Details of some of the commonly found birds at Bunya Mountains National Park
If you wish to identify a bird not listed here, please ask our National Park Rangers or browse The Complete Book of Australian Birds, which can be found at “Poppies on the Hill” coffee shop. There are over 121 species of birds recorded at Bunya Mountains.
King Parrots and Crimson Rosellas have little fear of humans and see us as a food source. They will land on your outstretched arms and head to let you know they are hungry. Wild bird mix is the best food (2nd to their natural diet) although they will pick out the sunflower seeds first. A diet exclusively of sunflower seeds is not healthy for them. In the wild they eats fruits & seeds, Only feed these birds on private lands.
King Parrots are red & green. The males have scarlet heads and underparts (when they mature at about 2.5 years old). Wings and back are green with a pale green stripe on their wing covers. Females have green heads and underparts with a light green stripe on wing covers. Their lower belly and breast is scarlet.
Crimson Rosellas are blue & red. Males and females are similarly coloured. The only distinguishing difference is that the male is larger, with a larger beak and broader head. Although these birds are traditionally seed and fruit eaters, they are happy to have a free hand out of wild bird mix from humans.
Bowerbirds The most commonly seen at Bunya Mountains are the Satin Bowerbird, Regent Bowerbird and the Green Catbird. All build bowers to attract females. Once mating has occurred, the female leaves to raise her young on her own. Male bowerbirds are very good at mimicking the sounds of other birds.
Satin Bowerbird The male is a deep blue with a white beak; the female and young males green/grey with speckled cream & grey underparts. Young males have white beaks. The male decorates his bower with blue objects. Male bowerbirds are very good at mimicking the sounds of other birds.
Regent Bowerbird Bowers are more simple and hidden amongst ferns or vines. The male is a brilliant yellow and black. The female and immature males are dull brown with a black patch on hind-crown. Underparts are cream except for black patch on throat.
Green Catbird Has a distinctive wailing territorial cry – rather like the sound of a baby crying. They do not build a bower – rather they are monogamous with the pair living by themselves in the rainforest. They are mostly fruit eaters. They are bright green with mottled green/grey underparts and bright red eyes.
Australian Magpie Males have a black face and head with hind-neck, black and rump white; females similar but hind-neck is flecked grey. Young magpies have a distinctive cawing sound as they beg for food from adults during summer. By autumn they can fend for themselves and are driven off to join floating non-territorial flocks. Magpies are very bossy birds and will take on birds much larger than themselves and win. They eat insects as well as fruit and seeds and spend most of the day walking around although they roost in trees at night.
Pied Currawongs are omnivorous scavengers that will hunt for food anywhere. These birds have black bodies with white patches on their underparts and tips of their tail. They have yellow eyes.
Paradise Rifle Birds & Whip Birds – make distinctive sounds.
Eastern Whipbirds have a very distinctive whip-crack call which both males and females contribute to. The male makes the distinctive whip crack sound while the female adds to the end of it with two or three loud chirrups. They spend a great deal of time on the forest floor scratching through the leaf litter and fallen logs for juicy insects and their larvae.
Noisy Pitta spend most of their life on the ground. They are brightly coloured, rarely seen except for a flash of bright colour darting through the rainforest. They eat fruit, seeds and will scratch around for juicy worms, snails and other insects. Pittas love snails and will strike a snail against a favoured rock or piece of wood until the shell breaks and the juicy soft body can be eaten. You can often see a pile of broken snail shells lying around this “anvil”.
Paradise Riflebird The male is an iridescent black and green with purple tinges. The female a grey/red with mottled white/black underparts. Both have a very distinctive long, curved beak. The male has an elaborate courtship ritual to attract females. These birds live in the upper branches of trees feeding on insects and their larvae and fruit.
Supurb FairyWren Out of the breeding season, both male and female are a brown/green colour. Females have orange brown bills, feet and areas around the eyes. Males have black bills, dark brown around the eyes and grey feet. During the breeding season, the mature male has a sky blue crown & throat and ring around his nec.
If you want to observe birds, do so by standing quietly for around ½ hour to give the birds time to get used to your presence. Best early in the morning. Behind the National Park office is a great bird-watching place but there are many others. Sitting quietly by a mountain stream or in the middle of the rainforest is also very rewarding.
Bird summary at Bunya Mountains National Park
Australian white ibis
Flycatchers, monarchs, magpie-larks
Black faced monarch
Black shouldered kite
Superb fruit –dove
Red-tailed black cockatoo
Yellow-tailed black cockatoo
Australian king parrot
White bellied cuckoo shrike
Ground cuckoo shrike
Birds of Paradise
Australian owlet nightjar
White –throated needletail
Yellow throated scrubwrens
Old World Larks
Old World Pipits
Weebill, gerygones & thornbills
Brown headed honeyeater
White naped honeyeater
Blue faced honeyeater
Eastern yellow robin