Let us introduce Robbie the bittern …


Tracking Bunyip Birds has officially begun. Our first bittern, a young male from Coleambally, is away with a satellite transmitter. He’s affectionately known as Robbie.

Everything went smoothly on April 21st, 2015, and he walked off into the vegetation, as is normal after capture of birds like this. During the first week of tracking, he moved around quite a lot, including a 1.4 km movement from late afternoon on Saturday, April 25th, through to the early hours of Sunday morning.

He’s named after Coleambally Irrigation’s Mark Robb, a stalwart of the Bitterns in Rice Project. Note that the imagery from Google Earth is old and there is actually rice where it appears there isn’t and vice versa. His transmitter sends locations of varying accuracy for eight hours and then switches off for 48 hours so that the battery lasts longer. We’re already learning a great amount. Keep an eye on this website to follow Robbie’s journey. What happened next was captivating …


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Robbie at April 26 2015


  1. This is a fantastic result Matt and co. You are stars!
    If only we could track our Regent Honeyeaters with satellite trackers!

    Well done and we will follow the progress of Robbie with interest.

  2. […] Robbie has now been at Long Swamp for almost a month. When the transmitter comes online for eight hours (every 48 hours), his movements typically span between 500 metres and 1 kilometre. He has his favourite spots, but is regularly using an area covering about 200 hectares. Will he eventually fly back to the Riverina in time for the next rice season? Perhaps one or more young females on the coast will be impressed by his future booms and he’ll embrace the permanent sea change.   […]


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