List of birds of Australia

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

The list scope includes outlying islands:
    1. Cocos (Keeling) Islands
    2. Christmas Island
    3. Ashmore Reef
    4. Torres Strait Islands
    5. Lord Howe Island
    6. Norfolk Island
    7. Macquarie Island
    8. Heard Island and McDonald Islands

This is a list of the wild birds found in Australia including its outlying islands and territories, but excluding the Australian Antarctic Territory. The outlying islands covered include: Christmas, Cocos (Keeling), Ashmore, Torres Strait, Coral Sea, Lord Howe, Norfolk, Macquarie and Heard/McDonald. The list includes introduced species, common vagrants and recently extinct species. It excludes species only present in captivity. 975 extant and extinct species are listed.

There have been three comprehensive accounts: the first was John Gould's Birds of Australia, the second Gregory Mathews, and the third was the Handbook of Australian, New Zealand and Antarctic Birds (1990-2006).

The taxonomy originally followed is from Christidis and Boles, 2008.[1] Their system has been developed over nearly two decades[2] and has strong local support,[3] but deviates in important ways from more generally accepted schemes. Supplemental updates follow The Clements Checklist of Birds of the World, 2022 edition.

[4][5] This list uses British English throughout. Bird names and other wording follows that convention.


Order: Struthioniformes   Family: Struthionidae

Southern cassowary

1 species recorded [1 introduced]
This order is not native to Australia, but feral populations of one species have become established in South Australia and possibly on the New South Wales/Victoria border.

Common name Binomial Notes
Common ostrich Struthio camelus introduced

Cassowaries and emu[edit]

Order: Casuariiformes   Family: Casuariidae


2 species recorded [2 extant native]
This family of flightless ratite birds is represented by two living species in Australia. Another two species are found in New Guinea. The extinct, geographically isolated King and Kangaroo Island emus were historically considered to be separate species to mainland emus. However, genetic evidence from 2011 suggests that all three are conspecific.

Common name Binomial Notes
Southern cassowary Casuarius casuarius
Emu Dromaius novaehollandiae

Magpie goose[edit]

Order: Anseriformes   Family: Anseranatidae

Magpie goose at Fogg Dam in the Northern Territory

1 species recorded [1 extant native]
The family contains a single species, the magpie goose. It was an early and distinctive offshoot of the anseriform family tree, diverging after the screamers and before all other ducks, geese and swans, sometime in the late Cretaceous. The single species is found across Australia.

Common name Binomial Notes
Magpie goose Anseranas semipalmata

Ducks, geese, and waterfowl[edit]

Order: Anseriformes   Family: Anatidae

Plumed whistling ducks
Musk duck
Black swan
Pink-eared duck
Pacific black duck

30 species recorded [20 extant native, 3 introduced, 7 vagrant]
The family Anatidae includes the ducks and most duck-like waterfowl, such as geese and swans. These are adapted for an aquatic existence, with webbed feet, bills that are flattened to a greater or lesser extent, and feathers that are excellent at shedding water due to special oils. In Australia, 30 species have been recorded, of which three have been introduced, and seven are vagrants.

Common name Binomial Notes
Spotted whistling-duck Dendrocygna guttata
Plumed whistling-duck Dendrocygna eytoni
Wandering whistling-duck Dendrocygna arcuata
Canada goose Branta canadensis vagrant, presumably from introduced NZ population
Domestic greylag goose Anser anser introduced
Cape Barren goose Cereopsis novaehollandiae
Freckled duck Stictonetta naevosa
Mute swan Cygnus olor introduced
Black swan Cygnus atratus
Radjah shelduck Radjah radjah
Australian shelduck Tadorna tadornoides
Paradise shelduck Tadorna variegata vagrant, Lord Howe Island & NSW
Green pygmy-goose Nettapus pulchellus
Cotton pygmy-goose Nettapus coromandelianus
Australian wood duck Chenonetta jubata
Garganey Spatula querquedula
Australian shoveler Spatula rhynchotis
Northern shoveler Spatula clypeata vagrant
Eurasian wigeon Mareca penelope vagrant
Pacific black duck Anas superciliosa
Northern mallard Anas platyrhynchos introduced
Domestic mallard Anas platyrhynchos domesticus introduced
Pacific black duck × mallard hybrid Anas superciliosa × platyrhynchos native × introduced hybrid
Domestic muscovy duck Cairina moschata domesticus introduced
Northern pintail Anas acuta vagrant
Green-winged teal Anas crecca vagrant, Cocos (Keeling) Island
Grey teal Anas gracilis
Chestnut teal Anas castanea
Pink-eared duck Malacorhynchus membranaceus
Hardhead Aythya australis
Tufted duck Aythya fuligula vagrant
Blue-billed duck Oxyura australis
Musk duck Biziura lobata


Order: Galliformes   Family: Megapodiidae

Australian brushturkey

3 species recorded [3 extant native]
Megapodiidae are represented by various species in the Australasian region, although only three species are found in Australia. They are commonly referred to as "mound-builders" due to their habit of constructing large mounds to incubate their eggs.

Common name Binomial Notes
Australian brushturkey Alectura lathami
Malleefowl Leipoa ocellata
Orange-footed scrubfowl Megapodius reinwardt


Order: Galliformes   Family: Numididae

1 species recorded [1 introduced]
Numididae are not native to Australia, but feral populations of one species exist in Queensland.

Common name Binomial Notes
Helmeted guineafowl Numida meleagris introduced

New World quail[edit]

Order: Galliformes   Family: Odontophoridae

1 species recorded [1 introduced]
Odontophoridae are not native to Australia, but feral populations of one species survive in external territories and possibly the mainland.

Common name Binomial Notes
California quail Callipepla californica introduced, Norfolk & King Island

Pheasants, grouse, and allies[edit]

Order: Galliformes   Family: Phasianidae

Brown quail
King quail

8 species recorded [3 extant native, 5 introduced]
Phasianidae consists of the pheasants and their allies. These are terrestrial species, variable in size but generally plump, with broad, relatively short wings. Many species are gamebirds or have been domesticated as a food source for humans. Three species are native to Australia, and five commonly domesticated species are feral, with most established populations persisting on offshore islands.

Common name Binomial Notes
Indian peafowl Pavo cristatus introduced, King, Rottnest & Furneaux Islands
Brown quail Coturnix ypsilophora
Blue-breasted quail Excalfactoria chinensis
Stubble quail Coturnix pectoralis
Red junglefowl Gallus gallus introduced, Norfolk & Christmas Island
Green junglefowl Gallus varius introduced, Cocos (Keeling) Islands
Ring-necked pheasant Phasianus colchicus introduced, King, Flinders & Rottnest Island
Wild turkey Meleagris gallopavo introduced, King, Flinders & Kangaroo Island


Order: Phoenicopteriformes   Family: Phoenicopteridae

1 species recorded [1 vagrant]
Australia has only a single record of any flamingo species, from the North Keeling Island. Several prehistoric species are also known to have existed.

Common name Binomial Notes
Greater flamingo Phoenicopterus roseus vagrant, Cocos (Keeling) Islands


Order: Podicipediformes   Family: Podicipedidae

Australasian grebe

4 species recorded [3 extant native, 1 vagrant]
Grebes are small to medium-large freshwater diving birds. They have lobed toes and are excellent swimmers and divers. However, they have their feet placed far back on the body, making them quite ungainly on land. Three species have been regularly recorded in Australia, and a fourth is a vagrant.

Australasian grebe
Common name Binomial Notes
Little grebe Tachybaptus ruficollis vagrant
Australasian grebe Tachybaptus novaehollandiae
Hoary-headed grebe Poliocephalus poliocephalus
Great crested grebe Podiceps cristatus

Pigeons and doves[edit]

Order: Columbiformes   Family: Columbidae

Crested pigeon and spinifex pigeon
Bar-shouldered dove in Darwin, Northern Territory

41 species recorded [27 extant native, 4 introduced, 7 vagrant, 2 extirpated native, 1 extinct native]
Pigeons and doves are stout-bodied birds with short necks and short slender bills with a fleshy cere. In Australian territory 41 species have been recorded, four of which have been introduced, and another six are vagrants. One has become extinct since European colonisation.

Common name Binomial Notes
Rock pigeon Columba livia introduced
Metallic pigeon Columba vitiensis extirpated, Lord Howe Island
White-headed pigeon Columba leucomela
Oriental turtle-dove Streptopelia orientalis vagrant
Barbary dove Streptopelia risoria introduced
Red collared-dove Streptopelia tranquebarica vagrant, Christmas Island
Spotted dove Spilopelia chinensis introduced
Laughing dove Spilopelia senegalensis introduced
Brown cuckoo-dove Macropygia phasianella
Asian emerald dove Chalcophaps indica Christmas Island
Pacific emerald dove Chalcophaps longirostris
Stephan's dove Chalcophaps stephani vagrant
Norfolk ground dove Alopecoenas norfolciensis extinct, Norfolk Island
Common bronzewing Phaps chalcoptera
Brush bronzewing Phaps elegans
Flock bronzewing Phaps histrionica
Crested pigeon Ocyphaps lophotes
Spinifex pigeon Geophaps plumifera
Squatter pigeon Geophaps scripta
Partridge pigeon Geophaps smithii
Chestnut-quilled rock-pigeon Petrophassa rufipennis
White-quilled rock-pigeon Petrophassa albipennis
Wonga pigeon Leucosarcia melanoleuca
Diamond dove Geopelia cuneata
Peaceful dove Geopelia placida
Bar-shouldered dove Geopelia humeralis
Nicobar pigeon Caloenas nicobarica vagrant
Black-banded fruit-dove Ptilinopus alligator
Wompoo fruit-dove Ptilinopus magnificus
Orange-fronted fruit-dove Ptilinopus aurantiifrons vagrant
Superb fruit-dove Ptilinopus superbus
Rose-crowned fruit-dove Ptilinopus regina
Orange-bellied fruit-dove Ptilinopus iozonus vagrant, Torres Strait
Elegant imperial-pigeon Ducula concinna vagrant
Island imperial-pigeon Ducula pistrinaria
Christmas Island imperial-pigeon Ducula whartoni Christmas Island
Collared imperial-pigeon Ducula mullerii
Torresian imperial-pigeon Ducula spilorrhoa
Topknot pigeon Lopholaimus antarcticus
New Zealand pigeon Hemiphaga novaeseelandiae extirpated, Norfolk Island


Order: Otidiformes   Family: Otididae

1 species recorded [1 extant native]
Bustards are large terrestrial birds mainly associated with dry open country and steppes in the Old World. They are omnivorous and nest on the ground. They walk steadily on strong legs and big toes, pecking for food as they go. They have long broad wings with "fingered" wingtips and striking patterns in flight. Many have interesting mating displays.

Common name Binomial Notes
Australian bustard Ardeotis australis


Order: Cuculiformes   Family: Cuculidae

Channel-billed cuckoo

21 species recorded [14 extant native, 7 vagrant]
The family Cuculidae includes cuckoos, roadrunners and anis. These birds are of variable size with slender bodies, long tails and strong legs. The Old World cuckoos are brood parasites.

Common name Binomial Notes
Lesser coucal Centropus bengalensis vagrant, Ashmore Reef
Pheasant coucal Centropus phasianinus
Chestnut-winged cuckoo Clamator coromandus vagrant
Asian koel Eudynamys scolopaceus vagrant, Christmas, Barrow Island, WA & Cocos (Keeling) Islands
Pacific koel Eudynamys orientalis
Long-tailed koel Urodynamis taitensis vagrant, Lord Howe & Norfolk Island
Channel-billed cuckoo Scythrops novaehollandiae
Long-billed cuckoo Chrysococcyx megarhynchus
Horsfield's bronze-cuckoo Chrysococcyx basalis
Black-eared cuckoo Chrysococcyx osculans
Shining bronze-cuckoo Chrysococcyx lucidus
Little bronze-cuckoo Chrysococcyx minutillus
Pallid cuckoo Cacomantis pallidus
Chestnut-breasted cuckoo Cacomantis castaneiventris
Fan-tailed cuckoo Cacomantis flabelliformis
Brush cuckoo Cacomantis variolosus
Square-tailed drongo-cuckoo Surniculus lugubris vagrant
Large hawk-cuckoo Hierococcyx sparverioides vagrant, Christmas Island
Hodgson's hawk-cuckoo Hierococcyx nisicolor vagrant, Cocos (Keeling) Islands
Indian cuckoo Cuculus micropterus vagrant, Cocos (Keeling) Islands
Oriental cuckoo Cuculus optatus


Order: Caprimulgiformes   Family: Podargidae

3 species recorded [3 extant native]
The frogmouths are a distinctive group of small nocturnal birds related to swifts found from India across southern Asia to Australia. Three species are found in Australia.

Tawny frogmouth
Common name Binomial Notes
Tawny frogmouth Podargus strigoides
Marbled frogmouth Podargus ocellatus
Papuan frogmouth Podargus papuensis

Nightjars and allies[edit]

Order: Caprimulgiformes   Family: Caprimulgidae

5 species recorded [3 extant native, 2 vagrant]
Nightjars are medium-sized nocturnal birds that usually nest on the ground. They have long wings, short legs and very short bills. Most have small feet, of little use for walking, and long pointed wings. Their soft plumage is camouflaged to resemble bark or leaves.

Common name Binomial Notes
Spotted nightjar Eurostopodus argus
White-throated nightjar Eurostopodus mystacalis
Grey nightjar Caprimulgus jotaka vagrant, Ashmore Reef
Large-tailed nightjar Caprimulgus macrurus
Savanna nightjar Caprimulgus affinis vagrant, Christmas Island


Order: Caprimulgiformes   Family: Aegothelidae

1 species recorded [1 extant native]
The owlet-nightjars are a distinctive group of small nocturnal birds related to swifts found from the Maluku Islands and New Guinea to Australia and New Caledonia. One species is found in Australia.

Australian owlet-nightjar
Common name Binomial Notes
Australian owlet-nightjar Aegotheles cristatus


Order: Caprimulgiformes   Family: Apodidae

9 species recorded [4 extant native, 5 vagrant]
Swifts are small birds which spend the majority of their lives flying. These birds have very short legs and never settle voluntarily on the ground, perching instead only on vertical surfaces. Many swifts have long swept-back wings which resemble a crescent or boomerang. Nine species recorded in Australian territory, five of which are vagrants.

Common name Binomial Notes
Papuan spine-tailed swift Mearnsia novaeguineae vagrant, Torres Strait
White-throated needletail Hirundapus caudacutus
Christmas Island swiftlet Collocalia natalis Christmas Island
Glossy swiftlet Collocalia esculenta vagrant
Australian swiftlet Aerodramus terraereginae
Uniform swiftlet Aerodramus vanikorensis vagrant
Mossy-nest swiftlet Aerodramus salangana vagrant
Pacific swift Apus pacificus
Common swift Apus apus vagrant
House swift Apus affinis vagrant

Rails, gallinules, and coots[edit]

Order: Gruiformes   Family: Rallidae

Australasian swamphen
Australian spotted crake

24 species recorded [15 extant native, 7 vagrant, 1 extirpated, 1 extinct native]
Rallidae is a large family of small to medium-sized birds which includes the rails, crakes, coots and gallinules. Typically they inhabit dense vegetation in damp environments near lakes, swamps or rivers. In general they are shy and secretive birds, making them difficult to observe. Most species have strong legs and long toes which are well adapted to soft uneven surfaces. They tend to have short, rounded wings and to be weak fliers.

Common name Binomial Notes
Corn crake Crex crex vagrant
Lewin's rail Lewinia pectoralis
Chestnut rail Gallirallus castaneoventris
Weka Gallirallus australis extirpated introduced population on Macquarie Island
Lord Howe woodhen Gallirallus sylvestris Lord Howe Island
Buff-banded rail Gallirallus philippensis
Black-tailed nativehen Tribonyx ventralis
Tasmanian nativehen Tribonyx mortierii
Spotted crake Porzana porzana vagrant
Australian crake Porzana fluminea
Eurasian moorhen Gallinula chloropus vagrant, Cocos (Keeling) Islands
Dusky moorhen Gallinula tenebrosa
Eurasian coot Fulica atra
Australasian swamphen Porphyrio melanotus
Lord Howe swamphen Porphyrio albus extinct, Lord Howe Island
Watercock Gallicrex cinerea vagrant, Christmas Island, Cocos (Keeling) Islands & Ashmore Reef
White-breasted waterhen Amaurornis phoenicurus vagrant, Christmas Island, Cocos (Keeling) Islands
Pale-vented bush-hen Amaurornis moluccana
White-browed crake Poliolimnas cinereus
Red-necked crake Rallina tricolor
Red-legged crake Rallina fasciata vagrant
Ruddy-breasted crake Zapornia fusca vagrant, Christmas Island
Baillon's crake Zapornia pusilla
Spotless crake Zapornia tabuensis


Order: Gruiformes   Family: Gruidae

2 species recorded [2 extant native]
Cranes are large, long-legged and long-necked birds. Unlike the similar-looking but unrelated herons, cranes fly with necks outstretched, not pulled back. Most have elaborate and noisy courting displays or "dances".

Common name Binomial Notes
Sarus crane Antigone antigone
Brolga Antigone rubicunda


Order: Charadriiformes   Family: Chionidae

1 species recorded [1 extant native]
The sheathbills are scavengers of the Antarctic regions. They have white plumage and look plump and dove-like but are believed to be similar to the ancestors of the modern gulls and terns.

Common name Binomial Notes
Black-faced sheathbill Chionis minor Heard Island; mainland vagrant


Order: Charadriiformes   Family: Burhinidae

Bush stone-curlew

2 species recorded [2 extant native]
The thick-knees are a group of largely tropical waders in the family Burhinidae. They are found worldwide within the tropical zone, with some species also breeding in temperate Europe and Australia. They are medium to large waders with strong black or yellow-black bills, large yellow eyes and cryptic plumage. Despite being classed as waders, most species have a preference for arid or semi-arid habitats.

Common name Binomial Notes
Bush thick-knee Burhinus grallarius
Beach thick-knee Esacus magnirostris

Stilts and avocets[edit]

Order: Charadriiformes   Family: Recurvirostridae

Red-necked avocet

3 species recorded [3 extant native]
Recurvirostridae is a family of large wading birds, which includes the avocets and stilts. The avocets have long legs and long up-curved bills. The stilts have extremely long legs and long, thin straight bills.

Common name Binomial Notes
Pied stilt Himantopus leucocephalus
Banded stilt Cladorhynchus leucocephalus
Red-necked avocet Recurvirostra novaehollandiae


Order: Charadriiformes   Family: Haematopodidae

3 species recorded [2 extant native, 1 vagrant]
The oystercatchers are large and noisy plover-like birds, with strong bills used for smashing or prising open molluscs.

Common name Binomial Notes
Pied oystercatcher Haematopus longirostris
South Island oystercatcher Haematopus finschi vagrant
Sooty oystercatcher Haematopus fuliginosus

Plovers and lapwings[edit]

Order: Charadriiformes   Family: Charadriidae

Masked lapwing
Double-banded plover non-breeding plumage

21 species recorded [15 extant native, 6 vagrant]
The family Charadriidae includes the plovers, dotterels and lapwings. They are small to medium-sized birds with compact bodies, short, thick necks and long, usually pointed, wings. They are found in open country worldwide, mostly in habitats near water.

Common name Binomial Notes
Black-bellied plover Pluvialis squatarola
European golden-plover Pluvialis apricaria
American golden-plover Pluvialis dominica vagrant
Pacific golden-plover Pluvialis fulva
Grey-headed lapwing Vanellus cinereus vagrant
Banded lapwing Vanellus tricolor
Masked lapwing Vanellus miles
Lesser sand-plover Charadrius mongolus
Greater sand-plover Charadrius leschenaultii
Caspian plover Charadrius asiaticus vagrant
Double-banded plover Charadrius bicinctus
Red-capped plover Charadrius ruficapillus
Kentish plover Charadrius alexandrinus vagrant
Common ringed plover Charadrius hiaticula vagrant
Semipalmated plover Charadrius semipalmatus vagrant
Little ringed plover Charadrius dubius
Oriental plover Charadrius veredus
Red-kneed dotterel Erythrogonys cinctus
Hooded plover Thinornis cucullatus
Black-fronted dotterel Elseyornis melanops
Inland dotterel Peltohyas australis


Order: Charadriiformes   Family: Pedionomidae

1 species recorded [1 extant native]
The plains-wanderer is a quail-like ground bird. They are excellent camouflagers, and will first hide at any disturbance. If they're approached too close, they will run as opposed to flying, which they are very poor at.

Common name Binomial Notes
Plains-wanderer Pedionomus torquatus


Order: Charadriiformes   Family: Rostratulidae

Australian painted-snipe

1 species recorded [1 extant native]
Painted-snipe are short-legged, long-billed birds similar in shape to the true snipes, but more brightly coloured.

Common name Binomial Notes
Australian painted-snipe Rostratula australis


Order: Charadriiformes   Family: Jacanidae

2 species recorded [1 extant native, 1 vagrant]
The jacanas are a group of waders found throughout the tropics. They are identifiable by their huge feet and claws which enable them to walk on floating vegetation in the shallow lakes that are their preferred habitat.

Common name Binomial Notes
Comb-crested jacana Irediparra gallinacea
Pheasant-tailed jacana Hydrophasianus chirurgus vagrant

Sandpipers and allies[edit]

Order: Charadriiformes   Family: Scolopacidae

47 species recorded [29 extant native, 18 vagrant]
Scolopacidae is a large diverse family of small to medium-sized shorebirds including the sandpipers, curlews, godwits, shanks, tattlers, woodcocks, snipes, dowitchers, and phalaropes. The majority of these species eat small invertebrates picked out of the mud or soil. Variation in length of legs and bills enables multiple species to feed in the same habitat, particularly on the coast, without direct competition for food.

Red knot
Sharp-tailed sandpiper
Common name Binomial Notes
Upland sandpiper Bartramia longicauda vagrant
Whimbrel Numenius phaeopus
Little curlew Numenius minutus
Far Eastern curlew Numenius madagascariensis
Eurasian curlew Numenius arquata vagrant
Bar-tailed godwit Limosa lapponica
Black-tailed godwit Limosa limosa
Hudsonian godwit Limosa haemastica vagrant
Ruddy turnstone Arenaria interpres
Great knot Calidris tenuirostris
Red knot Calidris canutus
Ruff Calidris pugnax
Broad-billed sandpiper Calidris falcinellus
Sharp-tailed sandpiper Calidris acuminata
Stilt sandpiper Calidris himantopus vagrant
Curlew sandpiper Calidris ferruginea
Temminck's stint Calidris temminckii vagrant
Long-toed stint Calidris subminuta
Red-necked stint Calidris ruficollis
Sanderling Calidris alba
Dunlin Calidris alpina vagrant
Baird's sandpiper Calidris bairdii vagrant
Little stint Calidris minuta vagrant
White-rumped sandpiper Calidris fuscicollis vagrant
Buff-breasted sandpiper Calidris subruficollis vagrant
Pectoral sandpiper Calidris melanotos
Asian dowitcher Limnodromus semipalmatus
Short-billed dowitcher Limnodromus griseus vagrant
Long-billed dowitcher Limnodromus scolopaceus vagrant
Latham's snipe Gallinago hardwickii
Pin-tailed snipe Gallinago stenura
Swinhoe's snipe Gallinago megala
Terek sandpiper Xenus cinereus
Wilson's phalarope Phalaropus tricolor vagrant
Red-necked phalarope Phalaropus lobatus
Red phalarope Phalaropus fulicarius vagrant
Common sandpiper Actitis hypoleucos
Green sandpiper Tringa ochropus vagrant
Grey-tailed tattler Tringa brevipes
Wandering tattler Tringa incana
Spotted redshank Tringa erythropus vagrant
Common greenshank Tringa nebularia
Nordmann's greenshank Tringa guttifer vagrant
Lesser yellowlegs Tringa flavipes vagrant
Marsh sandpiper Tringa stagnatilis
Wood sandpiper Tringa glareola
Common redshank Tringa totanus


Order: Charadriiformes   Family: Turnicidae

Black-breasted buttonquail

7 species recorded [7 extant native]
The buttonquails are small, drab, running birds which resemble the true quails. The female is the brighter of the sexes and initiates courtship. The male incubates the eggs and tends the young.

Common name Binomial Notes
Red-backed buttonquail Turnix maculosus
Black-breasted buttonquail Turnix melanogaster
Chestnut-backed buttonquail Turnix castanotus
Buff-breasted buttonquail Turnix olivii
Painted buttonquail Turnix varius
Red-chested buttonquail Turnix pyrrhothorax
Little buttonquail Turnix velox

Pratincoles and coursers[edit]

Australian pratincole at Fogg Dam in the Northern Territory

Order: Charadriiformes   Family: Glareolidae

3 species recorded [2 extant native, 1 vagrant]
Glareolidae is a family of wading birds comprising the pratincoles, which have short legs, long pointed wings, and long forked tails, and the coursers, which have long legs, short wings, and long, pointed bills which curve downwards.

Common name Binomial Notes
Australian pratincole Stiltia isabella
Collared pratincole Glareola pratincola vagrant
Oriental pratincole Glareola maldivarum

Skuas and jaegers[edit]

Order: Charadriiformes   Family: Stercorariidae

5 species recorded [5 extant native]
The family Stercorariidae are, in general, medium to large birds, typically with grey or brown plumage, often with white markings on the wings. They nest on the ground in temperate and arctic regions and are long-distance migrants.

Common name Binomial Notes
South polar skua Stercorarius maccormicki vagrant
Brown skua Stercorarius antarcticus
Pomarine jaeger Stercorarius pomarinus
Parasitic jaeger Stercorarius parasiticus
Long-tailed jaeger Stercorarius longicauda vagrant

Gulls, terns, and skimmers[edit]

Order: Charadriiformes   Family: Laridae

Little tern with crested terns
Pacific gull

37 species recorded [25 extant native, 12 vagrant]
Laridae is a family of medium to large seabirds, the gulls, terns, and skimmers. Gulls are typically grey or white, often with black markings on the head or wings. They have stout, longish bills and webbed feet. Terns are a group of generally medium to large seabirds typically with grey or white plumage, often with black markings on the head. Most terns hunt fish by diving but some pick insects off the surface of fresh water. Terns are generally long-lived birds, with several species known to live in excess of 30 years. Skimmers are a small family of tropical tern-like birds. They have an elongated lower mandible which they use to feed by flying low over the water surface and skimming the water for small fish.

Common name Binomial Notes
Sabine's gull Xema sabini vagrant
Silver gull Chroicocephalus novaehollandiae
Black-headed gull Chroicocephalus ridibundus vagrant
Laughing gull Leucophaeus atricilla vagrant
Franklin's gull Leucophaeus pipixcan vagrant
Black-tailed gull Larus crassirostris vagrant
Pacific gull Larus pacificus
Mew gull Larus canus vagrant, Christmas Island
Lesser black-backed gull Larus fuscus vagrant, Cocos (Keeling) Islands & possibly mainland
Slaty-backed gull Larus schistisagus vagrant
Kelp gull Larus dominicanus
Brown noddy Anous stolidus
Black noddy Anous minutus
Lesser noddy Anous tenuirostris
Grey noddy Anous albivitta
Blue-grey noddy Anous ceruleus
White tern Gygis alba Lord Howe, Norfolk & Cocos (Keeling) Islands; mainland vagrant
Sooty tern Onychoprion fuscata
Grey-backed tern Onychoprion lunatus vagrant
Bridled tern Onychoprion anaethetus
Aleutian tern Onychoprion aleuticus vagrant
Little tern Sternula albifrons
Australian fairy tern Sternula nereis
Saunders's tern Sternula saundersi Cocos (Keeling) Islands
Gull-billed tern Gelochelidon nilotica is a mainland vagrant
Caspian tern Hydroprogne caspia
Black tern Chlidonias niger vagrant
White-winged tern Chlidonias leucopterus
Whiskered tern Chlidonias hybrida
Black-fronted tern Chlidonias albostriatus vagrant
Roseate tern Sterna dougallii
White-fronted tern Sterna striata
Black-naped tern Sterna sumatrana
Common tern Sterna hirundo
Arctic tern Sterna paradisaea vagrant
Antarctic tern Sterna vittata Macquarie & Heard Island; mainland vagrant
Greater crested tern Thalasseus bergii
Lesser crested tern Thalasseus bengalensis


Order: Phaethontiformes   Family: Phaethontidae

Red-tailed tropicbird

3 species recorded [2 extant native, 1 vagrant]
Tropicbirds are slender white birds of tropical oceans, with exceptionally long central tail feathers. Their long wings have black markings, as does the head. Three species have been recorded from Australian waters.

Common name Binomial Notes
White-tailed tropicbird Phaethon lepturus
Red-billed tropicbird Phaethon aethereus vagrant, Ashmore Reef & Lord Howe Island
Red-tailed tropicbird Phaethon rubricauda


Order: Sphenisciformes   Family: Spheniscidae

A wild Australian little penguin returning to its burrow to feed its chicks on Bruny Island

15 species recorded [7 extant native, 8 vagrant]
Penguins are a group of aquatic, flightless birds living almost exclusively in the Southern Hemisphere, especially in Antarctica. Only one species, the Australian little penguin, breeds on the Australian coast.

Common name Binomial Notes
King penguin Aptenodytes patagonicus Macquarie & Heard Island; mainland vagrant
Emperor penguin Aptenodytes forsteri vagrant, Macquarie & Heard Island
Adélie penguin Pygoscelis adeliae vagrant, TAS, Macquarie & Heard Island
Gentoo penguin Pygoscelis papua Macquarie & Heard Island; mainland vagrant
Chinstrap penguin Pygoscelis antarcticus vagrant, VIC, TAS, Macquarie & Heard Island
Australian little penguin Eudyptula novaehollandiae
Magellanic penguin Spheniscus magellanicus vagrant
Fiordland penguin Eudyptes pachyrhynchus
Erect-crested penguin Eudyptes sclateri vagrant
Macaroni penguin Eudyptes chrysolophus vagrant; Macquarie Island; Heard Island
Royal penguin Eudyptes schlegeli Macquarie Island; mainland vagrant
Southern rockhopper penguin Eudyptes chrysocome Macquarie & Heard Island; mainland vagrant
Moseley's rockhopper penguin Eudyptes moseleyi vagrant
Snares penguin Eudyptes robustus vagrant


Order: Procellariiformes   Family: Diomedeidae

13 species recorded [11 extant native, 2 vagrant]
The albatrosses are a family of large seabird found across the Southern and North Pacific Oceans. The largest are among the largest flying birds in the world. Thirteen species are seen to varying degrees in Australian waters, with two recorded as vagrants.

White-capped albatross
Common name Binomial Notes
Yellow-nosed albatross Thalassarche chlororhynchos
Grey-headed albatross Thalassarche chrysostoma
Buller's albatross Thalassarche bulleri
White-capped albatross Thalassarche cauta
Salvin's albatross Thalassarche salvini
Chatham albatross Thalassarche eremita vagrant
Campbell albatross Thalassarche impavida
Black-browed albatross Thalassarche melanophris
Sooty albatross Phoebetria fusca
Light-mantled albatross Phoebetria palpebrata
Royal albatross Diomedea epomophora
Wandering albatross Diomedea exulans

Southern storm-petrels[edit]

Order: Procellariiformes   Family: Oceanitidae

7 species recorded [5 extant native, 2 vagrant]
The southern storm-petrels are the smallest seabirds, relatives of the petrels, feeding on planktonic crustaceans and small fish picked from the surface, typically while hovering. Their flight is fluttering and sometimes bat-like.

Common name Binomial Notes
Wilson's storm-petrel Oceanites oceanicus
Grey-backed storm-petrel Garrodia nereis
White-faced storm-petrel Pelagodroma marina
White-bellied storm-petrel Fregetta grallaria
New Zealand storm-petrel Fregetta maoriana vagrant
Black-bellied storm-petrel Fregetta tropica
Polynesian storm-petrel Nesofregetta fuliginosa vagrant

Northern storm-petrels[edit]

Order: Procellariiformes   Family: Hydrobatidae

5 species recorded [2 extant native, 3 vagrant]
Though the members of this family are similar in many respects to the southern storm-petrels, including their general appearance and habits, there are enough genetic differences to warrant their placement in a separate family.

Common name Binomial Notes
Leach's storm-petrel Hydrobates leucorhous vagrant
Swinhoe's storm-petrel Hydrobates monorhis
Band-rumped storm-petrel Hydrobates castro vagrant
Matsudaira's storm-petrel Hydrobates matsudairae
Tristram's storm-petrel Hydrobates tristrami vagrant

Shearwaters and petrels[edit]

Order: Procellariiformes   Family: Procellariidae

Short-tailed shearwater

61 species recorded [41 native extant, 19 vagrant, 1 extirpated]
The procellariids are the main group of medium-sized "true petrels", characterised by united nostrils with medium nasal septum, and a long outer functional primary flight feather.

Common name Binomial Notes
Southern giant-petrel Macronectes giganteus
Northern giant-petrel Macronectes halli
Southern fulmar Fulmarus glacialoides
Antarctic petrel Thalassoica antarctica vagrant
Cape petrel Daption capense
Snow petrel Pagodroma nivea vagrant, Heard & Macquarie Island
Kerguelen petrel Aphrodroma brevirostris
Great-winged petrel Pterodroma macroptera
Grey-faced petrel Pterodroma gouldi vagrant
Kermadec petrel Pterodroma neglecta vagrant; Lord Howe Island; Norfolk Island
Trindade petrel Pterodroma arminjoniana vagrant
Herald petrel Pterodroma heraldica
Providence petrel Pterodroma solandri
Soft-plumaged petrel Pterodroma mollis
Barau's petrel Pterodroma baraui vagrant
White-headed petrel Pterodroma lessonii
Mottled petrel Pterodroma inexpectata
Juan Fernandez petrel Pterodroma externa vagrant
Atlantic petrel Pterodroma incerta vagrant
White-necked petrel Pterodroma cervicalis
Black-winged petrel Pterodroma nigripennis
Cook's petrel Pterodroma cookii
Gould's petrel Pterodroma leucoptera
Collared petrel Pterodroma brevipes vagrant
Stejneger's petrel Pterodroma longirostris vagrant
Pycroft's petrel Pterodroma pycrofti extirpated, Norfolk Island; possible vagrant
Vanuatu petrel Pterodroma occulta vagrant
Blue petrel Halobaena caerulea
Fairy prion Pachyptila turtur
Broad-billed prion Pachyptila vittata
Salvin's prion Pachyptila salvini
Antarctic prion Pachyptila desolata
Slender-billed prion Pachyptila belcheri
Fulmar prion Pachyptila crassirostris vagrant; Heard Island
Bulwer's petrel Bulweria bulwerii
Jouanin's petrel Bulweria fallax
Tahiti petrel Pseudobulweria rostrata
Grey petrel Procellaria cinerea
White-chinned petrel Procellaria aequinoctialis
Parkinson's petrel Procellaria parkinsoni
Westland petrel Procellaria westlandica
Streaked shearwater Calonectris leucomelas
Cory's shearwater Calonectris borealis vagrant
Pink-footed shearwater Ardenna creatopus vagrant
Flesh-footed shearwater Ardenna carneipes
Great shearwater Ardenna gravis vagrant
Wedge-tailed shearwater Ardenna pacifica
Buller's shearwater Ardenna bulleri
Sooty shearwater Ardenna grisea
Short-tailed shearwater Ardenna tenuirostris
Manx shearwater Puffinus puffinus vagrant
Hutton's shearwater Puffinus huttoni
Newell's shearwater Puffinus newelli vagrant
Fluttering shearwater Puffinus gavia
Little shearwater Puffinus assimilis
Subantarctic shearwater Puffinus elegans
Tropical shearwater Puffinus bailloni vagrant
Persian shearwater Puffinus persicus possible vagrant
Heinroth's shearwater Puffinus heinrothi vagrant
Common diving-petrel Pelecanoides urinatrix
South Georgian diving-petrel Pelecanoides georgicus Macquarie & Heard Island; mainland vagrant


Black necked stork (jabiru) and juvenile pied heron in flight at Fogg Dam in the Northern Territory

Order: Ciconiiformes   Family: Ciconiidae

1 species recorded [1 extant native]
Storks are large, long-legged, long-necked, wading birds with long, stout bills. Storks are mute, but bill-clattering is an important mode of communication at the nest. Their nests can be large and may be reused for many years.

Common name Binomial Notes
Black-necked stork Ephippiorhynchus asiaticus


Order: Suliformes   Family: Fregatidae

Great frigatebird

3 species recorded [3 extant native]
Frigatebirds are large seabirds usually found over tropical oceans. They are large, black, or black-and-white, with long wings and deeply forked tails. The males have coloured inflatable throat pouches. They do not swim or walk and cannot take off from a flat surface. Having the largest wingspan-to-body-weight ratio of any bird, they are essentially aerial, able to stay aloft for more than a week.

Common name Binomial Notes
Lesser frigatebird Fregata ariel
Christmas Island frigatebird Fregata andrewsi Christmas Island; mainland vagrant
Great frigatebird Fregata minor

Boobies and gannets[edit]

Order: Suliformes   Family: Sulidae

Australasian gannet

6 species recorded [5 extant native, 1 vagrant]
The sulids comprise the gannets and boobies. Both groups are medium-large coastal seabirds that plunge-dive for fish. Six species have been recorded from Australian territory.

Common name Binomial Notes
Masked booby Sula dactylatra
Brown booby Sula leucogaster
Red-footed booby Sula sula
Abbott's booby Papasula abbotti Christmas Island; mainland vagrant
Cape gannet Morus capensis vagrant
Australasian gannet Morus serrator


Order: Suliformes   Family: Anhingidae

2 species recorded [1 extant native, 1 vagrant]
Anhingas or darters are cormorant-like water birds with long necks and long, straight bills. They are fish eaters which often swim with only their neck above the water. One species is found in Australia.

Common name Binomial Notes
Oriental darter Anhinga melanogaster vagrant
Australasian darter Anhinga novaehollandiae

Cormorants and shags[edit]

Order: Suliformes   Family: Phalacrocoracidae

10 species recorded [7 extant native, 2 vagrant]
Cormorants are medium-to-large aquatic birds, usually with mainly dark plumage and areas of coloured skin on the face. The bill is long, thin and sharply hooked. Their feet are four-toed and webbed, a distinguishing feature among the order Pelecaniformes. Nine species occur in Australian territory, with two as vagrants.

Little pied cormorant
Common name Binomial Notes
Little pied cormorant Microcarbo melanoleucos
Great cormorant Phalacrocorax carbo
Spotted shag Phalacrocorax punctatus vagrant
Little black cormorant Phalacrocorax sulcirostris
Pied cormorant Phalacrocorax varius
Black-faced cormorant Phalacrocorax fuscescens
Imperial shag Leucocarbo atriceps Heard & Macquarie Island
Kerguelen shag Leucocarbo verrucosus vagrant
Macquarie shag Leucocarbo purpurascens
Heard Island shag Leucocarbo nivalis


Order: Pelecaniformes   Family: Pelecanidae

1 species recorded [1 extant native]
Pelicans are large water birds with distinctive pouches under their bills. Like other birds in the order Pelecaniformes, they have four webbed toes. One species has been recorded in Australia.

Common name Binomial Notes
Australian pelican Pelecanus conspicillatus

Herons, egrets, and bitterns[edit]

Order: Pelecaniformes   Family: Ardeidae

White-necked heron
Australian little egret
Pacific reef heron, dark morph

25 species recorded [15 extant native, 10 vagrant]
The family Ardeidae contains the bitterns, herons, and egrets. Herons and egrets are medium to large wading birds with long necks and legs. Bitterns tend to be shorter necked and more wary. Members of Ardeidae fly with their necks retracted, unlike other long-necked birds such as storks, ibises, and spoonbills.

Common name Binomial Notes
Australasian bittern Botaurus poiciloptilus
Yellow bittern Ixobrychus sinensis vagrant
Black-backed bittern Ixobrychus dubius
Schrenck's bittern Ixobrychus eurhythmus vagrant, Christmas Island
Cinnamon bittern Ixobrychus cinnamomeus vagrant
Black bittern Ixobrychus flavicollis
Grey heron Ardea cinerea vagrant
Pacific heron Ardea pacifica
Great-billed heron Ardea sumatrana
Purple heron Ardea purpurea vagrant
Great egret Ardea alba
Intermediate egret Ardea intermedia
White-faced heron Egretta novaehollandiae
Little egret Egretta garzetta
Western reef-heron Egretta gularis possibly Cocos (Keeling) Islands but likely hybridised with E. sacra
Pacific reef-heron Egretta sacra
Pied heron Egretta picata
Cattle egret Bubulcus ibis
Chinese pond-heron Ardeola bacchus vagrant
Javan pond-heron Ardeola speciosa vagrant
Striated heron Butorides striatus
Black-crowned night-heron Nycticorax nycticorax vagrant, Cocos (Keeling) Islands & Ashmore Reef
Nankeen night-heron Nycticorax caledonicus
Japanese night-heron Gorsachius goisagi vagrant, Christmas Island
Malayan night-heron Gorsachius melanolophus vagrant, Christmas Island

Ibises and spoonbills[edit]

Order: Pelecaniformes   Family: Threskiornithidae

Royal spoonbill

5 species recorded [5 extant native]
Threskiornithidae is a family of large terrestrial and wading birds which includes the ibises and spoonbills. They have long, broad wings with 11 primary and about 20 secondary feathers. They are strong fliers and despite their size and weight, very capable soarers.

Common name Binomial Notes
Glossy ibis Plegadis falcinellus
Australian ibis Threskiornis moluccus
Straw-necked ibis Threskiornis spinicollis
Royal spoonbill Platalea regia
Yellow-billed spoonbill Platalea flavipes


Order: Accipitriformes   Family: Pandionidae

1 species recorded [1 extant native]
The family Pandionidae contains only one species, the osprey. The osprey is a medium-large raptor which is a specialist fish-eater with a worldwide distribution.

Common name Binomial Notes
Osprey Pandion haliaetus

Hawks, eagles, and kites[edit]

Order: Accipitriformes   Family: Accipitridae

Grey goshawk

22 species recorded [17 extant native, 5 vagrant]
Accipitridae is a family of birds of prey, which includes hawks, eagles, kites, harriers, and Old World vultures. These birds have powerful hooked beaks for tearing flesh from their prey, strong legs, powerful talons, and keen eyesight.

Common name Binomial Notes
Black-shouldered kite Elanus axillaris
Letter-winged kite Elanus scriptus
Oriental honey-buzzard Pernis ptilorhynchus vagrant
Black-breasted kite Hamirostra melanosternon
Long-tailed honey-buzzard Henicopernis longicauda vagrant
Square-tailed kite Lophoictinia isura
Pacific baza Aviceda subcristata
Little eagle Hieraaetus morphnoides
Gurney's eagle Aquila gurneyi vagrant, Torres Strait
Wedge-tailed eagle Aquila audax
Swamp harrier Circus approximans
Spotted harrier Circus assimilis
Chinese sparrowhawk Accipiter soloensis vagrant, Cocos (Keeling) Islands & Ashmore Reef
Grey goshawk Accipiter novaehollandiae
Brown goshawk Accipiter fasciatus
Japanese sparrowhawk Accipiter gularis vagrant, Cocos (Keeling) Islands & Ashmore Reef
Collared sparrowhawk Accipiter cirrocephalus
Red goshawk Erythrotriorchis radiatus
Black kite Milvus migrans
Whistling kite Haliastur sphenurus
Brahminy kite Haliastur indus
White-bellied sea eagle Haliaeetus leucogaster


Order: Strigiformes   Family: Tytonidae

Masked owl

4 species recorded [4 extant native]
Barn-owls are medium to large owls with large heads and characteristic heart-shaped faces. They have long strong legs with powerful talons.

Common name Binomial Notes
Greater sooty owl Tyto tenebricosa
Lesser sooty owl Tyto multipunctata
Australian masked-owl Tyto novaehollandiae
Australasian grass-owl Tyto longimembris
Barn owl Tyto alba


Order: Strigiformes   Family: Strigidae

10 species recorded [6 extant native, 4 vagrant]
The typical owls are small to large solitary nocturnal birds of prey. They have large forward-facing eyes and ears, a hawk-like beak, and a conspicuous circle of feathers around each eye called a facial disk.

Common name Binomial Notes
Oriental scops-owl Otis sunia vagrant, Barrow Island, WA
Buffy fish-owl Ketupa ketupu vagrant, Cocos (Keeling) Islands
Rufous owl Ninox rufa
Powerful owl Ninox strenua
Barking owl Ninox connivens
Southern boobook Ninox boobook
Tasmanian boobook Ninox leucopsis
Brown boobook Ninox scutulata vagrant
Northern boobook Ninox japonica vagrant
Christmas Island boobook Ninox natalis Christmas Island


Order: Bucerotiformes   Family: Upupidae

1 species recorded [1 vagrant]
Hoopoes have black, white, and orangey-pink colouring with a large erectile crest on their head.

Common name Binomial Notes
Eurasian hoopoe Upupa epops vagrant


Order: Coraciiformes   Family: Alcedinidae

Laughing kookaburra

15 species recorded [11 extant native, 4 vagrant]
Kingfishers are medium-sized birds with large heads, long pointed bills, short legs, and stubby tails.

Common name Binomial Notes
Common kingfisher Alcedo atthis vagrant, Christmas & Cocos (Keeling) Islands
Azure kingfisher Ceyx azureus
Little kingfisher Ceyx pusillus
Laughing kookaburra Dacelo novaeguineae
Blue-winged kookaburra Dacelo leachii
Black-capped kingfisher Halcyon pileata vagrant
Red-backed kingfisher Todiramphus pyrrhopygia
Forest kingfisher Todiramphus macleayii
Torresian kingfisher Todiramphus sordidus
Sacred kingfisher Todiramphus sanctus
Collared kingfisher Todiramphus chloris
Yellow-billed kingfisher Syma torotoro
Little paradise-kingfisher Tanysiptera hydrocharis vagrant, Torres Strait
Common paradise-kingfisher Tanysiptera galatea vagrant, Torres Strait
Buff-breasted paradise-kingfisher Tanysiptera sylvia


Rainbow bee-eater

Order: Coraciiformes   Family: Meropidae

1 species recorded [1 extant native]
The bee-eaters are a group of near passerine birds in the family Meropidae. Most species are found in Africa but others occur in southern Europe, Madagascar, Australia, and New Guinea. They are characterised by richly coloured plumage, slender bodies, and usually elongated central tail feathers. All are colourful and have long downturned bills and pointed wings, which give them a swallow-like appearance when seen from afar.

Common name Binomial Notes
Rainbow bee-eater Merops ornatus


Order: Coraciiformes   Family: Coraciidae

2 species recorded [1 extant native, 1 vagrant]
Rollers resemble crows in size and build, but are more closely related to the kingfishers and bee-eaters. They share the colourful appearance of those groups with blues and browns predominating. The two inner front toes are connected, but the outer toe is not.

Common name Binomial Notes
European roller Coracias garrulus vagrant, Cocos (Keeling) Islands
Dollarbird Eurystomus orientalis

Falcons and caracaras[edit]

Order: Falconiformes   Family: Falconidae

7 species recorded [6 extant native, 1 vagrant]
Falconidae is a family of diurnal birds of prey. They differ from hawks, eagles, and kites in that they kill with their beaks instead of their talons.

Australian hobby
Common name Binomial Notes
Nankeen kestrel Falco cenchroides
Amur falcon Falco amurensis vagrant
Eurasian hobby Falco subbuteo vagrant
Australian hobby Falco longipennis
Brown falcon Falco berigora
Grey falcon Falco hypoleucos
Black falcon Falco subniger
Peregrine falcon Falco peregrinus

New Zealand parrots[edit]

Order: Psittaciformes   Family: Nestoridae

1 species recorded [1 extinct native]
The family diverged from the other parrots around 82 million years ago when New Zealand broke off from Gondwana, while the ancestors of the genera Nestor and Strigops diverged from each other between 60 and 80 million years ago.

Common name Binomial Notes
Norfolk kākā Nestor productus extinct, Norfolk Island


Order: Psittaciformes   Family: Cacatuidae

14 species recorded [14 extant native]
The cockatoos share many features with other parrots including the characteristic curved beak shape and a zygodactyl foot, with two forward toes and two backwards toes. They differ, however in a number of characteristics, including the often spectacular movable headcrest.

Pink cockatoo
Common name Binomial Notes
Palm cockatoo Probosciger aterrimus
Red-tailed black-cockatoo Calyptorhynchus banksii
Glossy black-cockatoo Calyptorhynchus lathami
Yellow-tailed black-cockatoo Zanda funerea
Carnaby's black-cockatoo Zanda latirostris
Baudin's black-cockatoo Zanda baudinii
Gang-gang cockatoo Callocephalon fimbriatum
Pink cockatoo Lophochroa leadbeateri
Galah Eolophus roseicapilla
Long-billed corella Cacatua tenuirostris
Western corella Cacatua pastinator
Little corella Cacatua sanguinea
Sulphur-crested cockatoo Cacatua galerita
Cockatiel Nymphicus hollandicus

Old World parrots[edit]

Order: Psittaciformes   Family: Psittaculidae

Australian king-parrot (male)
Eastern rosella (female)
Red-rumped parrot (male)
Rainbow lorikeet
Blue-winged parrot

44 species recorded [42 extant native, 1 extirpated native, 1 extinct native]
Characteristic features of parrots include a strong curved bill, an upright stance, strong legs, and clawed zygodactyl feet. Many parrots are vividly coloured, and some are multi-coloured. In size they range from 8 cm (3.1 in) to 1 m (3.3 ft) in length. Old World parrots are found from Africa east across south and southeast Asia and Oceania to Australia and New Zealand.

Common name Binomial Notes
Superb parrot Polytelis swainsonii
Regent parrot Polytelis anthopeplus
Princess parrot Polytelis alexandrae
Australian king-parrot Alisterus scapularis
Red-winged parrot Aprosmictus erythropterus
Eclectus parrot Eclectus roratus
Red-cheeked parrot Geoffroyus geoffroyi
Ground parrot Pezoporus wallicus
Night parrot Pezoporus occidentalis
Bourke's parrot Neopsephotus bourkii
Blue-winged parrot Neophema chrysostoma
Elegant parrot Neophema elegans
Rock parrot Neophema petrophila
Orange-bellied parrot Neophema chrysogaster
Turquoise parrot Neophema pulchella
Scarlet-chested parrot Neophema splendida
Swift parrot Lathamus discolor
Red-crowned parakeet Cyanoramphus novaezelandiae extirpated, Macquarie Island
Norfolk Island parakeet Cyanoramphus cookii Norfolk Island
Australian ringneck Barnardius zonarius
Green rosella Platycercus caledonicus
Crimson rosella Platycercus elegans
Northern rosella Platycercus venustus
Eastern rosella Platycercus eximius
Pale-headed rosella Platycercus adscitus
Western rosella Platycercus icterotis
Greater bluebonnet Northiella haematogaster
Naretha bluebonnet Northiella narethae
Red-rumped parrot Psephotus haematonotus
Mulga parrot Psephotellus varius
Hooded parrot Psephotellus dissimilis
Golden-shouldered parrot Psephotellus chrysopterygius
Paradise parrot Psephotellus pulcherrimus extinct
Red-capped parrot Purpureicephalus spurius
Double-eyed fig-parrot Cyclopsitta diophthalma
Budgerigar Melopsittacus undulatus
Musk lorikeet Glossopsitta concinna
Little lorikeet Parvipsitta pusilla
Purple-crowned lorikeet Parvipsitta porphyrocephala
Varied lorikeet Psitteuteles versicolor
Coconut lorikeet Trichoglossus haematodus Torres Strait
Red-collared lorikeet Trichoglossus rubritorquis
Rainbow lorikeet Trichoglossus moluccanus
Scaly-breasted lorikeet Trichoglossus chlorolepidotus


Noisy pitta

Order: Passeriformes   Family: Pittidae

6 species recorded [3 extant native, 3 vagrant]
Pittas are medium-sized by passerine standards and are stocky, with fairly long, strong legs, short tails, and stout bills. Many are brightly coloured. They spend the majority of their time on wet forest floors, eating snails, insects, and similar invertebrates.

Common name Binomial Notes
Papuan pitta Erythropitta macklotii
Blue-winged pitta Pitta moluccensis vagrant
Fairy pitta Pitta nympha vagrant
Hooded pitta Pitta sordida vagrant, Barrow Island, WA
Noisy pitta Pitta versicolor
Rainbow pitta Pitta iris


Order: Passeriformes   Family: Menuridae

Superb lyrebird

2 species [2 extant native]
Lyrebirds are most notable for their superb ability to mimic natural and artificial sounds from their environment, and the striking beauty of the male bird's huge tail when it is fanned out in courtship display.

Common name Binomial Notes
Albert's lyrebird Menura alberti
Superb lyrebird Menura novaehollandiae


Order: Passeriformes   Family: Atrichornithidae

2 species recorded [2 extant native]
The scrub-bird family is ancient and is understood to be most closely related to the lyrebirds, and probably also the bowerbirds and treecreepers.

Common name Binomial Notes
Rufous scrub-bird Atrichornis rufescens
Noisy scrub-bird Atrichornis clamosus


Order: Passeriformes   Family: Ptilonorhynchidae

Regent bowerbird

11 species recorded [11 extant native]
The bowerbirds are small to medium-sized passerine birds. The males notably build a bower to attract a mate. Depending on the species, the bower ranges from a circle of cleared earth with a small pile of twigs in the centre to a complex and highly decorated structure of sticks and leaves.

Common name Binomial Notes
Spotted catbird Ailuroedus maculosus
Black-eared catbird Ailuroedus melanotis
Green catbird Ailuroedus crassirostris
Tooth-billed bowerbird Scenopoeetes dentirostris
Golden bowerbird Amblyornis newtonianus
Regent bowerbird Sericulus chrysocephalus
Satin bowerbird Ptilonorhynchus violaceus
Western bowerbird Ptilonorhynchus guttatus
Spotted bowerbird Ptilonorhynchus maculatus
Great bowerbird Ptilonorhynchus nuchalis
Fawn-breasted bowerbird Ptilonorhynchus cerviniventris

Australasian treecreepers[edit]

Order: Passeriformes   Family: Climacteridae

6 species recorded [6 extant native]
The Climacteridae are medium-small, mostly brown-coloured birds with patterning on their underparts.

Common name Binomial Notes
White-throated treecreeper Cormobates leucophaea
White-browed treecreeper Climacteris affinis
Red-browed treecreeper Climacteris erythrops
Brown treecreeper Climacteris picumnus
Black-tailed treecreeper Climacteris melanura
Rufous treecreeper Climacteris rufa


Order: Passeriformes   Family: Maluridae

27 species recorded [27 extant native]
Maluridae is a family of small, insectivorous passerine birds endemic to Australia and New Guinea. They are socially monogamous and sexually promiscuous, meaning that although they form pairs between one male and one female, each partner will mate with other individuals and even assist in raising the young from such pairings.

Variegated fairywren
Common name Binomial Notes
Grey grasswren Amytornis barbatus
Rufous grasswren Amytornis whitei
Opalton grasswren Amytornis rowleyi
Striated grasswren Amytornis striatus
White-throated grasswren Amytornis woodwardi
Carpentarian grasswren Amytornis dorotheae
Short-tailed grasswren Amytornis merrotsyi
Western grasswren Amytornis textilis
Thick-billed grasswren Amytornis modestus
Black grasswren Amytornis housei
Eyrean grasswren Amytornis goyderi
Dusky grasswren Amytornis purnelli
Kalkadoon grasswren Amytornis ballarae
Southern emuwren Stipiturus malachurus
Rufous-crowned emuwren Stipiturus ruficeps
Mallee emuwren Stipiturus mallee
Purple-crowned fairywren Malurus coronatus
Red-winged fairywren Malurus elegans
Blue-breasted fairywren Malurus pulcherrimus
Purple-backed fairywren Malurus assimilis
Variegated fairywren Malurus lamberti
Lovely fairywren Malurus amabilis
Splendid fairywren Malurus splendens
Superb fairywren Malurus cyaneus
White-winged fairywren Malurus leucopterus
Red-backed fairywren Malurus melanocephalus


Order: Passeriformes   Family: Meliphagidae

Lewin's honeyeater
New Holland honeyeater
Little friarbird
Scarlet myzomela

76 species recorded [76 extant native]
The honeyeaters are a large and diverse family of small to medium-sized birds most common in Australia and New Guinea. They are nectar feeders and closely resemble other nectar-feeding passerines.

Common name Binomial Notes
Eastern spinebill Acanthorhynchus tenuirostris
Western spinebill Acanthorhynchus superciliosus
Pied honeyeater Certhionyx variegatus
Yellow-spotted honeyeater Meliphaga notata
Lewin's honeyeater Meliphaga lewinii
White-lined honeyeater Territornis albilineata
Kimberley honeyeater Territornis fordiana
Graceful honeyeater Microptilotis gracilis
Cryptic honeyeater Microptilotis imitatrix
Yellow honeyeater Stomiopera flava
White-gaped honeyeater Stomiopera unicolor
White-fronted honeyeater Purnella albifrons
Yellow-faced honeyeater Caligavis chrysops
Yellow-tufted honeyeater Lichenostomus melanops
Purple-gaped honeyeater Lichenostomus cratitius
Bell miner Manorina melanophrys
Noisy miner Manorina melanocephala
Yellow-throated miner Manorina flavigula
Black-eared miner Manorina melanotis
Bridled honeyeater Bolemoreus frenatus
Eungella honeyeater Bolemoreus hindwoodi
Spiny-cheeked honeyeater Acanthagenys rufogularis
Little wattlebird Anthochaera chrysoptera
Western wattlebird Anthochaera lunulata
Regent honeyeater Anthochaera phrygia
Red wattlebird Anthochaera carunculata
Yellow wattlebird Anthochaera paradoxa
Varied honeyeater Gavicalis versicolor
Mangrove honeyeater Gavicalis fasciogularis
Singing honeyeater Gavicalis virescens
Yellow-plumed honeyeater Ptilotula ornata
White-plumed honeyeater Ptilotula penicillata
Yellow-tinted honeyeater Ptilotula flavescens
Fuscous honeyeater Ptilotula fusca
Grey-headed honeyeater Ptilotula keartlandi
Grey-fronted honeyeater Ptilotula plumula
Brown-backed honeyeater Ramsayornis modestus
Bar-breasted honeyeater Ramsayornis fasciatus
Rufous-banded honeyeater Conopophila albogularis
Rufous-throated honeyeater Conopophila rufogularis
Grey honeyeater Conopophila whitei
Gibberbird Ashbyia lovensis
Yellow chat Epthianura crocea
Crimson chat Epthianura tricolor
Orange chat Epthianura aurifrons
White-fronted chat Epthianura albifrons
Black honeyeater Sugomel nigrum
Dusky honeyeater Myzomela obscura
Red-headed honeyeater Myzomela erythrocephala
Scarlet honeyeater Myzomela sanguinolenta
Tawny-crowned honeyeater Gliciphila melanops
Green-backed honeyeater Glycichaera fallax
Banded honeyeater Cissomela pectoralis
Brown honeyeater Lichmera indistincta
Crescent honeyeater Phylidonyris pyrrhoptera
New Holland honeyeater Phylidonyris novaehollandiae
White-cheeked honeyeater Phylidonyris niger
White-streaked honeyeater Trichodere cockerelli
White-eared honeyeater Nesoptilotis leucotis
Yellow-throated honeyeater Nesoptilotis flavicollis
Blue-faced honeyeater Entomyzon cyanotis
White-throated honeyeater Melithreptus albogularis
Gilbert's honeyeater Melithreptus chloropsis
White-naped honeyeater Melithreptus lunatus
Black-headed honeyeater Melithreptus affinis
Brown-headed honeyeater Melithreptus brevirostris
Black-chinned honeyeater Melithreptus gularis
Strong-billed honeyeater Melithreptus validirostris
Tawny-breasted honeyeater Xanthotis flaviventer
Macleay's honeyeater Xanthotis macleayana
Striped honeyeater Plectorhyncha lanceolata
Painted honeyeater Grantiella picta
Little friarbird Philemon citreogularis
Helmeted friarbird Philemon buceroides
Silver-crowned friarbird Philemon argenticeps
Noisy friarbird Philemon corniculatus


Order: Passeriformes   Family: Dasyornithidae

3 species recorded [3 extant native]
Bristlebirds are long-tailed, sedentary, ground-frequenting birds. The common name of the family is derived from the presence of prominent rictal bristles - three stiff, hair-like feathers curving downwards on either side of the gape.

Common name Binomial Notes
Western bristlebird Dasyornis longirostris
Eastern bristlebird Dasyornis brachypterus
Rufous bristlebird Dasyornis broadbenti


Order: Passeriformes   Family: Pardalotidae

Spotted pardalote

4 species recorded [4 extant native]
Pardalotes spend most of their time high in the outer foliage of trees, feeding on insects, spiders, and above all lerps (a type of sap-sucking insect).

Common name Binomial Notes
Spotted pardalote Pardalotus punctatus
Forty-spotted pardalote Pardalotus quadragintus
Red-browed pardalote Pardalotus rubricatus
Striated pardalote Pardalotus striatus

Thornbills and allies[edit]

Order: Passeriformes   Family: Acanthizidae

White-browed scrubwren
Brown thornbill

45 species recorded [44 extant native, 1 extinct native]
Thornbills are small passerine birds, similar in habits to the tits.

Common name Binomial Notes
Pilotbird Pycnoptilus floccosus
Rockwarbler Origma solitaria
Fernwren Oreoscopus gutturalis
Yellow-throated scrubwren Neosericornis citreogularis
White-browed scrubwren Sericornis frontalis
Spotted scrubwren Sericornis maculatus
Tasmanian scrubwren Sericornis humilis
Atherton scrubwren Sericornis keri
Tropical scrubwren Sericornis beccarii
Large-billed scrubwren Sericornis magnirostra
Scrubtit Acanthornis magna
Redthroat Pyrrholaemus brunneus
Speckled warbler Pyrrholaemus sagittatus
Rufous fieldwren Calamanthus campestris
Western fieldwren Calamanthus montanellus
Striated fieldwren Calamanthus fuliginosus
Chestnut-rumped heathwren Hylacola pyrrhopygia
Shy heathwren Hylacola cauta
Buff-rumped thornbill Acanthiza reguloides
Western thornbill Acanthiza inornata
Slender-billed thornbill Acanthiza iredalei
Mountain thornbill Acanthiza katherina
Brown thornbill Acanthiza pusilla
Tasmanian thornbill Acanthiza ewingii
Inland thornbill Acanthiza apicalis
Yellow-rumped thornbill Acanthiza chrysorrhoa
Chestnut-rumped thornbill Acanthiza uropygialis
Slaty-backed thornbill Acanthiza robustirostris
Yellow thornbill Acanthiza nana
Striated thornbill Acanthiza lineata
Weebill Smicrornis brevirostris
Green-backed gerygone Gerygone chloronota
Fairy gerygone Gerygone palpebrosa
White-throated gerygone Gerygone olivacea
Yellow-bellied gerygone Gerygone chrysogaster
Large-billed gerygone Gerygone magnirostris
Dusky gerygone Gerygone tenebrosa
Brown gerygone Gerygone mouki
Western gerygone Gerygone fusca
Mangrove gerygone Gerygone levigaster
Norfolk Island gerygone Gerygone modesta Norfolk Island
Lord Howe gerygone Gerygone insularis extinct, Lord Howe Island
Southern whiteface Aphelocephala leucopsis
Chestnut-breasted whiteface Aphelocephala pectoralis
Banded whiteface Aphelocephala nigricincta


Order: Passeriformes   Family: Pomatostomidae

4 species recorded [4 extant native]
The pseudo-babblers are small to medium-sized birds endemic to Australia and New Guinea. They are ground-feeding omnivores and highly social

Common name Binomial Notes
Grey-crowned babbler Pomatostomus temporalis
White-browed babbler Pomatostomus superciliosus
Hall's babbler Pomatostomus halli
Chestnut-crowned babbler Pomatostomus ruficeps


Order: Passeriformes   Family: Orthonychidae

2 species recorded [2 extant native]
The Orthonychidae is a family of birds with a single genus, Orthonyx, which comprises two types of passerine birds endemic to Australia and New Guinea, the logrunners and the chowchilla. Both use stiffened tails to brace themselves when feeding.

Common name Binomial Notes
Australian logrunner Orthonyx temminckii
Chowchilla Orthonyx spaldingii

Quail-thrushes and jewel-babblers[edit]

Order: Passeriformes   Family: Cinclosomatidae

7 species recorded [7 extant native]
The Cinclosomatidae is a family containing jewel-babblers and quail-thrushes.

Common name Binomial Notes
Spotted quail-thrush Cinclosoma punctatum
Chestnut quail-thrush Cinclosoma castanotum
Copperback quail-thrush Cinclosoma clarum
Chestnut-breasted quail-thrush Cinclosoma castaneothorax
Western quail-thrush Cinclosoma marginatum
Cinnamon quail-thrush Cinclosoma cinnamomeum
Nullarbor quail-thrush Cinclosoma alisteri


Order: Passeriformes   Family: Campephagidae

8 species recorded [7 extant native, 1 extirpated native]
The cuckooshrikes are small to medium-sized passerine birds. They are predominantly greyish with white and black, although some species are brightly coloured.

Common name Binomial Notes
Ground cuckooshrike Coracina maxima
Barred cuckooshrike Coracina lineata
Black-faced cuckooshrike Coracina novaehollandiae
White-bellied cuckooshrike Coracina papuensis
Long-tailed triller Lalage leucopyga extirpated, Norfolk Island
White-winged triller Lalage tricolor
Varied triller Lalage leucomela
Common cicadabird Edolisoma tenuirostre


Order: Passeriformes   Family: Neosittidae

Varied sittella

2 species recorded [2 extant native]
The sittellas are a family of small passerine birds found only in Australasia. They resemble treecreepers, but have soft tails.

Common name Binomial Notes
Papuan sittella Daphoenositta papuensis
Varied sittella Daphoenositta chrysoptera

Whipbirds and wedgebills[edit]

Order: Passeriformes   Family: Psophodidae

5 species recorded [5 extant native]
The Psophodidae is a family containing whipbirds and wedgebills.

Common name Binomial Notes
Eastern whipbird Psophodes olivaceus
Black-throated whipbird Psophodes nigrogularis
White-bellied whipbird Psophodes leucogaster
Chiming wedgebill Psophodes occidentalis
Chirruping wedgebill Psophodes cristatus

Australo-Papuan bellbirds[edit]

Order: Passeriformes   Family: Oreoicidae

1 species recorded [1 extant native]
The three species contained in the family have been moved around between different families for fifty years. A series of studies of the DNA of Australian birds between 2006 and 2001 found strong support for treating the three genera as a new family, which was formally named in 2016.

Common name Binomial Notes
Crested bellbird Oreoica gutturalis


Order: Passeriformes   Family: Falcunculidae

3 species recorded [3 extant native]
The shrike-tits have a parrot-like bill, used for distinctive bark-stripping behaviour, which gains it access to invertebrates.

Common name Binomial Notes
Eastern shrike-tit Falcunculus frontatus
Western shrike-tit Falcunculus leucogaster
Northern shrike-tit Falcunculus whitei

Whistlers and allies[edit]

Order: Passeriformes   Family: Pachycephalidae

Australian golden whistler

14 species recorded [14 extant native]
The family Pachycephalidae includes the whistlers, shrikethrushes, and some of the pitohuis.

Common name Binomial Notes
Sandstone shrikethrush Colluricincla woodwardi
Bower's shrikethrush Colluricincla boweri
Grey shrikethrush Colluricincla harmonica
Arafura shrikethrush Colluricincla megarhyncha
Rufous shrikethrush Colluricincla rufogaster
Olive whistler Pachycephala olivacea
Red-lored whistler Pachycephala rufogularis
Gilbert's whistler Pachycephala inornata
Golden whistler Pachycephala pectoralis
Western whistler Pachycephala fuliginosa
Black-tailed whistler Pachycephala melanura
Grey whistler Pachycephala simplex
Rufous whistler Pachycephala rufiventris
White-breasted whistler Pachycephala lanioides

Old World orioles[edit]

Order: Passeriformes   Family: Oriolidae

3 species recorded [3 extant native]
The Old World orioles are colourful passerine birds. They are not related to the New World orioles.

Common name Binomial Notes
Olive-backed oriole Oriolus sagittatus
Green oriole Oriolus flavocinctus
Australasian figbird Sphecotheres vieilloti


Order: Passeriformes   Family: Machaerirhynchidae

1 species recorded [1 extant native]
The boatbills have affinities to woodswallows and butcherbirds, and are distributed across New Guinea and northern Queensland.

Common name Binomial Notes
Yellow-breasted boatbill Machaerirhynchus flaviventer

Woodswallows, bellmagpies, and allies[edit]

Order: Passeriformes   Family: Artamidae

15 species recorded [15 extant native]
The woodswallows are soft-plumaged, somber-coloured passerine birds. They are smooth, agile flyers with moderately large, semi-triangular wings. The cracticids: currawongs, bellmagpies and butcherbirds, are similar to the other corvids. They have large, straight bills and mostly black, white or grey plumage. All are omnivorous to some degree.

Common name Binomial Notes
White-breasted woodswallow Artamus leucorynchus
Masked woodswallow Artamus personatus
White-browed woodswallow Artamus superciliosus
Black-faced woodswallow Artamus cinereus
Dusky woodswallow Artamus cyanopterus
Little woodswallow Artamus minor
Black-backed butcherbird Cracticus mentalis
Grey butcherbird Cracticus torquatus
Silver-backed butcherbird Cracticus argenteus
Pied butcherbird Cracticus nigrogularis
Black butcherbird Melloria quoyi
Australian magpie Gymnorhina tibicen
Pied currawong Strepera graculina
Black currawong Strepera fuliginosa
Grey currawong Strepera versicolor


Order: Passeriformes   Family: Rhipiduridae

7 species recorded [6 extant native, 1 extirpated]
The fantails are small insectivorous birds which are specialist aerial feeders.

Common name Binomial Notes
Northern fantail Rhipidura rufiventris
Willie-wagtail Rhipidura leucophrys
Rufous fantail Rhipidura rufifrons
Arafura fantail Rhipidura dryas
Grey fantail Rhipidura albiscapa includes the Norfolk fantail R. a. pelzeni, which may be a subspecies of R. fuliginosa
Mangrove fantail Rhipidura phasiana
New Zealand fantail Rhipidura fuliginosa extirpated, Lord Howe Island; surviving Norfolk birds may be this species


Order: Passeriformes   Family: Dicruridae

Spangled drongo

2 species recorded [1 extant native, 1 vagrant]
The drongos are mostly black or dark grey in colour, sometimes with metallic tints. They have long forked tails, and some Asian species have elaborate tail decorations. They have short legs and sit very upright when perched, like a shrike. They flycatch or take prey from the ground.

Common name Binomial Notes
Crow-billed drongo Dicrurus annectens vagrant
Spangled drongo Dicrurus bracteatus


Order: Passeriformes   Family: Paradisaeidae

4 species recorded [4 extant native]
The birds-of-paradise are best known for the striking plumage possessed by the males of most species, in particular highly elongated and elaborate feathers extending from the tail, wings or head. These plumes are used in courtship displays to attract females.

Common name Binomial Notes
Trumpet manucode Phonygammus keraudrenii
Paradise riflebird Ptiloris paradiseus
Victoria's riflebird Ptiloris victoriae
Magnificent riflebird Ptiloris magnificus

Monarch flycatchers[edit]

Order: Passeriformes   Family: Monarchidae

Leaden flycatcher

15 species recorded [13 extant native, 2 vagrant]
The monarch flycatchers are small to medium-sized insectivorous passerines which hunt by flycatching.

Common name Binomial Notes
White-eared monarch Carterornis leucotis
Island monarch Monarcha cinerascens vagrant
Black-faced monarch Monarcha melanopsis
Black-winged monarch Monarcha frater
Spectacled monarch Symposiachrus trivirgatus
Frilled monarch Arses telescophthalmus vagrant, Torres Strait
Frill-necked monarch Arses lorealis
Pied monarch Arses kaupi
Magpie-lark Grallina cyanoleuca
Leaden flycatcher Myiagra rubecula
Broad-billed flycatcher Myiagra ruficollis
Satin flycatcher Myiagra cyanoleuca
Restless flycatcher Myiagra inquieta
Paperbark flycatcher Myiagra nana
Shining flycatcher Myiagra alecto

White-winged chough and apostlebird[edit]

Order: Passeriformes   Family: Corcoracidae

2 species recorded [2 extant native]
They are found in open habitat in eastern Australia, mostly open eucalypt woodlands and some forest that lacks a closed canopy. They are highly social, spend much of their time foraging through leaf litter with a very distinctive gait, calling to one another almost constantly

Common name Binomial Notes
White-winged chough Corcorax melanorhamphos
Apostlebird Struthidea cinerea


Order: Passeriformes   Family: Laniidae

2 species recorded [2 vagrant]
Shrikes are passerine birds known for their habit of catching other birds and small animals and impaling the uneaten portions of their bodies on thorns. A typical shrike's beak is hooked, like a bird of prey.

Common name Binomial Notes
Tiger shrike Lanius tigrinus vagrant
Brown shrike Lanius cristatus vagrant, Christmas Island & Ashmore Reef

Crows, jays, and magpies[edit]

Little raven

Order: Passeriformes   Family: Corvidae

6 species recorded [5 extant native, 1 vagrant]
The family Corvidae includes crows, ravens, jays, choughs, magpies, treepies, nutcrackers and ground jays. Corvids are above average in size among the Passeriformes, and some of the larger species show high levels of intelligence.

Common name Binomial Notes
House crow Corvus splendens vagrant, introduced and now extirpated[6]
Torresian crow Corvus orru
Little crow Corvus bennetti
Australian raven Corvus coronoides
Little raven Corvus mellori
Forest raven Corvus tasmanicus

Australasian robins[edit]

Order: Passeriformes   Family: Petroicidae

Eastern yellow robin
Rose robin

23 species recorded [23 extant native]
Most species of Petroicidae have a stocky build with a large rounded head, a short straight bill and rounded wingtips. They occupy a wide range of wooded habitats, from subalpine to tropical rainforest, and mangrove swamp to semi-arid scrubland. All are primarily insectivores, although a few supplement their diet with seeds.

Common name Binomial Notes
Jacky-winter Microeca fascinans
Lemon-bellied flycatcher Microeca flavigaster
Yellow-legged flycatcher Microeca griseoceps
Scarlet robin Petroica boodang
Flame robin Petroica phoenicea
Rose robin Petroica rosea
Pink robin Petroica rodinogaster
Norfolk robin Petroica multicolor Norfolk Island
Red-capped robin Petroica goodenovii
Hooded robin Melanodryas cucullata
Dusky robin Melanodryas vittata
White-faced robin Tregellasia leucops
Pale-yellow robin Tregellasia capito
Eastern yellow robin Eopsaltria australis
Western yellow robin Eopsaltria griseogularis
White-breasted robin Eopsaltria georgiana
Mangrove robin Peneonanthe pulverulenta
White-browed robin Poecilodryas superciliosa
Buff-sided robin Poecilodryas cerviniventris
Ashy robin Heteromyias albispecularis
Grey-headed robin Heteromyias cinereifrons
Northern scrub-robin Drymodes superciliaris
Southern scrub-robin Drymodes brunneopygia


Order: Passeriformes   Family: Alaudidae

2 species recorded [1 extant native, 1 introduced]
Larks are small terrestrial birds with often extravagant songs and display flights. Most larks are fairly dull in appearance. Their food is insects and seeds.

Common name Binomial Notes
Horsfield's bushlark Mirafra javanica
Eurasian skylark Alauda arvensis introduced

Cisticolas and allies[edit]

Golden-headed cisticola

Order: Passeriformes   Family: Cisticolidae

2 species recorded [2 extant native]
The Cisticolidae are warblers found mainly in warmer southern regions of the Old World. They are generally very small birds of drab brown or grey appearance found in open country such as grassland or scrub.

Common name Binomial Notes
Zitting cisticola Cisticola juncidis
Golden-headed cisticola Cisticola exilis

Reed warblers and allies[edit]

Order: Passeriformes   Family: Acrocephalidae

Australian reed warbler

2 species recorded [1 extant native, 1 vagrant]
The members of this family are usually rather large for "warblers". Most are rather plain olivaceous brown above with much yellow to beige below. They are usually found in open woodland, reedbeds, or tall grass. The family occurs mostly in southern to western Eurasia and surroundings, but it also ranges far into the Pacific, with some species in Africa.

Common name Binomial Notes
Oriental reed warbler Acrocephalus orientalis vagrant
Australian reed warbler Acrocephalus australis

Grassbirds and allies[edit]

Order: Passeriformes   Family: Locustellidae

Little grassbird

8 species recorded [5 extant native, 3 vagrant]
Locustellidae are a family of small insectivorous songbirds found mainly in Eurasia, Africa, and the Australian region. They are smallish birds with tails that are usually long and pointed, and tend to be drab brownish or buffy all over.

Common name Binomial Notes
Spinifexbird Poodytes carteri
Little grassbird Poodytes gramineus
Brown songlark Cincloramphus cruralis
Rufous songlark Cincloramphus mathewsi
Tawny grassbird Cincloramphus timoriensis
Gray's grasshopper warbler Helopsaltes fasciolatus vagrant, Ashmore Reef & possibly mainland
Pallas's grasshopper warbler Helopsaltes certhiola vagrant, Christmas Island & Ashmore Reef
Middendorff's grasshopper warbler Helopsaltes ochotensis vagrant


Order: Passeriformes   Family: Hirundinidae

Fairy martin

7 species recorded [6 extant native, 1 vagrant]
The family Hirundinidae is adapted to aerial feeding. They have a slender streamlined body, long pointed wings, and a short bill with a wide gape. The feet are adapted to perching rather than walking, and the front toes are partially joined at the base.

Common name Binomial Notes
Barn swallow Hirundo rustica
Welcome swallow Hirundo neoxena
Red-rumped swallow Cecropis daurica
Fairy martin Petrochelidon ariel
Tree martin Petrochelidon nigricans
Asian house-martin Delichon dasypus vagrant, Christmas & Cocos (Keeling) Islands
White-backed swallow Cheramoeca leucosternus


Order: Passeriformes   Family: Pycnonotidae

2 species recorded [1 introduced, 1 extirpated]
Bulbuls are medium-sized songbirds. Some are colourful with yellow, red or orange vents, cheeks, throats or supercilia, but most are drab, with uniform olive-brown to black plumage. Some species have distinct crests.

Common name Binomial Notes
Red-vented bulbul Pycnonotus jocosus extirpated
Red-whiskered bulbul Pycnonotus jocosus introduced

Leaf warblers[edit]

Order: Passeriformes   Family: Phylloscopidae

6 species recorded [6 vagrant]
Leaf warblers are a family of small insectivorous birds found mostly in Eurasia and ranging into Wallacea and Africa. The species are of various sizes, often green-plumaged above and yellow below, or more subdued with greyish-green to greyish-brown colours.

Common name Binomial Notes
Yellow-browed warbler Phylloscopus inornatus vagrant, Ashmore Reef
Dusky warbler Phylloscopus fuscatus vagrant, Christmas Island
Willow warbler Phylloscopus trochilus vagrant, Ashmore Reef
Eastern crowned warbler Phylloscopus coronatus vagrant, Ashmore Reef
Arctic warbler Phylloscopus borealis vagrant
Kamchatka leaf warbler Phylloscopus examinandus vagrant, Ashmore Reef

Bush warblers and allies[edit]

Order: Passeriformes   Family: Scotocercidae

1 species recorded [1 vagrant]
The members of this family are found throughout Africa, Asia, and Polynesia. Their taxonomy is in flux, and some authorities place some genera in other families.[7]

Common name Binomial Notes
Asian stubtail Urosphena squameiceps vagrant, Ashmore Reef

White-eyes, yuhinas, and allies[edit]


Order: Passeriformes   Family: Zosteropidae

8 species recorded [6 extant native, 1 possibly extinct native, 1 extinct native]
The white-eyes are small birds of rather drab appearance, the plumage above being typically greenish-olive, but some species have a white or bright yellow throat, breast, or lower parts, and several have buff flanks. As the name suggests, many species have a white ring around each eye.

Common name Binomial Notes
Christmas Island white-eye Zosterops natalis Christmas Island
Lemon-bellied white-eye Zosterops chloris
Ashy-bellied white-eye Zosterops citrinella
Australian yellow white-eye Zosterops luteus
Slender-billed white-eye Zosterops tenuirostris Norfolk Island
Robust white-eye Zosterops strenuus extinct, Lord Howe Island
White-chested white-eye Zosterops albogularis possibly extinct, Norfolk Island
Silvereye Zosterops lateralis


Order: Passeriformes   Family: Sturnidae

8 species recorded [2 extant native, 2 introduced, 3 vagrant, 1 extinct native]
Starlings are small to medium-sized passerine birds. Their flight is strong and direct and they are very gregarious. Their preferred habitat is fairly open country. They eat insects and fruit. Plumage is typically dark with a metallic sheen.

Common name Binomial Notes
Metallic starling Aplonis metallica
Singing starling Aplonis cantoroides Torres Strait
Norfolk starling Aplonis fusca extinct, Lord Howe & Norfolk Island
European starling Sturnus vulgaris introduced
Rosy starling Pastor roseus vagrant
Daurian starling Agropsar sturninus vagrant, Christmas & Cocos (Keeling) Islands
Chestnut-cheeked starling Agropsar philippensis vagrant, Ashmore Reef
Common myna Acridotheres tristis introduced

Thrushes and allies[edit]

Order: Passeriformes   Family: Turdidae

Bassian thrush

7 species recorded [3 extant native, 2 introduced, 2 vagrant]
The thrushes are a group of passerine birds that occur mainly in the Old World. They are plump, soft plumaged, small to medium-sized insectivores or sometimes omnivores, often feeding on the ground. Many have attractive songs.

Common name Binomial Notes
Bassian thrush Zoothera lunulata
Russet-tailed thrush Zoothera heinei
Siberian thrush Geokichla sibirica vagrant, Ashmore Reef
Song thrush Turdus philomelos introduced
Eurasian blackbird Turdus merula introduced
Eye-browed thrush Turdus obscurus vagrant
Island thrush Turdus poliocephalus Christmas Island

Old World flycatchers[edit]

Order: Passeriformes   Family: Muscicapidae

Mugimaki flycatcher

9 species recorded [9 vagrant]
Old World flycatchers are a large group of small arboreal insectivores. The appearance of these birds is highly varied, but they mostly have weak songs and harsh calls.

Common name Binomial Notes
Grey-streaked flycatcher Muscicapa griseisticta vagrant, Ashmore Reef & Cocos (Keeling) Islands
Dark-sided flycatcher Muscicapa sibirica vagrant
Asian brown flycatcher Muscicapa dauurica vagrant, Ashmore Reef, Browse & Cocos (Keeling) Islands
Blue-and-white flycatcher Cyanoptila cyanomelana vagrant
Siberian blue robin Larvivora cyane vagrant, Ashmore Reef
Siberian rubythroat Calliope calliope vagrant
Narcissus flycatcher Ficedula narcissina vagrant, Ashmore Reef, Barrow Island, WA & Cocos (Keeling) Islands
Mugimaki flycatcher Ficedula mugimaki vagrant, Cocos (Keeling) Islands
Blue rock-thrush Monticola solitarius vagrant
Amur stonechat Saxicola stejnegeri vagrant
Isabelline wheatear Oenanthe isabellina vagrant


Order: Passeriformes   Family: Dicaeidae

2 species recorded [2 extant native]
The flowerpeckers are very small, stout, often brightly coloured birds, with short tails, short thick curved bills, and tubular tongues.

Common name Binomial Notes
Red-capped flowerpecker Dicaeum geelvinkianum Torres Strait
Mistletoebird Dicaeum hirundinaceum

Sunbirds and spiderhunters[edit]

Order: Passeriformes   Family: Nectariniidae

1 species recorded [1 extant native]
The sunbirds and spiderhunters are very small passerine birds which feed largely on nectar, although they will also take insects, especially when feeding young. Their flight is fast and direct on short wings. Most species can take nectar by hovering like a hummingbird, but usually perch to feed.

Common name Binomial Notes
Olive-backed sunbird Nectarinia jugularis

Waxbills and allies[edit]

Order: Passeriformes   Family: Estrildidae

Double-barred finch
Red-browed finch

22 species recorded [18 extant native, 3 introduced, 1 vagrant]
The estrildid finches are small passerine birds of the Old World tropics and Australasia. They are gregarious and often colonial seed eaters with short thick but pointed bills. They are all similar in structure and habits, but have wide variation in plumage colours and patterns.

Common name Binomial Notes
Painted firetail Emblema pictum
Beautiful firetail Stagonopleura bella
Red-eared firetail Stagonopleura oculata
Diamond firetail Stagonopleura guttata
Red-browed finch Neochmia temporalis
Crimson finch Neochmia phaeton
Star finch Bathilda ruficauda
Plum-headed finch Aidemosyne modesta
Zebra finch Taeniopygia guttata
Double-barred finch Stizoptera bichenovii
Masked finch Poephila personata
Long-tailed finch Poephila acuticauda
Black-throated finch Poephila cincta
Blue-faced parrotfinch Erythrura trichroa
Gouldian finch Chloebia gouldiae
Scaly-breasted munia Lonchura punctulata introduced, mainland; vagrant, Ashmore Reef
Chestnut munia Lonchura atricapilla introduced
Pale-headed munia Lonchura pallida vagrant, Ashmore Reef
Yellow-rumped munia Lonchura flaviprymna
Chestnut-breasted munia Lonchura castaneothorax
Java sparrow Padda oryzivora introduced, Christmas Island
Pictorella munia Heteromunia pectoralis

Old World sparrows[edit]

Order: Passeriformes   Family: Passeridae

2 species recorded [2 introduced]
Old World sparrows are small passerine birds, typically small, plump, brown or grey with short tails and short powerful beaks. They are seed-eaters, but also consume small insects.

Common name Binomial Notes
House sparrow Passer domesticus introduced
Eurasian tree sparrow Passer montanus introduced

Wagtails and pipits[edit]

Order: Passeriformes   Family: Motacillidae

Australian pipit chicks

10 species recorded [4 extant native, 6 vagrant]
Motacillidae is a family of small passerine birds with medium to long tails and comprises the wagtails, longclaws, and pipits. These are slender ground-feeding insectivores of open country.

Common name Binomial Notes
Forest wagtail Dendronanthus indicus vagrant
Grey wagtail Motacilla cinerea vagrant
Western yellow wagtail Motacilla flava
Eastern yellow wagtail Motacilla tschutschensis
Citrine wagtail Motacilla citreola vagrant
White wagtail Motacilla alba vagrant
Australian pipit Anthus australis
Tree pipit Anthus trivialis vagrant
New Zealand pipit Anthus novaeseelandiae vagrant
Pechora pipit Anthus gustavi vagrant, Ashmore Reef & Browse Island
Red-throated pipit Anthus cervinus vagrant

Finches, euphonias, and allies[edit]

Order: Passeriformes   Family: Fringillidae

5 species recorded [4 introduced, 1 introduced vagrant]
Finches are small to moderately large seed-eating passerine birds with a strong beak, usually conical and in some species very large. All have 12 tail feathers and nine primary flight feathers. Finches have a bouncing flight, alternating bouts of flapping with gliding on closed wings, and most sing well.

Common name Binomial Notes
Common chaffinch Fringilla coelebs vagrant from introduced NZ population, Macquarie, Lord Howe & Norfolk Island
European greenfinch Chloris chloris introduced
Common redpoll Acanthis flammea introduced, Macquarie Island & vagrant, Lord Howe Island; in both cases, from introduced NZ population
Lesser redpoll Acanthis cabaret introduced
European goldfinch Carduelis carduelis introduced

Old World buntings[edit]

Order: Passeriformes   Family: Emberizidae

2 species recorded [1 introduced vagrant, 1 vagrant]
The emberizids are a large family of seed-eating birds with distinctively shaped bills. Many emberizid species have distinctive head patterns.

Common name Binomial Notes
Yellowhammer Emberiza citrinella vagrant from introduced NZ population, Lord Howe Island & possibly Macquarie Island
Yellow-breasted bunting Emberiza aureola vagrant

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Christidis, Leslie; Boles, Walter (2008). Systematics and Taxonomy of Australian Birds. Melbourne: CSIRO. ISBN 978-0-643-09602-8.
  2. ^ Christidis, Leslie; Boles, Walter (1994). The Taxonomy and Species of Birds of Australia and its Territories. Royal Australasian Ornithologists Union. ISBN 978-1-875122-06-6.
  3. ^ "Birds Australia Checklist". Birds Australia. Archived from the original on 7 January 2010. Retrieved 4 January 2010.
  4. ^ Lepage, Denis. "Checklist of Birds of Australia". Bird Checklists of the World. Avibase. Retrieved 13 October 2019.
  5. ^ "Birds of Western Australia, the complete checklist". WICE (World Institute for Conservation and Environment). Retrieved 13 October 2019.
  6. ^ BirdLife International (2018). "Corvus splendens". IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. 2018: e.T22705938A131944731. doi:10.2305/IUCN.UK.2018-2.RLTS.T22705938A131944731.en. Retrieved 13 November 2021.
  7. ^ Gill, F. and D. Donsker (Eds). 2019. IOC World Bird List (v 9.2). Doi 10.14344/IOC.ML.9.2. retrieved 22 June 2019.