Birds of australia

For books with similar titles, see The Birds of Australia (disambiguation).

Australia has about 800 species of bird, ranging from the tiny 8 cm Weebill to the huge, flightless Emu. Many species will immediately seem familiar to visitors from the northern hemisphere - Australian wrens look and act much like northern hemisphere wrens and Australian robins seem to be close relatives of the northern hemisphere robins, but in fact the majority of Australian passerines are descended from the ancestors of the crow family, and the close resemblance is misleading: the cause is not genetic relatedness but convergent evolution.

For example, almost any land habitat offers a nice home for a small bird that specialises in finding small insects: the form best fitted to that task is one with long legs for agility and obstacle clearance, moderately-sized wings optimised for quick, short flight, and a large, upright tail for rapid changes of direction. In consequence, the unrelated birds that fill that nests in the Americas and in Australia look and act as though they are close relatives.

Australian birds which show convergent evolution with Northern hemisphere species:

Kinds of Birds

Australian birds can be classified into six categories:

Regional Lists

For comprehensive regional lists, see:

For Australia's endemic species, see:

  • Endemic birds of Australia

Other regional, state and island bird lists:


National organizations

Australian regional and state organisations

Regional References and Guides

Important regional references include:

Full-coverage field guides in print are as follows, in rough order of authority:

  • Pizzey: Field Guide to the Birds of Australia, Pizzey, G, Knight, F and Menkhorst, P (ed), 7th edition, 2003 ISBN 978-0-207-19821-2
  • Slater: The Slater Field Guide to Australian Birds, Slater P, Slater P and Slater R, 2009 revised edition
  • Simpson and Day: Field Guide to the Birds of Australia, Simpson K and Day N, 8th edition, 2010; ISBN 0-670-07231-1
  • Morcombe: Field Guide to Australian Birds, Morcombe, M, 2nd edition 2003, and complete compact edition 2004
  • Flegg: Photographic Field Guide: Birds of Australia, Flegg, J, 2nd edition, 2002
  • Trounson: Australian Birds: A Concise Photographic Field Guide, Trounson D and Trounson M, 2005 reprint
  • Cayley: What Bird is That?, Cayley, N, 2000 edition

External links

  • Australian raptors
  • : in seven volumes by John Gould - all volumes fully digitised
  • Action Plan for Australian Birds 2000 - PDF download
  • Where to See Birds in Victoria edited by Tim Dolby.
  • Yellow Bellied Sunbird video
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