Birds of Eyre Peninsula

Welcome to this collection of Birds that I have seen and photographed on Eyre Peninsula in South Australia.

I have attempted to describe the bird and the areas you are most likely to see them around Eyre Peninsula. This collection has been many years in the making and will continue to be updated as I get better photos or the time to refine the description. If you are visiting Eyre Peninsula and would like suggestions for where to see a specific bird feel free to send a message through the contact page on this website.


Emu are large flightless birds. They are endemic to Australia and have scruffy drooping plumage. Young chicks have distinctive stripes and are often found in numbers with an adult male who hatches the eggs and cares for the young.

Little Penguin

The smallest of the Penguins and the only one to breed in Australia. The Little Penguin breeds in burrows on the Eyre Peninsula off shore Islands. They forage at sea during the day coming ashore on dusk.

Australasian Gannet

Seen offshore Gannets breed in the South-East of the state and visit our shores during the Winter months. They are spectacular divers and are often seen foraging or just resting in rafts when the sea is calm.

Southern Giant Petrel

A bird of the Southern Ocean who visits our shores mostly in Winter. Their plumage varies widely from white - to mottled brown to black. They can be distinguished from the Northern Giant Petrel by the greenish tinged beak tip. In our waters they are often seen around fish farms or following fishing boats.

Northern Giant Petrel

Very large (size of smaller albatross) with massive pale bill that always has a pinkish tip (often darker than rest of bill). Plumage varies; most birds dark overall or with whitish face, but some have very whitish head and underparts; does not have a white morph, unlike Southern Giant. Juveniles are sooty brown which fades to gray brown as they age. Widespread around Southern Oceans. In our waters they are often seen around fish farms or following fishing boats.

Shy Albatross

Typically seen far off shore following fishing boats. Albatross forage along the Continental Shelf.

Black-browed Albatross

Like the Shy Albatross these birds are usually only seen near the Continental Shelf and often following fishing boats. This bird was photographed south of Neptune Islands.

White-faced Storm-petrel

A Pelagic bird that nests in burrows on some of the off-shore islands. They are attracted to lights and have been known to become disoriented with the bright lights of boats often coming aboard. At sea they are sometimes called "Jesus Birds" for their practice of seeming to walk on water. They can be seen around Fish Farms behind Boston Island and in the Sir Joseph Banks Group.

Short-tailed Shearwater

Commonly known as Mutton Birds they are dark smoky brown with a short tail and in flight their toes extend beyond their tails. They nest in burrows on the off shore Islands

Flesh-footed Shearwater

Dark tipped pink bill. Their feet which they are named for are generally difficult to see unless like this one you can photograph them lifting off. These birds breed in burrows on the off-shore islands and are reasonably common around close Islands especially in the winter months.

Australian Pelican

Large graceful bird that soars high on thermals. Is quite common locally and in recent years has been known to breed on Rabbit Island. Young have brown rather thank black plumage. Feeds by dipping their bill into the water and scooping up prey. Bill becomes much brighter in breeding season.

Hoary-headed Grebe

A diving bird found on swamps and estuaries. It feeds on aquatic insects. Breeds locally and both sexes are similar in appearance. Locally known to frequent Big Swamp and the Port Lincoln Marina area.

Australasian Grebe

Non-breeding plumage is similar to Hoary-headed Grebe but the breeding plumage shows a glossy black head and yellow patch below the eye. Occurs in fresh water such as farm dams where it dives for small fish, insects and crustaceans.

Great Crested Grebe

Found in most types of large inland coastal waters. Long white neck and distributive ruff which is chestnut at base shading to black on the crest and crown. Locally they are most reliably seen at Sleaford Mere but often stay in the deeper water in the middle of the Mere.

Black Swan

Common to the area sometimes in large numbers and known to breed locally on mounds of vegetation at Big Swamp. Swans can be found on fresh, salt or brackish water including on the inland salt lakes around Kapinnie. On lower Eyre Peninsula they can be found at Big Swamp, Mouth of the Todd River and in the ponds on Greyhound Road.

Cape Barren Goose

They breed on the off-shore Islands during winter and come ashore in Summer. Large flocks can be seen flying over in the early morning and late evenings. Large flocks can also be seen in paddocks where they graze on grasses. While they are coastal birds they don't generally go into the water.

Great Cormorant

The largest of the Cormorants it is black with yellow bare skin on the face and throat. The bill is buff at the base. Can occur on lakes, rivers and in bays and estuaries. Locally it is often seen sitting on rocky outcrops at Sleaford Bay.

Little Black Cormorant

One of the smaller cormorants all black with a turquoise eye. Fishes co-operatively to herd shoals of fish. Locally found most reliably at Coffin Bay on the small jetties around the Bay.

Black-faced Cormorant

Only found on coastal seas or saline estuaries. The same size and colour as the Pied Cormorant but with an all black face. These birds have bred up in large numbers on off-shore islands since the inception of fish farming in the area. Can be seen on rocky outcrops in Lincoln National Park.

Little Pied Cormorant

Similar to Pied Cormorant but smaller and easily identifiable by the yellow/orange bill and chin. Often sits hunched up. Found on sea and fresh water or perched with wings stretched to dry. Likes rocky outcrops on the shore lines.

Pied Cormorant

Black and White bird with yellow face. The chin becomes pinkish-purple during breeding. Generally seen in marine environments but does also occur on fresh water. Tends to stay within a small territory range and often seen roosting in numbers sometimes with other species of cormorants.

White-necked Heron

A nomadic bird that arrives sometimes in Winter/Spring staying a few days before moving on. It feeds on insects, crustaceans and fish in fresh water creeks and dams. Flies with it's head and neck tucked in. Most likely to be found at Big Swamp or on Farm Dams.

White-faced Heron

The most common of the Herons locally. Seen singly or at times in large numbers around lakes, rocky outcrops or any other water course. Strikes its prey with speed using its long neck and sharp beak.

Nankeen Night-Heron

A nocturnal bird that roosts during the day in pine trees or trees with thick vegetation. Appears at sunset flying to tidal mud flats, swamps and Marinas. Waits silently for prey to pass and then strikes with speed. Juveniles are heavily streaked with brown on white. Reliably seen at the Port Lincoln Marina, Brennans Jetty and Billy Lights Point at dusk.

Great Egret

The largest of the Egrets can be identified by its long neck which is longer than the body when extended. The neck forms an S shape and is folded back in flight. Beak and face are yellow and legs grey/black. Fishes in wetlands and on shorelines. Greyhound Road ponds and Delamare wetlands are good places to look locally.

Cattle Egret

Visits occasionally and when it does it is generally found around livestock sometimes perched on the backs of cattle to pick insects and parasites. When they are here there will often be a small group. Keep an eye out in the paddocks on the road to Fisheries Bay where there are quite a few cattle - they have been know to frequent this area.

Little Egret

Smaller than the Great Egret these birds have taken up residence in recent years and can now often be found around Greyhound Road Ponds, at Delamere and along the Proper Bay. They are fascinating to watch as they seem to prance while foraging. When breeding they have two fine plumes at the back of the head.

Eastern Reef Egret

The slate-grey form of this bird is sometimes found locally. It is a bird of the intertidal zone and forages on reefs, tidal flats and rock platforms. It crouches low on short legs to hunt. Seen at Fisherman's Point in the Port Lincoln National Park, Kellidie Bay in the Coffin Bay National Park and around Scales Bay.

Straw-necked Ibis

An occasional visitor to the Eyre Peninsula. They probe pastures and swamps with their long beak for insects, molluscs, frogs and snakes. Have been observed locally at Big Swamp, on the shoreline in Proper Bay and at the Whyalla Wetlands.

Glossy Ibis

The smallest Ibis. Dark red-brown with a metallic, iridescent green sheen on the wings when breeding. These birds are not normally found on Eyre Peninsula but are occasional visitors. When they are here they will be found in shallow freshwater swamps.

Royal Spoonbill

Occasional visitor to Eyre Peninsula. When they are here they will be found in shallow freshwater wetlands such as the Whyalla Wetlands or Big Swamp. Adults are white with nuptial plumes on the head and neck. Bill is black straight with a spoon-shaped tip. Sweeps the bill from side to side through the water when feeding.

Yellow Spoonbill

White with dull yellow spoon-shaped bill. Once again only an occasional visitor to Eyre Peninsula. Most likely to be seen at the Whyalla Wetlands or on Big Swamp when they are in the area.

Grey Teal

The most common Duck found on Eyre Peninsula is wide spread and very mobile. They arrive in large numbers to areas recently flooded and breed locally. Has white armpits in flight and the side of the head is almost white. Can be found where ever there is water.

Chestnut Teal

The male has a distinctive glossy green head and neck and a prominent white patch on the flank. Female is similar to the Grey Teal but with less white on the throat. They are very common across the Peninsula in fresh water swamps and lakes but also in coastal areas.

Australian Shelduck

Large duck found in large open patches of water and often feeding in paddocks. Common in Winter and Spring. The female has a white eye ring and white ring at the base of the bill. Breeds locally in a hollow limb or on the ground.

Australian Wood Duck

Frequents timbered areas close to water. During the breeding season perches in trees and nests in hollows. Grazes on green herbage or grain. Male has mainly grey body, speckled breast and dark brown head. Femail has speckled brown body, grey winds and a white eye stripe. Breeds locally. Often seen at fresh water swamps and farm dams.

Pink-eared Duck

Stongly striped breast and flanks with a small pink patch behind the eye. Large broad bill. Usually seen in shallow wetlands, ponds or temporary waters. Often seen at the Whyalla Wetlands as well as in bodies of water in paddocks after heavy rain. Also found near the Tod Reservoir in ponds or at Waste Treatment plants.

Musk Duck

Swims low in the water and dives frequently. The male has a large inflatable black lobe under its beak that becomes extended in courtship. Also gives spectacular splashing displays to attract a mate. They are resident at Big Swamp and also on Sleaford Mere.

Freckled Duck

Australia's rarest Duck. Male is darkly speckled and has an upturned bill with a vivid red base. Female is lighter with slate grey bill. I have only photographed them once at the pond near the turn off to the Tod Reservoir.

Australasian Shoveler

Breeding male has a greyish head, white line in from of the eye and chestnut flanks and white patches on either side of the tail. Out of breeding season the male is more like the female that is a dull, speckled brown. Keeps to permanent large freshwater ponds. Locally there are almost always Shoveler at the North Shields Waste Treatment Plant and at Big Swamp.


A deep diving duck. Frequents deep lakes and swamps. Plumage deep mahogany brown. Male is darker than the female and has a white eye. Locally seen at Big Swamp and the North Shields Waste Treatment Ponds.

Pacific Black Duck

Widespread on coastal streams and shallow bays as well as inland swamps. Has a line through the eye above and below which are buff coloured.. Breeds locally.

Black-shouldered Kite

The black shoulder patches are visible when perched but when hovering, only black wing tips and patch at beginning of the wing are seen. Wide spread and commonly seen hovering above road verges or grassy paddocks.

Black Kite

An occasional visitor to Southern Eyre Peninsula and more common in the northern areas. Dark brown body, bill is black with a yellow cere. Deeply forked tail that moves and twists in flight. Often seen circling in groups on thermals.


Listed as endangered in South Australia, Osprey are a coastal bird of prey. They eat fish exclusively and forage with steep dives feet first into shallow water. They build huge stick nests which are used each year by the same pair. Artificial nest platforms have been built for them around the State. Often seen on the Coast of Eyre Peninsula with breeding pairs At Arno Bay, Port Neill, Tumby Bay, Port Lincoln, Coffin Bay, Streaky Bay and Smoky Bay. Both sexes have brown backs and wings with white/light chests. The female has a "necklace" of brown feathers and is slightly bigger than the male.

Square-tailed Kite

Uncommon, inconspicuous raptor with a fairly small bill. Adult has a pale head and reddish underparts with black streaks on neck. Juvenile has a more reddish head with less streaking. In flight, tail has obvious square corners with a dark band at the base. Sails over forest woodland habitats just above the tree canopy, typically with little wing movement. Occurs singly or in pairs. Square-tailed Kites have returned to Eyre Peninsula in recent year after a long absence. Their status as South Australia's rarest bird of prey means I can't reveal their breeding site but I have seen them flying over at Whalers Way and in Lincoln National Park in recent years.

Whistling Kite

Dusky brown with a pale buff head and a distinctive M shape on the under wings. Rarely seen now on Southern Eyre Peninsula but still seen further north. The call is a long downwards whistle.

Brown Goshawk

A common grey-brown raptor with broad wings often seen chasing sparrows and smaller birds. Easily confused with the Collared Sparrowhawk but distinguished by the rounded tail, dark brow and the outer toes do not extend past the second joint of the middle toe.

Collared Sparrowhawk

Found in the inland areas of Eyre Peninsula especially where there are large trees. Small and fierce it actively chases and catches prey on the wing. Compared with the similar Brown Goshawk it has a disproportionate longer and square tipped tail and a much longer middle toe.

White-bellied Sea-eagle

Majestic grey and white bird that flies with upswept wings. Snatches fish from the surface with a sweep of its talons but also eats water fowl, rabbits and carrion. Patrols coastlines and sheltered bays. Pairs are known to breed at the BHP Wharf, on Boston Island, on offshore Islands in the Lincoln National Park and Sir Joseph Banks Group, Coffin Bay National Park and Fowlers Bay to name a few.

Wedge-tailed Eagle

The largest bird of prey in Australia. Soars high with upswept wings and a distinctive wedge shaped tail. Plumage darkens with age, light golden brown when young and black/brown in mature birds. Eats rabbits, small kangaroos and carrion often seen around road kill. Breeds locally and is seen over farm lands and wooded areas. Sleaford Bay and Coffin Bay National Parks are both good areas to keep a look out for them.

Little Eagle

Found mostly around areas with tall trees. Prey is usually rabbits and small mammals or reptiles. Has fully feathered legs. Plumage colour varies from light to dark brown with distinctive wing patches. Has been known to frequent Big Swamp.

Swamp Harrier

Found around swampy areas. Glides with upswept wings twisting and turning in flight. Feeds on the ground or low stump. Roosts and nests on the ground in reeds. Has a prominent white rump. Often seen along the road to Sleaford Bay as it forages along Sleaford Mere.

Spotted Harrier

Glides on upswept wings often low over crops or open grassy plains. Blue-grey above and red-brown underparts with spots visible when close. Breeds locally in low trees. Most often seen around the Second Creek area near Tumby Bay and over farm lands in the middle of the Peninsula.

Nankeen Kestrel

The most common of our birds of prey. They can be found anywhere there is open grasslands both along the coast and inland. Often seen hovering as they search for prey of rodents and lizards. Roosts in nests on tall buildings, in tree hollows and caves.

Peregrine Falcon

Regarded as the fastest bird in the world. Can reach speeds of up to 300km/hr when diving on prey. Feeds on small birds. Found around inland rocky cliffs such as Marble Range and increasingly on the silo facilities around the Peninsula. Nests in tree hollows or nests abandoned by other birds.

Australian Hobby

A fast and agile flier, it catches small birds, bats and large insects. Usually solitary it frequents areas with large trees including Big Swamp, Kapinnie Salt Lakes and Park areas.

Black Falcon

Found in open sparsely treed plains. Perches on bare vantage points and occasionally silos. Swoop-dives onto birds such as feral pigeons, galahs, ducks and parrots. Not often seen on lower Eyre Peninsula other than around Yallunda Flat. More common in the northern areas of the Peninsula.

Brown Falcon

Common across the Peninsula can often be seen perched on dead trees, power lines and fence posts watching for prey. Feeds on snakes, lizards, insects and mice. Has distinct tear drop markings below the eyes.

Mallee Fowl

Once common across the Peninsula now very rare. Six birds were re-introduced into Lincoln National Park around 2019 and have been sighted there since that time. They are also known to inhabit the mallee scrub areas around Lock and Cowell and are also monitored at Secret Rocks. Nests are large mounds which they work frequently to open and close to the sun so as to maintain a constant temperature.

Painted Button-quail

Found in dry woodlands and open shrubs. Runs to cover rather than fly when flushed. Has a deep repetitive booming call. Feeds on insects and seeds. Known to be on the track near Donnington Light House and also near Point Boston but very secretive and hard to photograph.

Brown Quail

Numbers of Brown Quail seem to be increasing in recent years. Where they were once rarely seen on Eyre Peninsula they are now in good numbers on Boston Island, in the Lincoln National Park and on Reevesby Island. Large, heavily marked quail, but from a distance appears fairly plain and brown. Typically found in swampy areas with long grass. Scurries across pathways in small groups, or explodes from cover when almost underfoot. Distinctive 2-note whistle often reveals its presence.

Black-tailed Native Hen

Is not resident but arrives often in Winter in large numbers. Flight is strong and it flies by night when the water dries up. Never far from water, groups will run across open areas to shelter in bushes and reeds. Looks like a small domestic hen with a compressed tail, dark green/brown above and grey blow , red legs. The upper bill is green and the lower part is red. Most often seen at the Kapinnie Lakes and at Big Swamp on the McFarlane Road corner.

Eurasian Coot

Slate black with a white head. They are rarely seen on Lower Eyre Peninsula but often found at the Whyalla Wetlands. Feeds on the surface of deep fresh water and dives for plant material.

Australian Spotted Crake

Quiet and secretive dashes between clumps of reeds. Dark Brown with white spots on top and grey beneath. Flicks its tail when foraging. Travels at night when habitat dries out. Often seen at the first pond on Greyhound Road and at Kapinnie Lakes when there is water in them.

Buff-banded Rail

Light grey throat and chest, boldly black and white barred belly and a broad rust coloured band through the head and onto the chest. Another of the very shy birds rarely seen. They have been known to breed at the first pond on Greyhound Road and have been seen on the off shore Islands around Coffin Bay.

Australian Bustard

Occasional visitor. Stately bird of open wooded or shrubby grass plains. Farming friends occasionally report seeing them around Whites River, Greenpatch area during the Summer months perhaps when it is drier inland.

Bush Stone-curlew

Once common in the area their numbers have declined significantly due to predation by foxes. They have bred at Point Boston and have been seen near September Beach in the Lincoln National Park. There is a small population on Boston Island. Most often heard at night when their "crying baby" call is eerie. They are nocturnal roosting on the ground during the day and foraging at night.

Hooded Plover

Listed as vulnerable. Small sturdy plover with a distinctive red eye-ring. Adult has a black hood that extends down onto the chin. Endemic to southern Australia where it typically inhabits sandy ocean beaches, nesting just above the high tide mark. Also found on salt lakes especially during Winter.

Pied Oystercatcher

Heavy-set shorebird with long, thick reddish bill, black and white plumage, and thick pale-pink feet and legs. Found on the coast generally at sheltered sandy beaches where they probe for molluscs. Eggs are laid in scrapes above the high tide mark.

Sooty Oystercatcher

Heavy-set shorebird with entirely black plumage and long, thick reddish bill. It has a distinctive fleshy red or yellow eye-ring and very thick pale-pink feet and legs. Exclusively coastal, where it can be found walking around on the edge of rocky headlands, on rock shelves, and along rocky beaches on small islands. Typically found in pairs or small groups. Breeds on offshore Islands.

Red-capped Plover

Small energetic plover with a fine bill, white underparts, and pale gray back. Lacks breast band. Adult has an obvious rusty-red cap, whereas juvenile has varying reddish tinges on the back of the head. Common around inland lakes as well as at the coast.

Double-banded Plover

Small migratory plover from New Zealand. Arrives in Autumn to Winter here. Most reliably seen during these months at Sleaford Mere. In breeding plumage, adult has two dark bands on breast, the upper band thin and blackish, the lower band broad and rusty. Non-breeding birds have a pale hind-collar, buff colour on face, and two diffuse gray-brown streaks extending onto the breast from near the bend of the wing.

Masked Lapwing

Noisy lapwing with a large yellow wattle across forehead and hanging over the bill. Abundant in towns and a common feature of urban parks, sporting fields, paddocks.

Banded Lapwing

Elegant lapwing with a white stripe through eye (like a sunglass strap), a red wattle in front of the eye, and a thick and complete black breast-band. Smaller and shorter-legged than Masked Lapwing. Generally seen feeding in farm paddocks or areas with short grass sometimes in numbers.

Black-fronted Dotterel

Small plover with streaked upperparts, strong white eyebrow, and a heavy black line through the eye. Note red eyering. Adult has distinctive black V on chest. Found around swamps, dams and waterways such as reedy areas of Sleaford Mere or the Point Boston Ponds. Breeds locally.

Red-kneed Dotterel

Rarely seen on lower Eyre Peninsula but occasionally further north. Attractive plover with pinkish upper legs. Adult has solid black hood and white chin with a black breast-band and chestnut flank patch. Juvenile is gray with white underparts lacking the black or red.

Pied Stilt

Aka White-headed Stilt or Black-winged Stilt!! Large black-and-white shorebird with long straight, needle-like bill, and very long pink legs. Note black hind-neck. Juveniles lack the black hind-neck and has a dark gray crown. Occurs in small groups or in large flocks, usually close to water. Common at Big Swamp, Greyhound Road, Delamere and Kapinnie Lakes when they have water.

Banded Stilt

Large black-and-white shorebird with white head and long straight, needle-like bill, very long pink legs. Adult has prominent copper-colored belly-band, lacking in juvenile. Thick white trailing edge to wing obvious in flight. Occurs in small groups or in immense flocks, usually close to inland salt lakes or coastal lagoons. Locally they are occasionally seen in small groups at Greyhound Road and Big Swamp. At the end of Winter they can be in large numbers at Kapinnie Lakes.

Red-necked Avocet

Distinctive shorebird with very long and dramatically up-curved bill, dark red head and neck. In flight shows patches of black on the back, shoulders, and wing-tips. Usually seen on or near water, both on the coast and inland. Wades in shallow water; readily swims in deeper water. It is the only avocet species in Australia. Locally these birds stop to feed but don't seem to stay long. They can be found at Big Swamp, Greyhound Road or Kapinnie Lakes but not reliably.

Common Greenshank

Gentle-eyed large wader with a slightly upturned bill. Note overall grayish plumage with white belly and greenish legs. In flight, appears dark above with a broad white stripe up the middle of the back. Usually seen as singles or small groups. Feeds mainly by striding in water, picking and sweeping with its bill. Breeds across northern Europe and Asia; migrates to Eyre Peninsula in about October and leaves again March/April.

Ruddy Turnstone

Smallish, stocky shorebird with short, chisel-like bill. Breeding plumage is particularly striking with bright rusty upperparts and bold black-and-white pattern on head and neck. Nonbreeding and juvenile are duller brown but still boldly patterned; note orange legs. Interesting behaviour of flipping over rocks, shells, and other debris to nab invertebrates. Fairly common during the Summer Months. Breeds in the high Arctic tundra. Beaches with lots of seaweed mounds and rocky outcrops are preferred habitat when they are on Eyre Peninsula. Often at Elliston and Port Neill.

Sharp-tailed Sandpiper

Medium-sized sandpiper with distinct cap. Primarily an Asian species, breeding on tundra in Russia and arriving in Australia in October till March. Found in freshwater marshes and coastal mudflats, sometimes inland.

Common Sandpiper

Not as common as the name suggests. Small bicolored sandpiper which often bobs its tail in a distinctively wagtail-like manner. Plain brown with white underparts. Have been seen at Tumby Bay Marina and Coffin Bay but rarely. Mainly found as singles or in small groups, not in flocks or mixed with other species.

Curlew Sandpiper

Medium-sized wader with a long, slightly downcurved bill. In flight note large white rump patch. Breeds in Russian tundra and arrives in Australia between October and March mainly in coastal wetland habitats. Locally best sightings have been around the Kapinnie Lakes.

Grey-tailed Tattler

A handsomely-marked medium-sized gray shorebird with a medium-length, straight bill. Breeds near water in taiga habitat and tundra, and frequents reefs, mangroves, mudflats, and beaches on migration and during the non-breeding season. A Single bird has arrived at the Billy Lights Boat Ramp during the past two years (2023/24) and stayed for the Summer.

Red-necked Stint

A very small migratory shorebird of both inland and coastal wetlands and estuaries. Non-breeding adult is gray above, pale below; juvenile similar but richer gray-brown above with neat pale feather edges in upper parts. Often seen in small flocks feeding at the waters edge on beaches and salt lakes.


Small, sprightly shorebird. Breeding plumage shows rusty tones on upperparts, often with a frosty appearance when fresh. By mid-summer, the frosty feather tips fade away and the neck can be deep, rich red. Note larger size and somewhat thicker bill than red-necked stints, along with bold white wing stripe in flight. Flocks are usually seen on open beaches such as Sleaford Bay and Almonta, well known for running back-and-forth chasing waves and feeding actively in the sand. Breeding on high Arctic tundra they are another of our migratory visitors.

Grey Plover

Arctic Migrant. Chunky, medium-sized shorebird with short, stout bill. In nonbreeding season uniformly drab gray with whitish belly. Juveniles are crisp and neatly spangled above, often with a soft golden hue. Often confused with golden-plovers. Note stockier shape, thicker bill, and diagnostic black “armpits” in flight. When they are in our area they feed on mudflats and beaches. Ceduna seems to be the most reliable area for sightings but the Mouth of the Todd River is worth a look.

Pacific Golden Plover

Arctic Migrant. Slender plover spangled with gold flecks. Breeding plumage shows black belly and face with mottled white sides, undertail coverts and a white stripe down the side of the neck that continues onto the sides of the chest and flanks. Non-breeding plumage is duller grayish-brown overall with a variable golden wash, often quite bright. Juveniles are crisp and neatly spangled above, washed with gold on the upper parts. Locally they forage at the bottom of Proper Bay or at the Mouth of the Tod River.

Wood Sandpiper

Migratory. Medium-sized brownish wader with a white belly, varied pale spotting and spangling on back. In flight shows plain upperwings, square white rump patch. Legs greenish yellow. Walks in shallow water, picking with its bill. Mainly found as singles or small flocks, not mixing with other species. Bobs tail when nervous, but not habitually like Common Sandpiper. Locally they have been seen at Big Swamp.

Bar-tailed Godwit

Threatened. Migrant. Gangly wader with a long bicolored bill. Breeding plumage is dark brick-red below (male) or pale orangey (female); nonbreeding plumage is overall gray-brown with white belly. In flight shows rather plain upperwings with only a faint whitish wing stripe; white rump and finely barred tail. Locally most likely to be seen at the Mouth of the Tod River.

Pacific Gull

Large dark-backed gull with enormous golden yellow bill with thick red tip (red on both upper and lower parts of beak), yellow legs, black tail tip. Juvenile is heavily marked grayish. They are common across the Peninsula and can be seen on just about any beach.

Silver Gull

Small gray gull with red legs. Adult has red bill (younger birds have a darker bill), white head and body, pale gray "silver" wings, which have prominent black and white tips. The population has exploded especially around Port Lincoln as a result of Aquaculture and measures are now in place to restore the balance.

Caspian Tern

Largest tern in the world. Thick, bright-red bill is distinctive; most have small dark marking near the tip. Note solid black cap in summer which turns to black streaks in winter. Juveniles have V-shaped markings on the upperparts. Feeds by cruising over the sea, lakes, rivers, estuaries, and reservoirs looking for fish, then plunging to catch them. Smooth wingbeats, more gull-like than choppy flight of small-bodied terns. Very vocal, giving loud raucous screams. Locally there is a breeding colony on Reevesby Island but numbers appear to be declining. Sometimes seen at the Mouth of the Tod River.

Fairy Tern

Listed as Vulnerable and subject of a recovery plan. Very small coastal tern with forked tail. Nests on sandy beaches, where it is sensitive to disturbance. In breeding plumage, note yellow bill (in southern Australia lacking black tip) and orange-yellow legs. Hunts by flying low over the water and plunging down to snatch prey from the surface. Locally breeds on off-shore Islands but numbers are declining and sightings should be recorded on birdata.

Crested Tern

A large elegant tern with a very long lemon-yellow bill. Black cap does not extend down to the bill. Juvenile is scaly-looking with much more black on the back and wings. Quite common along the coast with breeding colonies on offshore Islands.

Whiskered Tern

Small buoyant tern. Breeding adult has distinctive dark smoky gray body and contrasting white cheeks (can look like broad white "whiskers" in flight) underneath a black cap. Nonbreeding plumage pale silvery gray overall with a faded shadow of the cap; juvenile has dark-checkered back. Locally found at Big Swamp and near Ceduna at the Pink Lake.

Common Bronzewing

A plump, attractive brown pigeon with beautiful green and bronze iridescent coloration in the wings. Males have a bright yellow and white forehead that is absent in females. This species inhabits a great variety of habitats, and is often seen near a water source as seed eaters they must drink everyday. When disturbed, they fly away in very direct flight with a loud clatter of wings.

Brush Bronzewing

A stocky, compact pigeon with iridescent wing feathers. Primarily reddish-brown with gray underparts. Inhabits dense vegetation, usually where a thick layer of bushes or scrub is present. This species is usually found alone or in pairs, and is often seen drinking at dawn or dusk. Best opportunity for sightings is in the National Parks.

Crested Pigeon

A common gray pigeon that is easily identified by the long pointed crest on the top of its head. Mostly pale gray with bright iridescence on wings. Feeds only on the ground. Takes flight with noisy wing-claps, and in flight has a wing-whistle which makes it sound like a wind-up toy. Common around the Peninsula good sightings possible at Pt Boston, Tumby Bay and always at the Arid Lands Gardens.

Peaceful Dove

Tiny gray dove with heavy barring on neck and chest. It has a pale blue eyering. The back and folded wings are covered in tiny black crescents. When disturbed it tends to fly up and perch on a nearby open branch. Voice is a repeated slurred 3-note phrase (low-high-low). They are known to be around the Golf Course in Port Lincoln.


Common and familiar across Eyre Peninsula. Large gray parrot with pink underparts and a light cap. It tends to be noisy and active and is usually close to a water source. Typically feeds on the ground, where it consumes a range of seeds and grasses. Occurs in a wide range of habitats, including urban areas, parks, and gardens. Occurs in pairs, small groups, or enormous flocks.


Tiny cockatoo with a long pointed tail. When perched, the yellowish face and crest and orange cheek patch of the male are distinctive. In flight has dark wing tips and bold white wing panels contrasting with a gray back. Calls frequently with a tuneful fast-whistled "wee-rooo". Rarely seen on Lower Eyre Peninsula but will come down to Northern parts around Ceduna, Wudinna and as far as Kapinnie, particularly if it is dry in the interior.

Musk Lorikeet

Medium-sized bright green and yellow lorikeet with red and blue facial markings. Note red cheek patch behind eye. Feeds in flowering eucalypt trees on pollen and nectar. Also eats insects and fruit. Arrives in loud chattering flocks when eucalypts are in flower.

Purple-Crowned Lorikeet

Small green lorikeet with pale blue underparts. Note orange and yellow check patch, purple crown, yellow above the bill, and red patches in front of the eyes. Occurs in dry eucalypt forests but is nomadic and follows the blossom of tree species. Known to be around Stamford Hill and Memory Cove in Lincoln National Park and to breed in the Koppio Hills.

Australian Ringneck

Large green parrot with a yellow collar. Four separate subspecies are recognized, with varying habitat preferences ranging from harsh arid mulga woodlands to suburban parks. Plumages also vary, and the subspecies sometimes interbreed. Shared characteristics are a yellow "ring" around the neck and overall turquoise-green plumage. The subspecies pictured is common on lower Eyre Peninsula and can be found in urban areas and in National Parks. Often seen feeding on the side of the road from Port Lincoln to Coffin Bay in the late afternoon.

Mulga Parrot

Medium-sized colorful parrot, widespread across the northern areas of Eyre Peninsula often coming as far south as Coffin Bay Conservation Park. Best sightings have been at Lake Gilles and Gawler Ranges. Adult male very brightly colored and striking in appearance, primarily turquoise-green with dark blue and yellow in the wings and yellow and red in lower belly. Female primarily brownish-green but with splashes of turquoise, blue, red, and yellow. Typically feeds on the ground.


Brown parrot with yellow-and-red belly and deep blue face, typically found in Whyalla Conservation Park around Wild Dog Hill. Multiple subspecies vary in the color of their wing patch, belly, and undertail. Usually seen in small groups, this species is often hard to approach and is easily flushed. In flight, the blue wings and red shoulders contrast with pale brown back. Distinguished from the similar but smaller Naretha Bluebonnet (found West of Nullabour) by presence of red on belly.

Scarlet-chested Parrot

Brightly colored nomadic desert parrot with a relatively short tail, mostly found in the Great Victoria Desert, however they are regularly seen west of Ceduna on the Dog Fence. Feeds on the ground in arid bushland. Male has intense blue head, rich scarlet chest, green back, blue wings, and yellow belly. Female lacks scarlet chest and has much more subdued coloration, with pale bluish face and wings; similar juvenile has pale bill. In flight, upperparts show dark blue outer wing contrasting with pale blue inner wing and green back.

Rock Parrot

Attractive small parrot. Dull olive-green parrot with yellowish lower belly and limited blue in folded wing. Face pale blue between eye and bill, with thin blue line between the eyes. Juvenile has yellow on face. Feeds on the ground in open coastal salt marsh and coastal grasslands. Mostly coastal, common at Whalers Way, Lincoln National Park, Greyhound Road and the offshore Islands.

Elegant Parrot

Handsome small parrot more common inland around northern Eyre Peninsula. Yellowish-green overall, with yellow underbelly, green back, green head, and thin dark blue patch on folded wing. Face yellow between eye and bill, with a thin blue line between the eyes. Feeds on the ground in open areas, including salt marshes. Photographed near Wudinna and at the Arid Lands Gardens.


Iconic small green and yellow parrot found extensively across inland Australia. Largely nomadic, according to food and water availability. Comes into northern Eyre Peninsula from time to time particularly around The Dog Fence/Googs Track. Usually found in small flocks zipping around overhead, but can congregate in staggering numbers under the right conditions. All native Budgerigar in Australia are green and yellow with a beautiful scalloped pattern on the upper-parts and fine barring on the head.

Yellow-tailed Black-Cockatoo

Numbers of the Eyre Peninsula subspecies are now critically low with at last count 11 birds remaining. They come south in Summer feeding on Aleppo Pines in the Wanilla area and move north in Winter. Sexes are similar and any sightings should be reported through Birdata and to the Eyre Peninsula Landscape Board.

Pallid Cuckoo

Large pale cuckoo, which lacks the warmer tones of Fan-tailed a cuckoos. Yellow eye-ring, and a dark indistinct stripe across the cheek. Has a distinctive call that has several notes, and tends to perch in prominent places or fence-posts while calling. Moves south on Eyre Peninsula to breed in Spring

Fan-tailed Cuckoo

A medium-sized cuckoo, with a warm buff colored chest and belly. Bright yellow eye-ring and heavily barred tail. Often detected by sound since this species calls frequently with a descending trill. Perches in the midstory on exposed branches, and flushes easily to a nearby perch. Found across Eyre Peninsula

Black-eared Cuckoo

Small plain cuckoo with a dark eye and black "ears." Founding in the northern parts of the Peninsula. Usually solitary, shy, and most easily located when calling. Plain gray upperparts, pale underparts, with faint barring on undertail.

Horsfield's Bronze-Cuckoo

A small greenish bird with a barred chest and tail, and a dark stripe through the eye that droops down across the cheek. Young birds can be almost unbarred and may appear similar to the grayer Black-eared Cuckoo. Often perches prominently on top of a shrub or tree, and calls repeatedly with a loud piercing descending whistle. Occurs across Eyre Peninsula I've photographed them at Point Boston.

Southern Boobook

Small brownish owl with dark ‘glasses’ surrounding eyes. Plumage and size varies depending on region with some subspecies exhibiting much darker plumage than others. Fairly common in a wide variety of habitats. Call is a familiar ‘boo-book’ with the second note lower pitched than the first. Widespread but more often heard than seen being nocturnal.

Barn Owl

Medium-sized owl with a heart-shaped facial disc and deep dark eyes. Hunts primarily rodents in open areas by night, foraging with a slow and buoyant flight. Roosts in old buildings, tree hollows, caves, and nest boxes by day. Its call is a bone-chilling, rising shriek. Often seen perched on fenceposts on country roads.

Tawny Frogmouth

A familiar nocturnal bird. Note bright yellow eye and very large ‘frog-like’ bill with whiskers above. Slightly banded a master of camouflage, its shaggy plumage blends in with rough bark when roosting. Usually gray but some subspecies appear more rusty-colored. Present in a range of habitats across the Peninsula and for many years bred at the Coffin Bay Caravan Park.

Owlet Nightjar

Smallest Australian nocturnal bird, primarily gray-brown with large eyes, relatively long tail, and "whiskers" on the face. During the day, usually seen only if one is peering out of a roosting hollow. Small size and near lack of eyeshine make this species also difficult to locate at night; the call, a loud, brief "chew," is the best way to locate one. They have been known to be around the Tulka area and in the rocks at Wild Dog Hill near Whyalla.

Laughing Kookaburra

Large kingfisher with a dark eye and brown cheek patch. Calls include an immediately recognisable and distinctive laugh, which gives the species its common name. Locally seen in urban areas and timbered areas such as the Koppio Hills

Sacred Kingfisher

Common and widespread kingfisher with a buff spot in front of the eyes that can extend back over the eye as a thin brow. Belly color varies from buffy-orange to white. Upperwing is entirely blue in flight. Locally is regularly seen at Billy Lights Boat Ramp, Louth Bay Jetty and Tulka Bird Walk.

Welcome Swallow

Small swallow with long forked tail. Dark above, pale below, with a rusty breast and face. Common bird across open habitat, where it feeds on insects above parks, sporting fields, wetlands, and other open areas. Perches on fence rows and utility lines in large numbers.

Fairy Martin

Small swallow dark above, pale below, with white rump, reddish crown, and notched tail. Nests colonially. Unique "bottle" nests constructed from mud usually found under building eves, bridges, culverts, and cliffs. Call a dry buzzing "frrrtt," very different from twittering of Tree Martin.

Tree Martin

Small swallow dark above, pale below, with grayish rump and notched tail. Call is a pleasant twittering, unlike harsh call of Fairy Martin, which has paler rump and rusty crown. Found in many habitats, including urban areas these were photographed at the Kyancutta Cemetery Reserve

Fork-tailed Swift (Pacific Swift)

A large dark swift with origami-like angularity in flight profile. Black overall with a slightly paler throat and a bright white rump patch. Long forked tail is prominent in flight and is often opened while the bird is banking. Migrates in enormous flocks, which give sharp trilling calls in flight. Photographed at Point Drummond and Whyalla in recent years.

Australian Pipit

A small, pale brownish terrestrial bird with heavily streaked chest and back. Tail fairly long, showing obvious white edges in flight. Typically found walking around on the ground or perched on fence-posts. Tail moves up and down as it walks with bobbing gait. Long pinkish legs with long claw on hindtoe. Common across the Peninsula

Black-faced Cuckooshrike

Large slender bird, pale gray above, paler below, with distinctive black mask and throat. Immature paler, with dark gray mask rather than black face. Inhabits many wooded habitats with clearings, farmland, and urban areas. Often referred to as Storm Birds as they arrive in early winter and migrates north in summer.

White-winged Triller

Small songbird with short, fine bill. Breeding males have black crown and back, white underparts, black wings with bold white wing panels, and black tail with white tip. In nonbreeding plumage crown and back brown, with pale-edged feathers in dark upperwing. Female similar to nonbreeding male. Found in the northern areas of Eyre Peninsula in woodlands. Photographed at Brown's Corner near Wudinna

Southern Scrub-robin

Long-legged songbird. Grayish above, paler gray below, with faint wingbars and long tail, often flicked upward. Very subtle dark mark through the eye and cheek. Usually seen running around on the ground in open woodland, although male also sings from higher perches. Can be found in Lincoln National Park around camping areas.

Scarlet Robin

Males black above, with a black head and chin, and a large white spot above the bill. Breast and belly bright scarlet. Black wing shows extensive white panels. Females brownish above, pale below, with reddish breast patch, dark upperwing with pale panels, and large white spot above bill. Perches low, snatching prey from the ground. Locally found near Mikkira Station and in the Wanilla Conservation Park.

Red-capped Robin

Small robin. Male black above, with a black head and chin, vivid scarlet breast and forecrown. Folded wing black with extensive white panels. Female brown above, pale below, with faint reddish forehead and darker wing showing pale panels. Found across much of the northern part of the Peninsula especially where there are native pines, typically alone or in pairs. Hunts by plucking prey from the ground.

Hooded Robin

Male strikingly black and white, with a completely black head; black upperwing has bright white wing panels. Female gray above, pale below, with pale wing panels. Similar but smaller Jacky-winter lacks the wing pattern and waves its tail from side to side. Perches prominently, launching down to catch prey on the ground. Often in pairs. Inhabits open, arid habitats around the Gawler Ranges and Mt Ive Station.

Jacky Winter

Gray-brown above and pale below; often swings tail side to side when perched. Dark tail with prominent white outer tail feathers. Usually in pairs in open woodlands, where it perches prominently. Often on stumps and posts. Pinkawillinie Conservation Park and Gawler Ranges are areas to look for them. Hunts by plucking prey from the ground, in typical Australian robin style.

Western Yellow-robin

Very small songbird found in forest/scub areas of Eyre Peninsula. Gray above, bright yellow below, with gray upper breast and off-white throat. This species perches on low branches and on the side of tree trunks before flying down to the ground to capture prey. Yellow rump and pale stripe in wing obvious mostly in flight. Generally curious so a good photographic subject.

Western Whistler (prev Golden Whistler)

Chunky, rounded songbird with heavy, thick bill, found widely across the Peninsula. Male has olive-yellow back, black head, white chin, bright yellow underparts, and black-tipped gray tail. Female plain gray above, and paler gray below, with buffy belly. Formerly considered a subspecies of Golden Whistler. Calls include a loud piercing whistle with a whip-like ending.

Grey Shrike-thrush

Robust songbird with a strong, pointed bill. Greyish overall except for brown back and pale spot between eyes and bill (lores). Immature similar but with faint streaks on breast; juvenile more heavily streaked still, with rusty eyebrow. Inhabits most treed environments on Eyre Peninsula foraging in pairs from ground level into treetops. Sings a beautiful five-note song.

Restless Flycatcher

A sturdy songbird with fairly long tail and substantial bill. Glossy black above, bright white below. Female may show buffy patch on upper breast. Inhabits open woodland and wetland areas, usually forages near the ground. Nicknamed the "Scissor Grinder" for its call. Reliably seen at Lake Gillies.

Crested Bellbird

Grey songbird with a small erectable black crest, found in the Gawler Ranges and Pinkawillinie Conservation Parks, where its far-carrying song is one of the characteristic outback sounds. Male has white face and black bib, female and juvenile plain gray. Forages on or close to the ground, hopping and bouncing along, but also calls from prominent perches. Its song is a long fluid and bubbling whistled phrase which carries a long distance.

Grey Fantail

Small songbird with long, pale-tipped tail, tiny, thin bill. Grey above, pale below, with narrow pale wingbars and a thin black border between white throat and chest. Frequently cocks and fans tail. Subspecies vary in upperparts tone and extent of white in the tail. Inhabits wide range of habitats, very active in foraging, and rarely perches in the same place for long. Found in National and Conservation Parks across the Peninsula.

Willie Wagtail

Cheeky black-and-white songbird with fine bill and long legs. Black above, white below, with narrow white eyebrow. Wide spread especially in parks, farms, and grasslands, where it often perches prominently, flicking the tail from side to side and giving a pleasing “chitit-chitit-chitit” call.

Western Whipbird

Medium-sized grey terrestrial bird with long tail and pointed crest, found in thick heath and dense bushland of Eyre Peninsula. Plumage mostly grey, with pale tail tips and greenish tones in the wing. Black throat bordered by broad white moustache. Photographed at Tulka and in both the Lincoln National Park and Coffin Bay National Park. Typically very shy and difficult to observe often heard and rarely seen. Calls are long, rolling, whistled phrases.

White-browed Babbler

A conspicuous songbird with long decurved bill, dark mask, whitish eyebrow, brownish crown, and dark eye. White throat and breast extends to belly; lower belly and undertail dark. Forages mostly on the ground in noisy flocks, reasonably common in any scrub, woodland area.

Little Grassbird

A small brown songbird that skulks in reed-beds and dense vegetation near water. Streaked back, flanks, and breast; graduated tail often cocked upright. Locally known to breed at the first pond on Greyhound Road. Usually detected by song, a clear, high-pitched, three-noted whistle.

Southern Emu-wren

Recently uplisted to Endangered. A tiny, buff-brown bird with an enormously long tail. Tail is much longer and far more spindly than that of fairywrens. Females have dark streaks on the crown and back and are warm buffy-brown underneath. Males are similar, except they have a sky-blue throat. Typically very shy, they live in coastal heathland and are unlikely to be seen unless you are actively looking for them. Photographed in the Coffin Bay Conservation Park and known to be in the Whalers Way and Tulka areas.

Brown Songlark

Large brown songbird with long tail and long, strong legs. Males grayish with brown-edged feathers above, and very dark gray belly, breast, and face in breeding plumage. Female smaller, similar to nonbreeding male. Distinctive flight display: male climbs high in the air, then parachutes down with wings held up at an angle and with legs dangling. Not particularly common but can be found across the Peninsula. Often perches on fence posts.

Rufous Songlark

Plain brownish songbird with faint pale eyebrow and rust-colored rump. Spectacular song includes long sequences of trills and loud electrical phrases, very unlike Brown Songlark. Not common on Eyre Peninsula but sometimes found in the northern areas. Easily overlooked as a "little brown bird".

Horsfield's Bushlark (aka Singing Bushlark)

A small, stocky, pale brown bird with a fairly heavy bill. Unlike other bushlarks, breast streaking is minimal and often only restricted to the sides of the breast, while the wings are not as rust-colored. The pale eyebrow is well marked and typically extends neatly down around the cheeks. The overall coloration can vary from dark gray-brown to rich rufous-brown to pale sandy, and the amount and clarity of streaking on the breast also varies. Found in dry, open plains, agricultural areas, open shrubland, and grassland. The song is varied and complex, and includes whistles, trills, buzzes, metallic notes, and sometimes imitations of other bird species. The song can be given from a perch or on the wing. Forages on the ground, where it can be hard to detect until very close; gives a loud chip as it flushes. Photographed near Point Drummond.

Eurasian Skylark

Like most larks, often inconspicuous on the ground and best detected by voice. The prolonged warbling and trilling song is given in flight, often so far overhead that the bird appears as a speck, if you can even see it. On the ground, note brown streaky plumage, distinct bushy crest, and broad, diffuse paler eye-ring. Chunkier than pipits, and does not habitually bob its rear end. In flight shows white sides to tail and narrow white trailing edge to wings. Found in open country, especially rough grassland, heathland, farmland, and airports. Locally they can almost always be found at Point Boston.

Superb Fairywren

A small bird with a long tail that is held cocked. Its tail is usually blue (except in juveniles, which have brown tails). Breeding males have a pale blue crown, cheek, and back with a strong black line from the bill through the eyes and around the back of the head. Non-breeding males are fairly plain greyish-brown birds with black bills and bright blue tails. Females have a duller blue tail and a reddish bill. Note that the patch between the eye and bill (lores) on females is a reddish color of about the same tone as the bill (in Variegated and Purple-backed Fairywrens the lores are much darker than the bill). Female Superb Fairywrens have a much cooler and greyer plumage than the warm tones of Red-backed Fairywren. This species is abundant in National Parks, gardens, and open woodlands around all of Eyre Peninsula.

Blue-breasted Fairywren

Small bird with a very long blue-grey tail held cocked, found in National Parks and Conservation areas of southern Eyre Peninsula, where it prefers coastal heath and drier woodland areas. Breeding male has a bright blue helmet, bluish-black breast, blue patch on back, and chestnut shoulders. Female greyish overall, with long blue-grey tail and reddish bill. Non-breeding male resembles female but has black bill and narrow pale eye-ring.

Splendid Fairywren

A small bird with a long blue tail that is held cocked. Breeding males are almost entirely blue with a strong black line from the bill through the eyes and around the back of the head, a black chest band, and a black rump. Non-breeding males are fairly plain greyish-brown birds with black bills, bright blue tails, and some blue in the folded wing. Females are tan above with a duller blue tail and a reddish bill. Note that the patch between the eye and bill (lores) on females is a fraction paler than the bill (in Purple-backed Fairywren the lores are much darker than the bill). This species is found in the Gawler Ranges and Pinkawillinie Conservation Park.

White-winged Fairywren

A small bird with a long blue tail that is held cocked. Breeding males are usually brilliant sapphire blue with bright white wing patches. Females and non-breeding males are very plain pale grey, and the patch between the eye and bill (lores) is also pale (compared to Purple-backed Fairywren which has very dark reddish lores). This species is typically found in very open and arid country with sparse bushes, where it often perches on the very top of bushes. I have photographed this bird at the Whyalla Wetlands and also at Mt Ive Station. Its call is a very fast trill.

Purple-backed Fairywren

A small bird with a very long blue tail that is held cocked. Breeding male has a bright pale-blue helmet, black breast, purple back, and chestnut shoulders. Small pale tips are sometimes visible on the tail. Females are overall greyish birds with pale fronts and long blue tails. This species occurs in the northern parts of Eyre Peninsula is found in open vegetation. Lake Gillles is a good spot to look for them.

White-browed Scrubwren

Small scrubwren with white eyebrow and pale iris. Has a dark face with a clear white eyebrow and chin stripe. Primarily olive-brown with a black-and-white shoulder patch and paler front. Chin is white with varying levels of black streaking depending on the location. This species is widespread across conservation and National Parks.

Australian Reed-warbler

Uncommon on Eyre Peninsula but can be found in reeds mostly along private creek lines. Plain brown above, and pale below, with long, slender bill, flat crown, long tail, and rather long legs. Little and Tawny grassbirds in similar habitats have streaked plumage, shorter bills. Song harsh and loud, with combinations of staccato "chucks" and rolling phrases, very distinctive.


Remarkably tiny bird with very short, stubby bill. Upperparts grey-brown, underparts variably cream and yellow, with pale eyebrow and pale eye. Inhabits dry, open woodlands, especially eucalypt forests. Very vocal as it forages in trees, where it feeds primarily on insects, sometimes in mixed flocks with thornbills and pardalotes. Distinctive loud song, given year-round. Widespread across the wooded areas of the Peninsula but difficult to see because of its size.

Western Gerygone

Small plain bird with thin bill. Upperparts grey, underparts grayish or whitish, with distinctive black-and-white tail pattern (best seen in flight), thin pale eye-ring, and red eye. Juvenile lacks red eye and has yellow gape (base of bill). Can be found in the Wanilla Conservation Park and in the Warunda Reserve.

Varied Sitella

Tiny, short-tailed bird with a thin, slightly upturned bill. Yellow eye-ring in all plumages, but different subspecies vary tremendously in plumage, ranging from black-headed to white-headed, streaked and unstreaked; in flight all show prominent pale wingstripe. They are not common but have been photographed at the Wanilla Conservation Park and at the Dog Fence near Ceduna.

Rufous Fieldwren

Small bird of open arid shrubland and grasslands. Pale brown above, whitish below, with distinct pale supercilium, faint chest streaking, and long, cocked tail. Forages quietly on the ground or in thick vegetation, where difficult to see. Most easily observed when males sing in spring, as they perch up in the vegetation. They seem to inhabit small areas and locally that includes the Wanna Lookout and Whalers Way Cape Carnot area.

Southern Whiteface

Small bird with stubby bill. Upperparts grayish brown, underparts whitish with varying amounts of reddish-brown tone in flanks. White upperparts extend above the bill, hence the name. Common in the northern part of Eyre Peninsula where they often forage on the ground in small flocks. Arid Lands Garden, Gawler Ranges are two reliable areas for sightings.

Yellow-rumped Thornbill

Small bird with thin pointed bill. Noticeably larger than other Australian thornbills. Blackish tail and bright yellow rump distinctive. Some variation in plumage occurs across range. Inhabits a wide variety of habitats, including agricultural areas. Usually seen in small flocks and feeds mostly on the ground. Reasonably wide spread and common across the Peninsula.

Inland Thornbill

Small bird with thin pointed bill. Upperparts grey-brown, underparts off-white, with dark streaking on throat and breast, reddish-brown rump, white flecking on forecrown, and dark red eye. Often cocks tail upright. Inhabits dry woodland and scrubland such as Kapinnie, Lake Gilles and Mt Ive Station.

Red Wattlebird

Large, grey-brown, streaked honeyeater with small pink flaps of facial skin (wattles) and a bright yellow lower belly. Adult has black crown, red eye with white patch below, yellow belly and streaking across neck, back, and breast. Juvenile is more uniformly brown, with less defined facial wattles. Found pretty much everywhere across Eyre Peninsula. It can be quite aggressive and typically chases smaller species away from flowering trees. Has a wide variety of loud, harsh vocalizations.

Spiny-cheeked Honeyeater

Medium to large honeyeater of inland Eyre Peninsula. Its heavily streaked plumage, large pale cinnamon throat patch and upper-chest are notable. Also note the dark tip to an otherwise pale pinkish bill. A fairly common species across the drier inland parts including parks and gardens in towns. Its loud and smooth calls are a characteristic sound over much of inland Australia.

Singing Honeyeater

Medium-sized honeyeater with an olive-brown back and pale grey underparts. Often seen sitting at the tops of bushes. This species tends to favor inland locations, and is found in a wide variety of habitats. Widespread across Eyre Peninsula.

Purple-gaped Honeyeater

Small, plain honeyeater found in mallee woodland across Eyre Peninsula. Pillie Lake, Stamford Hill and Memory Cove in Lincoln National Park are spots to find this bird. Olive brown above, paler below, with gray crown and dark gray cheek patch edged in yellow, a thin purple line separating throat from ear coverts, and an entirely black bill. Calls include loud squeaks and a rattling trill.

Yellow-plumed Honeyeater

Adult birds primarily olive-brown with heavy grey streaking on the underparts. Named after its long, yellow neck feathers. Adults in the breeding season have an entirely black bill, whereas juveniles and nonbreeding adults have a yellow base to the bill. Juveniles lack breast streaking. Found from Cummins and north on the Peninsula in Mallee, feeding on Mistletoe and Eremophilas.

Brown-headed Honeyeater

Small honeyeater with brown cap. Primarily grey-brown with olive back and lighter underparts. Eye patch and band leading from the eye to back of the head are cream-colored. Common in eucalypt forests like Pinkawillinie and occasionally seen at Billy Lights Point in Port Lincoln where they are often very vocal and active. Forages in small groups.

White-eared Honeyeater

Medium-sized, olive-brown honeyeater with distinctive white “ears”. Adult has grey crown, black face extending down to upper breast, and clear white patch behind the eye. Juvenile lacks grey crown and black coloration on face and upper breast. Found in a wide range of habitats where trees are present, but typically found in dry eucalypt forests and woodlands. Lake Gillles is a good place to look for this species on the Eyre Peninsula. Mainly feeds on insects (often seen foraging in loose bark) but also eats nectar when present.

White-fronted Honeyeater

Small nomadic honeyeater of the outback, fairly common across arid parts of inland Australia. Photographed at the Port August Arid Lands and at the Dog Fence past Ceduna. Mottled grey and brown above, pale with dark streaks below, with bold white forehead, white moustache, black throat and upper chest, and yellow in primary feathers. Calls include a variety of pulsating electrical sounds and rapidly repeated sharp notes.

White-plumed Honeyeater

A small-to-medium-sized honeyeater named after the distinctive patch of white feathers on neck. Adults are primarily olive-grey with a yellow face. Breeding adults have an entirely black bill, whereas the bills of juveniles and nonbreeding adults have a yellow base. Found in open woodlands as well as in parks and gardens, typically near water. Females build a small, cup-shaped nest using grass and spider webs. This species is almost always present at the Port Augusta Arid Lands

New Holland Honeyeater

Distinctive honeyeater found in coastal heath and gardens. Underparts white with black streaking. Back, wings, and head black with yellow panels on tail and wings. Distinguished from the similar White-cheeked Honeyeater by presence of two smaller white patches on side of face, rather than one large patch. Feeds mostly on nectar but supplements its diet with insects. A very common bird around lower Eyre Peninsula.

Tawny-crowned Honeyeater

Brownish above, pale below, with white brow, tan crown, and black cheeks that extend down onto the breast, ending in black stippling. Yellow in primaries and salmon underwing evident in flight. Juvenile brownish above, paler below, with yellow in wing. Call a mournful piping whistle, with some tones resembling Spiny-cheeked Honeyeater. These birds are almost always seen on a trip to Whalers Way or the Coffin Bay National Park. Look for a bird sitting on top of bushes or sticks.


Tiny bird with an obvious pale eye-ring. Green head, green lores (area between bill and eye), yellowish throat, grey (or green) back, pale grey underparts, and green wings and tail. Quite common, seen in small flocks that feed in bushes and shrubs in the mid-story.

White-fronted Chat

A small bird patterned in black, white, and gray. Adult males have white underparts and face contrasting with an obvious black neck-band which extends around from the back of the head. Females have a grey head with white below the bill and a smaller black patch on the breast. The female’s underparts are less brilliant—more of a ‘dirty white.’ This species is typically found in small groups in salt marsh habitats such as around Sleaford Mere or behind the dunes between Point Gibbon and Cowell.

Diamond Firetail

Plump, tiny bird with olive to light brown back, grey head, white belly and throat, white-spotted black flanks, black breast band, and bright red bill in adult. In flight, bright red rump apparent. Dark between eyes and bill (lores). Juvenile plainer, with faint barring on flanks and greyish breast band. Inhabits open woodlands and can often be found at Point Boston, Koppio Picnic Ground, and in gardens around Winters Hill.

Zebra Finch

Small finch with bright orange bill and a distinctive black-and-white “moustache” mark. Adult male grey above, with barred greyish bib, rusty white-spotted flanks, and black-and-white tail pattern. Female smooth gray to buff on the chest and belly; juvenile similar but with a dark grey bill. Inhabits arid inland Australia, where often found in very large flocks. It does come to the North of Eyre Peninsula and is often seen at the Port Augusta Arid Lands Gardens.

Mistletoe Bird

Tiny, compact bird, a typical flower-pecker with a short bill and very short tail. Adult male glossy black above, with bright red chest, black stripe in center of belly, and red undertail coverts. Female grey above, pale below, with red undertail coverts. Juvenile plain, with orange bill base and undertail coverts. Flight call a high-pitched, thin “dzee,” song a series of high twittering notes. Can be found in a range of habitats especially when the Mistletoe is flowering. More common in the northern areas than down south of Eyre Peninsula.

Spotted Pardalote

Tiny colorful bird with short stubby bill, bright red patch on rump, and entirely white eyebrow. Note that the very front of the eyebrow is white (compare Striated Pardalote). Upperparts, including crown, primarily black covered in white spots. Voice is a very clear and repetitive double "ding". Very common in woodlands and eucalypt forest within its range, which covers most of Eyre Peninsula. Makes small nest burrows in soil banks.

Striated Pardalote

Tiny colorful bird with white stripes on the wing. Note that the white eyebrow transitions to yellow closer to the bill. Bill short and black, back grey, black cap with varied levels of white streaking. Found in a wide range of habitats nests in tree hollows and will happily adapt to nest boxes in gardens. Call, which varies across its range, is in some places a clear, repetitive “chew chew”.

White-winged Chough

Large, black, crow-sized bird with decurved bill and deep red eye. In flight, white in primaries very evident. Struts around in family groups on the ground in open woodland. A variety of calls includes a plaintive, descending whistle. A family group has been at the Port Lincoln Golf Course for many years.

Grey Currawong

Large, crow-sized bird, grey or black, with large black bill and yellow eye. In flight, white undertail, tail tip, and primary bases distinctive. Loud ringing, clinking song, reminiscent of some lyrebird sounds. Common in National Parks and Gardens.


Terrestrial songbird with long, strong legs and fairly long, thin bill. Male black above, white below, with white wing patch, white face patch, white eye, black bib, black eyeline; female has white throat and immature a dark eye. Inhabits parks, gardens, and urban areas. Aggressive and noisy, often attacking its own reflection in car mirrors and windows. Much smaller than Australian Magpie, with a smaller pale bill.

Dusky Woodswallow

Chunky bird with broad, triangular wings and short, decurved bill. Dark brownish-grey plumage overall, with white outer primaries distinctive in flight and at rest. Tail black with white tip broken by black at the center. Pale underwings contrast strongly with dark belly in flight. Usually in small flocks, in open woodland areas. quite common across the Peninsula.

White-browed Woodswallow

Chunky bird with broad, triangular wings and short, decurved bill. Male dark grey above, dark orange-brown below, with dark grey face and throat and white eyebrow. Female similar in pattern but less richly colored. Whitish underwings contrast powerfully with dark underparts in flight. Often forages very high up in flocks, sometimes mixed in with Masked Woodswallows. Rarely seen on Lower Eyre Peninsula but more common in the North.

Black-faced Woodswallow

Chunky bird with broad, triangular wings and short, decurved bill. Grey above, paler grey below, with a black between eye and bill. Tail black with white tip broken by black at the center. Pale underwings contrast with grey belly in flight. Often perches prominently on the top of dead shrubs and trees. An occasional visitor to southern Eyre Peninsula but more common in the northern areas.

Masked Woodswallow

Chunky bird with broad, triangular wings and short, decurved bill. Male dark grey above, pale below, with a black face and throat and very pale underwings. Female with fainter mask and slight rusty wash to breast. Often forages very high up in enormous flocks, sometimes mixed in with White-browed Woodswallows. An occasional visitor to southern Eyre Peninsula but more common in the northern areas.

Pied Butcherbird

Medium-sized ambush-hunter with a long grey bill with a dark, hooked tip. Adult has black head, upper breast, back, and tail that contrast starkly with white nape, breast, belly, and wing pattern. Immature similarly patterned in brown instead of black. Perches atop trees and poles. Beautiful fluting, whistling song, sometimes heard at night. More common in the northern part of the Peninsula rare visitor to the south.

Grey Butcherbird

Medium-sized ambush-hunter with a long grey bill with a dark, hooked tip. Black head and face with a white nape and throat. Upperparts dark grey, with white rump, mostly black wings (limited white), and black tail with narrow white tip. Rollicking, chuckling song. Common throughout.

Australian Magpie

Large black-and-white bird with long, pale bill with dark tip. Larger than butcherbirds and differently patterned. Black head, face, underparts, white nape, upperwing coverts, and rump, and either black or white back (subspecies vary in plumage). Widespread in farmland, parks, and open woodlands, where usually seen in pairs or groups strutting on the ground. Song a memorable fluty warble.

Australian Raven

Australian ravens are challenging to identify; concentrate on call, throat-hackles, behavior, and location. Calls typically end with a very long, drawn-out wail. The very long throat hackles lend it a bulbous-bearded appearance. Found throughout the Eyre Peninsula and often seen singly as opposed to the Little Raven which is often in family groups.

Little Raven

Australian ravens are challenging to identify; concentrate on call, throat-hackles, behavior, and location. Calls usually fairly fast and lack the drawn-out wail typical of Australian Raven. Long throat hackles lend it a slightly bearded appearance. Often flicks wings when calling. Found right across the Eyre Peninsula often in family groups.

Common Blackbird

Introduced. Adult male distinctive: glossy black overall with bright yellow bill and eye-ring. Female dark brown overall; slightly paler throat and breast often have faint darker spots and streaks. Juvenile in summer brown overall with pale spots on back, spotted breast; first-year male duller black than adult, with duller yellowish bill. Can be found in wooded habitats, parks, gardens, and farmland with hedges; often feeds in fields and on lawns. Rich caroling song often heard in urban and suburban neighborhoods with trees and hedges.

Rock Dove (aka Feral Pigeon)

Introduced. Fairly large pigeon with wild and feral populations throughout the world. True wild birds nest on cliffs and in caves from western Europe to central Asia. Pale grey overall with two bold black wingbars and iridescent purple and green on neck. Feral varieties are common in cities and farmland, often in large flocks. Variable plumage: some identical to wild-type birds, but can be completely black, white, or orangey-brown and any combination in between.

House Sparrow

Widespread and abundant in towns and around farm houses and sheds. Avoids dense woods. Flocks cluster in dense bushes, bustling around and chattering to one another. Males have smart black bibs, bright rufous napes, and stunningly patterned wings with brilliant buffs and browns. Underparts are pale pearly-grey. Females are plain brown with cute face and lighter eyebrow. Native to Eurasia; introduced to much of the rest of the world.

Common Starling

Stocky and dark overall with short tail and triangular wings. A close look reveals beautiful plumage: in breeding season, look for purple and green iridescence and a yellow bill. In winter, shows extensive white and buffy spots over the entire body. Juveniles are plain grayish-brown; note bill shape. Native to Eurasia; introduced to South Australia in 1881 and spread rapidly. Often abundant, gathering in large flocks in open agricultural areas and towns and cities. Makes a variety of squeaky vocalizations, and often mimics other species. Visits feeders, where it is often aggressive towards other birds.