Bird watching

The wide range of habitats in Booderee provide homes for over 200 species of birds.

The best time to see birds is early in the morning. Being quiet and patient is the key to success - you may well hear a bird before you see it.

Here are a few of our feathered friends - to find out more, download the Booderee birds app from the iTunes store.

Download now - (iPhone app - 52.6MB)

  • Sea birds

    You'll have the best luck spotting sea birds on walks around Murrays Beach.
    • Sooty oystercatcher

      The aptly named sooty oystercatcher is Australia's only all black shorebird, easily distinguished from the pied oystercatcher by its all-black plumage, long red bill and bright red eyes.

      At Booderee, you'll frequently see sooty oystercatchers foraging around rocky shoreline areas like Murrays Beach.

      They are declared a vulnerable species in New South Wales.
    • Black-browed albatross

      Named after its distinctive black eyebrows, this nationally vulnerable bird has a white body, black wings and an orange-yellow bill. Despite an impressive wingspan of 240 centimetres, it is one of the smaller albatrosses.

      You'll often see the black-browed albatross from Booderee's cliffs in winter, gliding over the ocean in search of squid and fish. This fascinating bird lives up to 70 years and spends much of its life at sea.
    Read more on sea birdsClose
  • Fresh water birds

    Try the walks around Steamers Beach to spot some of these birds.
    • Black swan

      With its long, graceful neck, and large, ruffle-feathered body, the black swan is often a favourite. The adult black swan has broad white wing tips which are visible in flight while the juvenile is much greyer in colour. The bill is a deep orange-red, paler at the tip, with a narrow white band towards the end.

      The black swan is a nomadic bird and not common in Booderee but you will see it occasionally, nesting at Ryans Swamp.
    • Pacific black duck

      This is the most commonly seen duck on Booderee's lakes and is very easy to identify. Just look for the dazzling, metallic teal-coloured patch on its secondary flight feathers. It is mostly mid-brown in colour, with a distinctive dark brown line through the eye as well as its shiny teal 'mirror'.

      Visit lakes such as Windemere and McKenzie to see these ducks swimming about, feeding on insects, seeds and other vegetation above or below the water surface. You may also see them grazing in flocks near the water's edge.
    Read more on fresh water birdsClose
  • Heath birds

    The habitat around Green Patch is great for spotting heath birds.
    • Eastern spinebill

      Easily distinguished by its long, very finely curved bill, the spinebill is around 15 centimetres long and has a dark grey-brown head and back, a predominantly white bib and a chestnut underside.

      You'll see the spinebill in the park throughout the year, on any walk in forest, woodland or heath.
    • Little wattlebird

      Unlike most wattlebirds this bird lacks the visible wattles hanging from its cheeks. It is about 30 centimetres long, with blue eyes, mostly dark grey-brown above with white streaks, and a paler grey with white streaks below.

      Although not the most colourful of birds themselves, little wattlebirds love colourful flowers so they are easy to find. Look for them amongst banksia and grevilleas in heath thickets. Good places to spot them are on the headland walks and near the Cape St George lighthouse.
    Read more on heath birdsClose
  • Forest birds

    Cave Beach provides some ideal habitat for forest birds.
    • Rainbow lorikeet

      This medium sized parrot grows to 30 centimetres and is easily identified by its bright multi-coloured markings - bright green on the back with a blue head, red bill, yellow to red chest and blue belly.

      Rainbow lorikeets tend to follow flowering trees around the countryside and can appear at Booderee - and disappear again! - depending on what trees are flowering. You'll often see these noisy raucous parrots hurtling past like rockets in loud, fast-moving flocks. They may be found anywhere in the park with large established trees. They are quite tame and may approach you.
    • Eastern yellow robin

      The pretty little eastern yellow robin is a medium sized robin, growing to 16 centimetres. It has a grey head, back, wings and tail and a bright yellow underbelly and rump.

      Eastern yellow robins can be found in most areas of the park but you are more likely to see them close to freshwater areas. They are often among the first birds to start singing before dawn.
    Read more on forest birdsClose
  • Night birds

    Keep an eye and an ear out in any part of the park where there are trees for these birds.
    • Tawny frogmouth

      The tawny frogmouth is a bulky owl-like bird growing to a 53 centimetres. It has silver-grey plumage, slightly paler below, streaked and mottled with black and rufous red, yellow eyes and a wide, heavy olive-grey to blackish bill.

      You'll have to look carefully to see a tawny frogmouth as its heavily streaked feathers give it great camouflage in the trees. During the daytime it spends most of its time sitting statue-like to resemble a branch stump.
    • Boobook owl

      Young boobooks are almost entirely white below with conspicuous dark brown facial discs. The adult has dark brown plumage above and rufous-brown below, heavily streaked and spotted with white and it has large yellowish eyes.

      You are most likely to hear rather than see the boobook. If you are camping at Booderee, boobooks can be heard in any of the park's campsite areas. Sometimes known as the mopoke, it is the smallest and most common owl in Australia.
    Read more on night birdsClose