Backyard Buddies

Great Callers

Bush stone-curlew

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Photo credit: Max Herford

Bush stone-curlew

The Bush stone-curlew lives on the ground and is mostly nocturnal. It is also called the Bush Thick-knee and is found all over Australia except in the most arid areas. It is unlikely to be mistaken for any other bird, with its long skinny legs and large yellow eyes with white eyebrows. They have a distinctive call – a long drawn-out wail heard mainly at dusk or at night. If you didn’t know what it was, it could sound quite eerie. Most cur..

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Channel-billed Cuckoo

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Photo credit: Bilby

Channel-billed Cuckoo

The Channel-billed Cuckoo has a strangled gargling call which seems to carry for kilometres. The loud 'kawk' followed by a more rapid, and softer 'awk-awk-awk is more commonly heard at night. Although not strictly nocturnal birds, they often call all night during the breeding season. Once their chicks have fledged and breeding has finished for the year, it's time for these migratory birds to leave Australia for the warmer climes of New G..

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Crested Bellbird

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Photo credit: David Cook

Crested Bellbird

Next time you go for a walk near some low shrubs and hear something chuckling 'chuck-a-chuck-chuck' in the grass, it might be the Crested Bellbird. The Crested Bellbird is found throughout most of Australia near acacia shrub lands, eucalypt woodlands, spinifex and saltbush plains. The grey-brown and buff colouring of the Crested Bellbird means they are more often heard than seen. They blend easily into their surroundings and have th..

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Golden Whistler

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Photo credit: CSIRO

Golden Whistler

The Golden Whistler is an insect eating bird and the male is not easily confused for another species with its bright yellow colouring. The female, however, is mostly grey but still a very pretty little bird. During spring, the male Golden Whistler song can be heard frequently. The males sing so beautifully and so loudly to court and impress their potential mate and also to deter other male Golden Whistlers away from their territory. They..

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Grey Shrike-thrush

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Photo credit: Ken Stepnell/OEH

Grey Shrike-thrush

The Grey Shrike-thrush, also known as a Grey Thrush, has a beautifully clear and melodious, rhythmic song. Their appearance is not so spectacular however, being mostly grey or brown, depending on the area it lives in. They are found all across Australia except in the most arid regions. The call of the Grey Shrike-thrush varies throughout its range and between individual birds. Their common calls include 'pip-pip-pip-pip-hoee' and 'pur-pu..

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Jacky Winter

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Photo credit: Ken Stepnell/OEH

Jacky Winter

The Jacky Winter's rapid 'chwit-chwit-chwit-chwit-peter-peterpeter' call can be heard clearly from quite a distance and you will start hearing it often from July each year, when they start to breed. Jacky Winters, Microeca fascinans, are one of the only Australian songbirds to call so vigorously during winter. They are small insect eaters with three sub-species that live on mainland Australia and in south east New Guinea. A good place..

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Singing Honeyeater

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Photo credit: Wayne Butterworth

Singing Honeyeater

From mid year to the end of summer, you may find a Singing Honeyeater searching for a mate in your garden, park or local bushland. They breed from July to February each year, in flimsy open nests built from grasses and often lined with hair or root fibres. Their nests are a target of the Pallid Cuckoo, who like almost all cuckoos, looks for an existing nest to lay their eggs in instead of building their own. Singing Honeyeaters, Lichenos..

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