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Sat, 09 Sept



Crane Count 2023

Each year we need volunteers for this year’s Crane Count on the Atherton Tablelands!

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Crane Count 2023
Crane Count 2023

Time and location

09 Sept 2023, 11:30 am – 7:00 pm AEST

Malanda, Malanda QLD 4885, Australia

About the event



The Crane count has been running annually since 1997 to monitor the population of Sarus Cranes Antigone (antigone gilliae) who migrate from the Gulf of Carpentaria and Cape York to winter on the Atherton Tablelands. The Atherton Tablelands were designated as a Key Biodiversity Area (KBA) in 2009, part of a global network of protected areas. The cranes are a key species within the KBA. Organised with the support of Birdlife North Queensland and a great team of volunteers.


Each year we separate the day into two parts. The first part is driven transects on predefined routes between 12:00 and 2:00 pm looking for Cranes (both Sarus and Brolga) foraging in flocks. 

12:00 – 2:00 pm – Driving Transects (Volunteers needed)

3:00 pm – Meet up with team leaders for briefing

4:00 – 6:30 pm – Counting at crane roosts

7:00 pm – Dinner at The BIG pub in Malanda and a talk by two of our local crane experts Dr Tim Nevard and Elinor Scambler.

We count both species and try to identify the crop they are feeding on. The second part is a count as the cranes come into roost. This is carried out at multiple roosting areas across the Tablelands starting 2 hours prior to dusk and carrying on till dark. We like to round off the day with a bite to eat and a tally of the count at the "BIG Pub" in Malanda, followed by a talk presented by guest speakers Tim Nevard & Elinor Scambler: 

Why count cranes?

Some insights into ours and our neighbours’ Brolgas and Sarus Cranesplus what needs doing next!

Volunteers are required for both afternoon and evening surveys but spaces on the daytime transects are limited.

It’s always a fun day out and a great chance to meet other birders and spend some time watching a truly amazing species. No experience necessary and we always welcome new counters but we do encourage previous counters to get in touch as their experience is vital and greatly appreciated.


To register please complete this form and we’ll be in touch! We look forward to hearing from you. If you have any issues with registering via the form, or have any other questions, please contact us via email at

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