Australian Bird Families
Australia is home to over 800 species of bird and of these around 350 are native. In pre-historic times songbirds began their worldwide conquest in Australia and now make up half of the world’s 10,000 bird species. Australian songbird families such as the Honeyeaters proliferated to make use of the plentiful nectar from eucalypt and paperbark trees.
Ducks may be dabblers, filter-feeders or diving ducks. They are all birds of the wetlands with waterproof plumage, webbed feet and flattened bills.
Finches are small birds widely spread across Australia’s shrubby forests and grasslands. Finches have short, thick, pointed beaks suited for their primary diet of seeds.
Half of the world’s 187 honeyeaters are found in Australia, including the Australian chats, myzomelas, friarbirds, wattlebirds, and miners. Many have a brush-tipped tongue to collect nectar from flowers.
Australia has two parrot familys; the “true parrots” family and the cockatoos. Parrots are large colourful birds with powerful bills for cracking seeds and nuts and also feed on fruit, nectar and sometimes insects.
The Petroicidae family is an Australasian family that includes Robins, Scrub-robins and Flycatchers. Robins are compact birds with short bills and feed on insects, sometimes supplemented with seeds.
Australasia is the global centre of pigeon diversity and Australia has over 20 native species of the pigeon family, the Columbidae. Pigeons are stout-bodied birds with short necks, their short slender bills are suited to their diet of seeds, fruit, and plants.