Ashley and Neil Hermes installing the homes. Photo: Caroline Hermes.

Neil Hermes and his brother Ashley Hermes are installing new shelters for native birds on Ashley’s farm at Bethungra.

These shelters are nest boxes which Neil is hoping will be homes for the endangered Superb Parrot who are currently seeking nesting trees.

Ashley as well as a lot of property owners across the South West Slopes have been installing nest boxes on their properties for many years trying to provide homes for the Superb Parrot.

But research has been conducted and it shows that Superb Parrots are very fussy in the hollows they like to sleep in.

“The boxes that have been put up in the past aren’t suitable.” Neil said.

Over the past year, Neil and Ashley have been designing nest boxes that they think the Superb Parrots will use and place them at heights which they think will be suitable for the Parrot.

“If we can work out what it is that triggers them to use nest boxes, we would then encourage other property owners to do the same.”

Neil believes that if other property owners were to do the same it would help the birds over the next few decades.

A major reason Neil decided to install the nesting boxes is due to the clearing of trees on properties.

“Whilst many trees are being replanted by fantastic landcare workers and property owners who are keen to care for their properties and the wildlife we still have a lot of catching up to do.”

Neil believes that a lot of these trees that are being planted are going to take several years to grow and to the point where they have hollows in them to house native animals.

In the last month or so, Neil and Ashley have installed around 50 boxes just in time for the birds to start using them.

Neil has been involved in trying to protect the Superb Parrot since the 1980s. “

I became involved in protecting the Superb Parrot when the New South Wales Government put it on the endangered species list.”

This was when Neil realised that the Superb Parrot was in a lot of danger.

“Back in the 80s birds were still being captured, there was also a lot of birds being killed along the side of the roads due to wheat trucks spilling grain over the road.”

The clearing of trees was also part of the reason why these birds were becoming endangered.

Back in the 80s the Superb Parrot would frequent towns around the region including Harden, Murrumburrah and here in Cootamundra and did not go much further up the mountains.

Now the Superb Parrots are starting to spread with Neil saying it is because there are less of the parrots being killed on the roads.

“People are more cautious of spilling seed on the roads and less are being caught for the agricultural trade.”

Although seed selling and agricultural trade have declined Neil believes that the clearing of trees is still a concern.

The Superb Parrot can now be spotted through the inland plains of southern NSW and the ACT into northern Victoria.

Next time you are out for a walk keep an eye out for a mostly green parrot, it may just be a Superb Parrot.

Tahlia Crane