Bird Species

Australian White Ibis

Scientific name: Threskiornis molucca

Also called the Sacred Ibis, the Australian White Ibis adapts very well to urbanised areas. Because of their generalist feeding nature they can a pest and are very aggressive when it comes to food. They nest in colonies in trees or vegetation over or adjacent to water. White lbises are often seen together with Straw-necked lbises.

Australian Wood Duck

Scientific name: Chenonetta jubata

Also called the Maned Duck, the Wood Duck is often seen grazing on grassed areas located near water. These birds usually nest in tree hollows and sometimes become a problem when they settle into swimming pools and ornamental fountains.

Black Swan

Scientific name: Cygnus atratus

The Black Swan is native to Australia and is relatively common. They prefer waterways with abundant vegetation and feed where they can reach the bottom with their long necks. They are able to breed at 18 months of age and nest on a mound of vegetation near water.

Buff-banded Rail

Scientific name: Gallirallus philippensis

The Buff-banded Rail is normally very wary and often diificult to spot. At the University's Research Station on Heron Island these birds are very common and relatively tame. They prefer deeply vegetated areas along water courses, nest in long grass and breed September to March.

Dusky Moorhen

Scientific name: Gallinula tenebrosa

Dusky Moorhens are identified by their red face shield, red bill with a yellow tip, greyish brown feathers and a white stripe on the tail. These birds are coomon and adapt well to urban areas. They usually nest in a bed or rushes or at the base or water lining trees.

Eurasian Coot

Scientific name: Fulica atra

Eurasian Coots can be identified by their white bill and face shield, black body and red eyes. They usually breed August to February and become very aggressive to other birds during mating season. Coots spend most of their time on deep water and usually dive to feed.

Glossy Ibis

Scientific name: Plegadis falcinellus

Not as common in South East Queensland as Australia's other two ibises, the White Ibis and Straw-necked Ibis. The Glossy Ibis has a reddish brown body with purplish green wings. They prefer well vegetated wetlands and often breed in colonies in trees over water or vegetation adjacent to water.

Golden-Headed Cisticola

Scientific name: Cisticola exilis

This small bird can be difficult to see and to positively identify. They favour tall grasses near water and often perch on grass tips. Breeding season is September to March and nests are made in thick vegetation close to the ground.

Great Egret

Scientific name: Ardea alba

The Great Egret is the largest of the Australian white egrets. It can be distinguished from the Plumed Egret by the length of its neck relative to the length of its body. The Great Egret's neck is 1.5 times longer than its body length while the Plumed Egret's neck is equal in length to its body. The Great Egret's also has an eye marking that goes behind the eye while the Plumed Egret's eye marking stops at the rear of the eye.


Scientific name: Aythya australis

Hardheads are sometimes called White-eyed Ducks after the male of the species which has prominent white eyes. These birds prefer deeper water and often dive to feed. They are seldom seen ashore and are strong swimmers and fast flyers. Their preferred habitat is vegetated swamps and waterways.

Magpie Goose

Scientific name: Anseranas semipalmate

Magple Geese were once very common throughout Australia. Their numbers have declined as a result of habitat loss such as conversion of swamps into farmland. These birds often breed in trios rather than in pairs. Two females lay their eggs on a floating platform nest prepared by a male. The three adults then care for all the chicks.

Pacific Black Duck

Scientific name: Anas superciliosa

The Pacific Black Duck is very common and widespread throughout Australia. It is easily distinguished by black face stripes. Black Ducks sometimes interbreed with introduced Mallards creating hybrid birds. This is a good reason not to encourage feeding of introduced species around parkland lakes.

Plumed Whistling-Duck

Scientific name: Dendrocygna eytoni

Plumed Whistling-Ducks are easily identitied by their long pale breast feathers and shrill whistling call. They roost in large flocks and are a regular at Lake Galletly. These birds rarely swim and never dive and are more at home on land then water. They roost by water during the day and then go out to feed on grasslands at night.

Purple Swamphen

Scientific name: Porphyrio porphyrio

Purple Swamphens are identified by their large red facial shield and ball. The body is covered purplish blue feathers. They feed on green shoots and they nest on a platform of reeds. These birds are common and are often seen walking on and around water edges.

Royal Spoonbill

Scientific name: Platalea regia

This bird is one of two Australian spoonbills. The Royal Spoonbill has a large black spoon-shaped bill that it moves side to side through mud to fund food. As the name suggests, the Yellow-billed Spoonbill has a yellow bill and a sharp black line around the-face. When breeding, Royal Spoonbills have long plumage on their crown and upper nape.

Wandering Whistling-Duck

Scientific name: Dendrocygna arcuate

Wandering Whistling-Ducks have less prominent breast feathers than their close relatives, Plumed Whistling-Ducks. They are rarely seen away from water and prefer deeply vegetated waterways. They dive deeply to feed on aquatic vegetation and they nest in long grass adjacent to water.


Scientific name: Pelecanus conspicillatus


Black-winged Stilt