My Top 10 Classic Australian Birds
- Rainbow Lorikeet
- Black Swan
- Fairy Wren
So this is my Top 10 list of classic Australian Birds and, hopefully, I’ll eventually get to see them all. I’ve chosen birds that I closely associate with Australia, and so will many other people. It isn’t in any order in particular, and there are several birds (such as the lyrebird or the zebra finch) that could easily have made it onto the list, if only there was space.
1 The Galah. Very common, very easy to see and a classic Australian bird. Gregarious, loud and amusing, and they always make me smile.
2 Like many people, I can remember singing ‘Kookaburra’ in junior school and learning about his laugh, so I’ve always associated him with Australia. His ‘laughing’ is fantastic to hear.
3 Rod Hull. Need I say more.
4 One of my favourite David Attenborough documentaries was on bowerbirds and their amazing ‘bowers’, so I associated them with Australia long before I came here. Much less common and much harder to see than many of the birds on the list, but hopefully one day I will get to see one.
5 The rainbow Lorikeet is surely one of the most colourful birds on the planet. Like the Galah, it is confident, easy to spot and never fails to make me smile.
6 Many people from the UK will have seen black swans there, but they make it onto the list partly because they are the only swans in Australia, and partly because they are the state symbol for Western Australia.
7 The Pelican. We all seem to know what one looks like even if we’ve never seen one in the wild. The reason pelicans so often feature in cartoons is that they look so comical. So wouldn’t it be great to see one in its ‘home’.
8 I’ve always wanted to see wild penguins but I also hate the cold. Imagine my delight in finding that I can see them in sunshine and 30 degrees C – who’d have thought it? And they also live just one hour’s drive from me so I don’t even have to go on a plane to see them.
9 To be honest, before I arrived here, I hadn’t actually heard of the fairy wren. It turns out that it is very dear to the Australians’ hearts. It features in people’s homes on ornaments and on mugs etc much as a robin or a blue tit would in Britain. Very pretty and very Australian.
10 Until I came out here, honeyeater was just a name of an Australian bird. It wasn’t until I looked it up in my bird book that I discovered just how many different honeyeaters there are. They almost warrant a separate book. So I wonder how many types I’ll be able to see.