Australia’s Best Birding Sites

We’ve gather Australia’s best birding sites for all you birding fanatics

From the good-humoured Kookaburra and the iconic emu to the rare Gouldian Finch and the dazzling orange-bellied parrot – Australia is truly a bird watcher’s paradise. Whether you are a weekend warrior or a die-hard twitcher, you’ll definitely enjoy watching Australia’s 800 amazing, native bird species.

One of our tourisms alliances – birding tours have given a list of their most popular selling birding tour destinations around Australia.

Grab your cameras and binoculars, because here are the 5 best twitching sites to spy some beautiful and rare birdlife.

1. Dandenong Ranges, Victoria

The Dandenong Ranges – just over 40 kilometres from Melbourne’s CBD – offer a wide range of beautiful native birds. The best time to visit this high rainfall region is during spring or winter when the rain is infrequent and the cold climate birds are out. Popular picnic spots like Kallista and Sherbrooke are great bird watching places.

Throughout the dense eucalyptus trees, damp gullies and ferns; live bush rodents and arboreal marsupials hunted down by the mysterious powerful owl. Superb lyrebird and passerine are other endemic species found in this habitat. Look out for the Eastern Spinebill, Yellow-tailed Black-cockatoo and Eastern Yellow Robin.

2. Atherton Tablelands, Queensland

Located west of Cairns, the Atherton Tablelands is definitely a must-visit bird location. The dense rainforest is home to strikingly beautiful Australian birds and a perfect area to see the male bowerbirds as they charm their female counterparts during the spring and summer.

Around 11 endemic bird species and several rare species can be seen feeding, playing and mating on the extensive volcanic crater lakes. Look out for seed-eating birds like the Blue- faced Parrot, as well as the Sooty Owl, Victoria’s Riflebird and Buff-breasted Paradise Kingfisher.

3. MacDonnell Ranges, Northern Territory

The East West MacDonnell Ranges lie near Alice Springs. This desert region is well worth a visit. The ranges are scenic, interesting and geologically complex, and support a diverse range of plant communities and bird habitats.

You can easily locate White-backed Swallows around the gorges and watercourses. In the acacias, you’ll see lots of Mistletoe birds and White-plumed Honeyeaters. Roaming the skies are apex predators including Brown Falcons and Nankeen Kestrels. Look out for Hooded Robins, Willie Wagtails, Pied Butcherbirds and Magpies.

4. Fogg Dam Conservation Reserve, Northern Territory

These wetlands, located in Darwin’s rural area, are home to around 230 bird species. Predominantly billabong, monsoon forest and wetland, this reserve is home to Australia’s only stork, the Jabiru.

With seasonal changes and many habitats on offer, chances are, you’ll see a wide range of species, including the endangered Gouldian Finch and common locals like the Blue-winged Kookaburra. Look out for the Red-backed Kingfisher and Black-necked Stork.

5. Christmas Island, Western Australia

Christmas Island’s limestone cliffs and patches of rainforest are highly populated with wanderers and seabirds. The island, located 2600 kilometres northwest of Perth, is also home to millions of migratory red crabs that attract large numbers of hungry birds.

Kept in isolation and seclusion, birds on this island are surprisingly tame and are known to perch on tourists’ shoulders. Look out for Abbott’s Booby, Golden Bosunbird, Goshawk and Imperial Pigeon.

Australia is never short of bird spectacle. From the rainforests and wetlands to deserts and offshore islands, those are some of the places to get a birding fix.

For more on Australian Wildlife Journeys visit their website.

Technical Name For Bird Watching

Do you know the technical name for bird watching?

Are you are a nature lover? Are you amazed at the miracle of Mother Nature? Do you frequent national parks, nature reserves, or bird sanctuaries to enjoy the wonders of bird watching? Visiting these places can be very enjoyable, and it can also be a great stress reliever. It can also be very educational – finding out about various species of birds can be a very interesting and rewarding past time.

Birding is a term that is often used for bird watching. It can be considered as the technical name for bird watching. It is a hobby enjoyed by millions of people – from nature enthusiasts to photographers. There is, however, some disagreement about the terms ‘birding’ and ‘bird watching’.

Birding Versus Bird Watching

There has been an ongoing debate regarding the technical name for bird watching for some time now. American and British birders tend to distinguish themselves from bird watchers by their level of involvement and dedication. Birders insist that they seek knowledge about the birds, whereas bird watchers merely look at the birds for enjoyment. Birders learn about the migration habits, natural habitats, and other interesting facts about the birds. Dedicated birders travel extensively to track down certain birds, whereas, according to birders, bird watchers have a much more limited scope, for example, their gardens, public parks in their surrounding areas, etc. Essentially, birding and bird watching is the same thing and the level of involvement is largely determined by the individual.

Birding, or bird watching, entails the observing and studying of various species of birds through the naked eye or with visual enhancers such as binoculars. Most birders (or bird watchers) pursue this as a hobby; they do it for enjoyment or recreational reasons. Birders should not be confused with ornithologists. Ornithologists are concerned with the scientific, or formal, study of birds. They are ‘bird scientists’.

Why Are Birds So Fascinating To Watch?

Those who are not into bird watching may wonder why people find them so fascinating. A large part of the appeal is their power of flight, as well as their obvious aesthetic appeal.

Whereas someone who is not a birdwatching enthusiast may think that this is the same in all birds, there is, in fact, a nearly endless variety to be observed.

Historically, the flights and calls of birds have been thought to predict the future; yet another interesting bit of bird watching lore. Birdwatching is a hobby which helps people to build a closer bond with the natural world.

Are You Interested In Birding As A Hobby?

If birding (the technical name for bird watching) sounds interesting to you and you would like to pursue it as a hobby, there are numerous clubs or organizations that are dedicated to birding or bird watching that you could join. These clubs are organized by birding enthusiasts who can teach you valuable information regarding a multitude of species of birds, and also about the equipment, etiquette, and competitions that are involved in the hobby.