Cockatoo Citizen Science Survey March 2014 – February 2015 Final Report (Jan 2016)

REPORT — The Gang-gang Citizen Science Survey  Community engagement and evaluation report (Jan 2016)

PRESS — Ian Warden’s final Gang-gang column about the survey



2021 – Investigation into Gang-gang breeding in Canberra

In the Spring of 2021 Chris Davey and Michael Mulvaney set up a new project to coordinate close observation of as many breeding events  as possible in Canberra during the 2012-2022 breeding season .  A full report will be published on completion. In the meantime some of the observations made by volunteers that may be of interest to members and other Canberrans are given here.


Illustrated diary of the Downy Hollow family

Tom Tyrrell’s account of the breeding event at Downy Hollow.


Illustrated diary of the Track Hollow family

Tom Tyrrell’s account of the breeding event at Track Hollow.


Fledging of one of the Finneran’s Road family (Baldy and his family)

Baldy is a well known male Gang-gang in the Aranda area and is of special interest because he is recognisable wherever he goes, making it possible to track his movements.  This video shows the nervous time before the second of Baldy’s chicks gets the courage to take its first flight, and the actual moment he leaps into the unknown.



If you have any queries about these surveys, please contact by email to .