Australian Bird Identification

Australian Bird Identification
The birdwatcher in Australia has a good problem on their hands. There is such a huge selection of species to look for that it may take some time to decide which ones to pursue. Australia is home to birds that never take to the skies as well as an array of songbirds, seabirds and waterfowl. Australia has birds of prey like every other continent. An individual who engages in bird watching in Australia will find that there are plenty of thrills waiting around every corner.


Difficulty: Challenging

Things You’ll Need:
  • Field guide to Australian birds Binoculars
  • Field guide to Australian birds
  • Binoculars
Step 1
Buy the Slater Field Guide to Australian Birds. This 343-page book, compact enough to put in a backpack or pocket, lists more than 775 types of birds that birdwatchers in Australia may meet up in their travels. Without such a guide, there's little chance of familiarizing yourself with the birds of this nation.
Step 2
Venture into the rainforests of northeast Australia to glimpse the cassowary. The cassowary is a flightless bird that is as tall as a person is and has a bluish head. It possesses a large bony growth on its head that it uses to maneuver through the growth in the forest.
Step 3
Watch for another bird that is unable to fly --- the emu. One of the largest birds in the world, the emu is native to only Australia. It will not be hard to recognize with its long legs and neck, and large body. It is slightly smaller than an ostrich. The emu ranges across nearly all of Australia.
Step 4
Go to the southern coasts and some of the islands around Australia to view penguins. Contrary to belief, these birds are not only in Antarctica. The rockhopper penguin, for example, winters in southern portions of Western Australia. It has a black head and white front like most penguins, but also has yellow plumes of feathers above the eyes, giving it a "mad scientist" look.
Step 5
Head to the coastal regions to identify the countless seabirds of Australia. There are species such as the booby, shearwaters, petrels, gulls, cormorants, grebes, frigatebirds, pelicans and darters. Inland, you may encounter flocks of ibises, storks, swans and ducks on the nation's lakes and rivers.
Step 6
Scan the skies and trees next to grasslands and farms for the striking black-shouldered kite. One of Australia's birds of prey, it is light gray with a white head and features black feathers on the shoulders and wing tips. Other raptors in Australia include the osprey, falcons, hawks, kestrels and eagles.
Step 7
Visit an orchard and try to observe the many types of honeyeaters in Australia. These birds like to frequent orchards and gardens, eat fruit and drink nectar. The blue-faced honeyeater is a typical example. It has deep olive-colored wings and a black head with blue above the eyes.

Tips & Warnings

Beware getting too close to both the emu and cassowary, as these birds have claws on their feet that can cause severel injuries. View them from a distance with your binoculars.

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