banksia1

Birds

 

 laughing dove  

Laughing Dove Streptopelia senegalensis

These small doves are originally from Africa, they were introduced to Perth in 1889. They are mostly pinkish-brown with a blue-grey band on the wings and lower back, a white belly and a band of black speckles on the front of the neck. Most commonly seen in urban areas, they search for seeds and insects on the ground.

wedge-tailed-eagle

Wedge-tailed Eagle Aquila audax

These large birds of prey are easily recognised due to their size and wedge-shaped tail. Adults are dark brown but lighter on the back of the head, top of the wings and under the tail, younger birds are paler with white patches on the underside of the wings. Wedge-tailed Eagles usually eat rabbit-sized animals but will take larger prey, occasionally including small kangaroos and emus. They also eat roadkill and are sometimes hit by cars while eating on or near the road. They are most often seen soaring high in the air or eating roadkill.

 carnaby  Carnaby’s Black-Cockatoo Calyptorhynchus latirostris

These large cockatoos are an endangered species which migrates between coastal feeding areas and inland breeding areas. They are black with white cheeks and a white panel on the tail. Males have a dark beak and pink eye-ring while females have a lighter beak and grey eye-ring. They are very loud and can be heard from some distance. They are most commonly seen travelling in groups as they feed on banksias, pine cones, other large seeds and grubs, they will feed in gardens if appropriate plants are present. They like to roost in large Eucalypts near water.

 rainbow lorikeet  

Rainbow Lorikeet Trichoglossus haematodus

These colourful birds are originally from northern and eastern Australia; they escaped or were released in Perth in the 1960s. They have blue heads and bellies with a red to yellow chest, yellow or pale green under the tail and on the back of the neck, a red beak and a green back. Rainbow Lorikeets mostly eat sweet things such as nectar and fruit; they also eat seeds and insects. They are commonly seen in bushland and gardens, particularly when flowers or fruit are present. In the breeding season they nest in a hollow tree, which they will claim by fighting off other interested birds. They tend to travel in noisy groups.

 

 australian ringneck parrot or twenty eight

Australian Ringneck Barnardius zonarius

These parrots are occasionally confused with Rainbow Lorikeets; however they lack the colourful chest and have a darker head. They are green with a dark blue-black head, a bright yellow band on the neck, a lighter green to yellow belly and occasionally a red nose. They feed on the ground or in trees on seeds, fruit, nectar and insects, they will feed on garden plants such as sunflowers, flowering natives and fruit trees. They nest in hollow trees and may suffer due to competition for hollows from the smaller, but more aggressive, Rainbow Lorikeet. They sometimes get hit by cars while feeding on spilt grain on the road.

 splendid fairy wren

Splendid Fairy-wren Malurus splendens

These small birds are fairly similar to other species of wren; however the male in the breeding season is the only wren with both blue wings and a blue belly. In the breeding season the male is bright blue with black bands, females and non-breeding males are brown with a pale belly and some blue on the wings and tail, regardless of season the male’s beak is darker than the female’s. These alert birds are usually found foraging for insects in or near bushy undergrowth. They are territorial and live in small groups consisting of a dominant pair and several younger helpers, often from last year’s clutch.

 red wattlebird

Red Wattlebird Anthochaera carunculata

These large, loud honeyeaters are common in gardens. They are mottled grey/brown with a yellow belly and a pale streak and red wattle on each cheek. Red Wattlebirds feed on insects and nectar in both native bushland and gardens. They are occasionally mistaken for the Western Wattlebird which lacks the red wattles and yellow belly.

 

 singing honeyeater

Singing Honeyeater Lichenostomus virescens

These small grey-brown honeyeaters are well known for their song. They have a grey-brown back and a paler belly some yellow on the cheeks and wings and a distinctive black eye stripe. They feed on nectar and insects and are commonly seen in gardens.

brown honey eater

Brown Honeyeater Lichmera indistincta

These honeyeaters are similar to the Singing Honeyeater but are smaller and lack the black eye stripe. They have a grey/brown to olive green back and a light grey belly with a small white mark behind each eye. Like the singing honeyeater they are also well known for their song. They feed on nectar and insects and are a common garden bird, particularly in gardens with native plants.

 new holland honeyeater

New Holland Honeyeater Phylidonyris novaehollandiae

These honeyeaters prefer native bushland or gardens with dense native shrubs. They are mostly black with a white belly speckled with black, yellow wing tips, white eyebrows, white eyes and two small white patches on each cheek. They are very similar to the White-cheeked Honeyeater, which has darker eyes and a single, large white patch on each cheek.

 australian magpie

Australian Magpie Cracticus tibicen

These common birds are well known for their musical carolling and ability to mimic the calls of other birds, magpies in urban areas may learn to mimic sirens, dogs and even humans. They are black with white on the back of the neck, on the shoulder of the wings and base of the tail, and grey or white on the back. Male magpies have a white back, females and juveniles both have a mottled grey back but the juveniles have a darker beak. Magpies forage on the ground where they catch insects and small animals, some will beg for food but bread is not a healthy part of their diet. Some magpies will defend their nest aggressively in the breeding season (which peaks from August to October); injuries can be avoided by putting up warning signs, wearing a hat and supervising children near nests (when avoiding the nest is not possible).

 magpie lark

Magpie-lark Grallina cyanoleuca

Magpie-larks are common birds throughout most of Australia. They are black with a white belly and white patches on the wings, tail and cheeks. The male has white eyebrows, the female has a white nose and throat (but no white eyebrow), the juvenile has a white throat and eyebrow (but a black nose). They are commonly seen in male/female pairs and often sing a duet. They forage on the ground or shallow water for insects, earthworms and freshwater invertebrates. They make a bowl-shaped nest out of mud.

 willie wagtail

Willie Wagtail Rhipidura leucophrys

This common bird species is well known for its song and acrobatic antics. Willie wagtails are black with a white belly and eyebrows and some white speckles on the face. Juvenile birds have a dark brownish hue. They are active birds that forage on the ground and in trees for insects. They are commonly found in native vegetation and gardens and sometimes like to watch people gardening in case they dig up and insects. They can be mistaken for the Grey Fantail, which has a similar body shape and habits, but is grey in colour and tends to spend less time on the ground.

 silveryeye

Silvereye Zosterops lateralis

These small birds are easily identified by the bright white ring around each eye from which it gets its name. They are olive green to grey with a yellow to light grey underside. They feed on insects, fruit and nectar and will forage in gardens as well as native vegetation. They are similar to the Brown honeyeater in size and colour, but the Brown Honeyeater has a much longer beak and lacks the eye ring.

 

Bibliography

Simpson, K & Day, N (2004) ‘Field Guide to the Birds of Australia’. Penguin Group. Camberwell, Victoria 3124, Australia.
Birdlife Australia (2015) ‘Birds in Backyards’. Accessed online at: http://www.birdsinbackyards.net