Birds are characterised by feathers and a beak with no teeth, and lay hard-shelled eggs. They are said to be the last surviving lineage of dinosaurs, having evolved from feathered dinosaur ancestors. Birds are social, communicating with visual signals, calls and bird songs, and some species such as parrots are considered to be among the most intelligent animals.
Learn more about the birds in our wildlife family
- Referred to as “nightjars”, they are mostly active in the late evening and early morning eating mainly insects and waiting for food to come to them.
- This bird is the king of camouflage. Staying very still and upright and looking just like part of the branch, it relies on this camouflage for protection.
- They have one toe facing backwards and the other three face forwards.
- The male and female are monogamous which means they mate for life and can live up to 14 years.
- These birds are found throughout the Australian mainland, Tasmania and southern New Guinea.
- These parrots are very intelligent, excellent talkers and mimickers, and make great pets.
- Their habitat is in Australia at the Iron Ranges in the Cape York Peninsula and they nest in hollows and usually lay two eggs.
- Males are green with an orange beak and females are red and blue with a black beak.
- Their diet consists of seeds, nuts, fruits and vegetation
- These stocky birds are the largest member of the kingfisher species and get their name from their manic laughter-like call.
- They live in family groups in open eucalypt forests along the eastern and southern states of Australia.
- They have dark brown wing plumage and a white head and underside.
- They are carnivorous and eat mice and similar-sized small mammals, large insects, lizards, small birds and snakes.
Meet Snowy, our rare white Laughing Kookaburra. He can often be spotted flying around and “helping” guests complete the ZOOM courses. Look out for him as you make your way around the Dome!”
Wandering Whistling Duck
- These ducks communicate by using whistles rather than a “quack” sound.
- Whistling ducks look like a cross between a goose and a duck.
- They enjoy the water and can swim and dive with ease feeding mainly on grasses, waterlilies, water plants and occasionally insects.
- These ducks live in tropical and subtropical Australia within deep lagoons, flooded grasslands or dams.
- The noisy pitta is a colourful bird with bright green wings and turquoise front edges and a green back but only the males have orange-red under-tail coverts.
- Their call is usually repeated twice and consists of a sequence of three ascending notes, which sounds like “walk-to-work”.
- These birds live in forest habitats and are native to Australia, Indonesia and Papua New Guinea.
- Their favourite food is earthworms, insects and snails.
Sulphur Crested Cockatoo
- Colloquially referred to as “Cocky” in Australia, these birds are very intelligent, naturally curious and can live up to 80 years of age.
- They produce a very fine powder to waterproof themselves instead of oil like other birds.
- The males have a black eye and the females has a red-brown eye.
- Their habitat includes forested areas, from rainforests along the top end of Australia down the east coast to Tasmania.
- Their diet consists of vegetation, seed and nuts
- Look out for Jo Jo, our cheeky cockatoo. You will often find him to the left of the main Dome entrance. He’s always up for a dance and singalong, and can be very chatty!
- During courtship, the male satin bowerbird builds a structure and decorates it with sticks and blue-coloured objects in an attempt to impress the female.
- The adult male has striking glossy blue-black plumage, a pale bluish white bill and a violet-blue iris while the females are similar in colour to each other, and are collectively referred to as ‘green’ birds.
- These birds are native to Australia, New Guinea and surrounding islands and occupy a range of different habitats, including rainforest, eucalyptus, acacia forest and shrublands.
- Their diet consists mainly of fruit throughout the year and supplemented with a large number of insects during breeding season.
Red Tailed Black Cockatoo
- These birds can live up to 90 years of age.
- Males are black with a bright red tail and a black beak and the females are black with yellow spots, an orange and yellow tail with a whitish beak.
- They live in hollows of trees in dry eucalyptus forests all over Australia excluding Tasmania.
- Their diet consists of vegetation, seed, nuts and insect larvae.
- These birds are characterised by a large mouth, weak talons and orange-red eyes set to the side of their head – but they are not owls.
- They have excellent camouflage. They sit very still in a tree, looking like a branch during the day.
- In Australia they are the largest species of frogmouth and their habitat extends from the top end of Queensland. They are also found in Papua New Guinea.
- Frogmouths hunt by night and eat insects, birds, rodents, frogs and lizards.
- These doves are shy and typically forage on the ground in pairs.
- The male has a white patch on the edge of its shoulders and a grey crown and the female tends to have a more brown complexion with a grey mark on its shoulder.
- Their call is a very low, soft ‘purroom’ which rises gradually with each call.
- They reside in rainforests and adjacent dense vegetation in northern and eastern Australia.
- They eat seeds and fruits from a wide variety of plants.