Birds of Australia


I have been in Brisbane  for a year TODAY! Happy birthday to me! Time flies!
I guess it’s time to start blogging about here to share anecdotes with you about Australia.
My last article was on 26 June 2012 on, landing in Brisbane after an 8-month travel trip!

My first article about Australia will be about the birds I see the most often around Brisbane. I have been quite fascinated about the birds of Australia since I arrived here. There are some I had never seen before in my life !

1. Kookaburra


This bird is the most amazing bird I have ever seen. Its laugh is amazing. When I hear several of them laughing at the same time, I always like to imagine that one of them made a joke and that they are all laughing at it. 🙂

Here is a short video of 12 seconds of a kookaburra laughing:

2. Magpie


You can recognise the magpie by the fact its below neck and body are black, and it has some white above the head.
Bird not to be confounded with the Pee-Wee and Butcher Bird which are also black and white.

Here is a young magpie:

Young Magpie

Cyclists in Australia wear helmets with spikes around August-September during the magpie nesting season as they can attack!

Cyclist with helmet_Canberra Times
Image Copyright: Colleen Petch  (I haven’t shot a picture of a cyclist with spikes yet! )
Full article here:

And here is a cyclist getting attacked by a magpie!

Cyclist and magpie_SMH blog
Image Copyright: Joe Armao (What an amazing shot!)
Full article here (excellent one!)

3. Butcher Bird

Butcher Bird

This bird is an incredible singer. It is usually the bird which wakes me up in the morning!

There are actually two kinds which are common in Queensland, the Pied butcherbird which is all black around the neck, as this one on the picture above. And the Grey Butcherbird, similar but white on its neck, like this juvenile one below which was singing outside of my window on a rainy morning (They seem to love rainy days, that’s when their singing is at its most!)
Both species have a hooked beak.

Young Butcher Bird

4. Brush Turkey (called also Bush Turkey)

Brush Turkey

This bird loves to pull out veggies from your garden. I wish I could catch one of them and roast it in the oven sometime. Yummy, what a delicious meal it would make. Unfortunately, brush turkeys are native, and protected! You can get a fine just for scaring one away apparently! I see some every morning while walking out from my house to the bus stop!

5. Ibis


What a strange thing to see the white ibis in the middle of the city! I took this picture on Queen’s Street, the main shopping street of Brisbane!

Straw-necked ibis, seen around too, although more in the countryside near the sea than in the city itself

straw necked ibis

6. Crested Pigeon

Crested Pigeon

They look so much prettier than the normal ones (although you still see normal ones too).

7. Willie Wagtail

Willie Wagtail

That one is a funny bird, as it moves its tail from left to right all the time when walking. Weird bird!

8. Bush Stone Curlew

Bush Stone Curlew

This bird has very strange eyes, yellow and half-closed, like snake eyes almost. When you get close to them, they do a sound like “ffffffff” like a cat when scared. I was seeing a lot of them at night in spring when playing beach volley last year, they sticked around looking for cicadas to eat. I saw also some of them hanging around in the Botanic Garden of Brisbane. They always walk around, I never saw them fly.

Another curlew, a bit different, seen on North Stradbroke Island:

Curlew 2-2

9. Masked Lapwing

Masked Lapwing

That bird is funny too with its yellow flap around its beak. 🙂 They always go by pair, and when they have a baby bird, they supervise him very closely, they are never far away. It’s a walking bird too as the curlew, I haven’t seen it fly that often.

10. Cockatoo


That bird is beautiful, and it is magic to see it in nature, as in Europe they are seen only in cages or zoos. But it makes the worst sound ever, even worse that the raven. A friend of mine said their sound is like a man from the cavern shouting. When they fly in flocks, they are really noisy, and if you see a bench of them in a tree near your campground, you better have earplugs as they are still noisy after dusk, as I could experience in a camping on Bribie island!

11. Rainbow Loriket

Rainbow Loriket

Another one magic to see flying in nature, when only seen in cages or zoos too in Europe. As the cockatoo, also a noisy bird, with a very pitch voice, and hanging out in flocks too. Trees full of them are very noisy.

12. Miner bird

Miner Bird

I call the Miner bird the “pirate of the sky”, but there are actually two types: the native miner bird from Australia (on this picture) and the Indian Myna bird. The native one is the goodie, it’s less noisy than the non-native one, the Indian Myna, the baddie. This bird is a very territorial bird, which we often see chasing the other birds. It can be very aggressive and always attacks in a flock of 3-4 birds. It eats the food of the other birds, and proliferates much quicker than the others. If there is one bird I don’t like here, it’s him, for its aggressiveness in chasing the other ones. But I still have a hard time differentiating between the goodie one and the baddie one, I have to admit!
(Thanks to AJ Jones for explaining me that not all of them were bad!) 🙂

13. Pee Wee

pee wee
Image Copyright:

It has a more unusual shape and spread of colours than the others. I can’t think of anything particular about it. Quite quiet, not really a singer, not chasing the other birds, just seen from times to times…

14. Raven

Image Copyright:

When I wake up in the morning, I hear sometimes the butcher bird singing nice songs outside of my window…and I hear sometimes the kookaburra having a good laugh and cheering me up.  One I hear ALWAYS sadly is the bloody raven with his sinister scream. We keep joking with my flatmates about getting some water pistols and chasing them away…One day, we will do it!

15. Duck


Even the ducks look different from the ducks in Europe!

Other Ducks

And here we are for the most common birds seen around Brisbane, Queensland! 🙂

If you want to know more about some of these birds, check out this excellent page, great info in there!

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