White-winged Fairy-wren

There are many species of wrens that can be found at Lake Ranfurly!

White Winged Fairy Wren

Scientific Name: Malurus leucopterus

Common Names: White-winged Fairy-wren [most common] , Black-and-White, Blue-and-White or White-backed Fairy-wren.

Distinguishing Features:  The White-winged Fairy-wren is a small sized bird. It is black, white and blue. The black part is the neck and the blue parts are the underbelly and head. The wings are white. The female has a greyish blue tail with a grey-brown crown, back and wings. The underbelly is white with the flanks a dull buff colour.   The clutch is 2-4 eggs with a nesting period of 28 days the incubation is 14 days. The minimum size is 11cm and the maximum size is 13cm. The average size is 12cm with the average weight being 8g. The young birds look like the female.

Habitat: It can be found nesting in dense, thorny bush. It also lives in shrubland throughout arid and semi-arid areas.

Diet: It eats insects, beetles and spiders as well as some seeds.

Status: It is secure in Victoria

Interesting Facts: In 1824 the White-winged Fairy-wren was first named, ‘Merion leucoptere’. Two French naturalists discovered this species.



Rainbow Lorikeet

The 2006 bushfires in the Grampians raged for more than a week, burning 50 percent of the park’s eucalypt woodlands, the habitat of the rainbow Lorikeet. before this even this parrot was not seen in Mildura. The Rainbow Lorikeets went searching for nectar and pollen and landed in the Mildura area. This has caused great concern to the local farmers.

Fading Colours Updated by Charlie

Scientific Name: Trichoglossus haematodus

Common Name: Rainbow Lorikeet

Distinguishing Features: The Rainbow Lorikeet is unmistakable with its bright red beak and colourful plumage. Both sexes look alike, with a blue (mauve) head and belly, green wings, tail and back, and an orange/yellow breast. This medium sized member of the parrot family grows to about 32 cm long.

Habitat: They can be found in rainforests,woodlands and well-treed urban areas. They are often seen in loud and fast-moving flocks, or in communal roosts at dusk.

Diet: It forages on the flowers of shrubs or trees to harvest nectar and pollen, but also eats fruits, seeds and some insects.

Status: Secure

Interesting Facts: As their name suggests, rainbow lorikeets are one of the most colourful and beautiful birds in the world.  Like many parrots, they lay their eggs in a tree hollow.  They most often lay 2 eggs.  Only the female incubates the eggs, but both mum and dad help with feeding the young.
Rainbow lorikeets are a very noisy and common species and is found in small groups along the east coast of Australia, eastern Indonesia, Papua New Guinea, Vanuatu, New Caledonia and the Solomon Islands.  I see them a lot near my house and school.



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Major Mitchell’s Cockatoo

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Major Mitchell's Cockatoo by Noah

Scientific Name: Lophochroa leadbeateri

Common Name: Major Mitchell’s Cockatoo or Pink Cockatoo

Distinguishing Features: The Major Mitchell’s Cockatoo while small is stunning coloured with light and dark pink on its body. When the crest is spread it has a wide red band with a yellow stripe though the middle. It has a dark black eye. Both the male and female of the species help to incubate the eggs and then when hatched preen and care for the chicks.

Habitat: They prefer living in River Red Gum or Black Box trees.

Diet: They eat seeds from grasses, fruits, roots, bulbs and insect larvae.

Status: Endangered

Interesting Facts: The male and female chew on a tree hollow to make it bigger.

The scientific name, leadbeateri, is taken from Benjamin Leadbeater (1760 – 1837), who was a London natural history merchant in his day.



Whiskered Tern

The Whiskered Terns were once known as ‘Marsh Terns’, and they can usually be seen in freshwater and brackish wetlands inland and coastal regions.

Whiskered Tern

Scientific Name: Chlidonias hybrida

Common Name: Whiskered Tern

Distinguishing Features: It has a forked tail, white cheeks and under belly. It has grey wings and a black crown. It also has red feet and a red beak. 279mm is the average size. The male and female look the same.

Habitat: It lives in freshwater swamps.

Diet: They feed on small fish, amphibians and insects.

Interesting Facts: It doesn’t like to nest on smooth surfaces, it likes to nest on roughrafts of vegetation.



Common Bronzewing

Don’t be deceived by the name; this bird has many colours!

A Wing of Bronze Tyler Mellberg

Scientific Name: Phaps chalcoptera.

Common Name: Common Bronzewing.

Distinguishing Feature: They look like a medium-sized pigeon. The males have yellow-white foreheads and a pink breast. They have a white line below and around their eyes. They also have patches of blue, green and red on their wings. Their call is commonly a deep ‘oom’ repeated several times.

Habitat: They build untidy nests low down in trees and bushes. Any habitat in Australia apart from the most barren areas and densest rainforests.

Diet: They eat seeds and vegetable matter.

Status: Least concern.

Interesting Facts: They secrete a special milk like substance from the crop for their young chicks.



Black Kite

The Black Kite is a small bird of prey.

Black Kite

Scientific Name: Milvus migrans

Common Name: Black Kite

Distinguishing Features: The Black Kite is a medium sized bird of prey with both males and females being similar. The Black Kite has a distinguishable forked tail and angled wings. It has a light brown bar on its shoulder and the plumage is mostly dark brown. On its head, neck and underbelly it is a rufous colour. It has a dark brown eye and a black bill.  Young Black Kites are generally lighter in colour than the adults.

Habitat: The Black Kite lives in open plains and timbered watercourses.

Diet: It feeds on carrion (dead animals), lizards, insects and small mammals. It is a known scavenger and can be found in landfill sites in outback towns. When there are bushfires, Black Kites gather in flocks and wait for small animals to escape the flames.

Status: Secure

Interesting Facts: The Black Kite is just smaller than the Red Kite and from a distance looks black which gives it the name Black Kite.



Red-capped Robin

The Red-capped Robin is a small bird with a distinctive red cap!

Red Capped Robin by Tynan

Scientific Name: Petroica goodenovii

Common Name: Red-capped Robin

Distinguishing Features: The male and the female both have a red cap, though the males are much brighter. The male has a red chest and a black and white body. The female has a brown, white, black and grey body. They have beady eyes and are tiny.

Habitat: The Red-capped Robin likes to live inland in habitats such as tall trees or shrubs. It prefers woodlands such as eucalypt, acacia and cypress pine. It can be found in the arid and semi-arid areas. Sometimes it can be seen on farms, as well as vineyard and orchards.

Diet: It eats small insects and invertebrates.

Status: They are not threatened.

Interesting Facts: The Red-capped Robin is one of the most brightly coloured birds in Australian desert. It is usually 12 centimetres long. Their breeding season is June to January.



Yellow-billed Spoonbill

The Yellow-billed Spoonbill is a water bird found at Lake Ranfurly.

Yellow-billed Spoonbill Zoe

Scientific Name: Platalea flavipes

Common Name: Yellow-billed Spoonbill

Distinguishing Features:The Yellow-billed Spoonbill is a large white bird with a yellow chest and a spoon like shape to its bill. It is tall and it has yellow feet and legs.The Yellow-billed Spoonbills minimum size is 76cm and its maximum size is 91cm but the average size is about 84cm. Their breeding seasons in the south is July to November and in the north its March till May.

Habitat:The Yellow-billed Spoonbill is found across Australia in suitable habitats,particularly in the north and well-watered inland areas, but is less common in coastal regions.

Diet: The Yellow-billed Spoonbill eats aquatic insects and larvae, sweeping its bill from side to side..  

Status: Secure

Interesting Facts: Young birds are similar to adults, but have black markings on the inner flight feathers.

References:http://www.birds in


Australian Magpie

This bird is an icon of Australia and certainly well-known to all of us that have been swooped!

Australian Magpie

Scientific Name: Cracticus tibicen

Common Name: Australian Magpie

Distinguishing Features: The Australian Magpie is black and white. Depending on the range its plumage patterns can vary. Its nape of its neck, upper tail and shoulder are white in males while they are grey in females. Usually the rest of the body is black. Its eye is a chestnut brown in the adult birds.

Habitat: It is found in many different habitats and likes living in trees.

Diet: It walks along the ground searching for insects and their larvae. The Australian Magpie likes humans giving than tidbits! Sometimes they are cheeky enough to go into open houses and beg for food.

Status: Secure

Interesting Facts: The Australian Magpie swoops when they have young to protect them so stay away from them in breeding season!




Black Swan



This bird is very distinctive and is the bird emblem of Western Australia.

Black Swan

Scientific Name: Cygnus atratus

Common Name: Black Swan

Distinguishing Features: Adult Black Swans are mostly black, with a touch of white on their wings which you  can only see when they’re flying. The bill is a bright red with a white patch at the front. Younger Black Swans are a grey colour and have black tips on their wings. Adult females are smaller than the adult males. When it’s not breeding season, they travel a large distance. The Black Swan flys at night and will rest during the day with other swans.

Habitat: Black Swans prefer larger salt or fresh waterways and permanent wetlands. the swan requires at least 40m clearwater for take off. Black Swans are found throughout Australia but are more common in the south.

Diet: The Black Swan is a vegetarian, they eat mostly algae and weeds.

Status:  Secure.

Interesting Facts:The Black Swan is the only all black coloured swan in the world.



Peaceful Dove

The Peaceful Dove is found near water, in open, grassy forests and woodlands. It has a far-carrying call and may be continuously. The birds are often perched on an exposed branch in a tree or shrub.

Peaceful Dove is True to Its Name

Drawing birds

Drawing birds

Scientific Name: Geopelia striata

Common Name: Peaceful Dove

Distinguishing Features: The Peaceful Dove is a small dove, with a long tail and wedge shaped wings. The soft part above the bill is all blue- grey. The upper body is brown-grey, with dark barring. The bird head and lower throat is a softer grey.  Their feet are a deep pink.

Habitat: They are found in open dry woodlands with a grassy understorey, and edges of rainforest. They also like drier areas. They are usually seen in pairs or small parties far from the water.

Diet:  They feed on the ground in open, bare areas. They feed on small seeds of grasses, and sometimes small insects. They need to drink at least twice a day.

Status: Secure

Interesting Facts: The Breeding season is from August to April. It’s minimum size is 20cm, and it’s maximum size is 24cm.



White-plumed Honeyeater

The Helmeted honey-eater is endangered not this particular bird!

Drawing birds

Drawing birds

White Plumed Honeyeater

Scientific Name: Lichenostomus penicillatus.

Common Name: White-plumed Honeyeater.

Distinguishing Features: The White-plumed Honeyeater is a medium-sized honeyeater with a slightly down-curved bill. It is yellowish-olive to grey above, pale brown-grey below, with a yellowish head. Their eyes are a very dark brown and are almost black. They have a white neck plume.

Habitat: The White-plumed Honeyeater is found in open forests and woodlands, often near water and wetlands.

Diet: They like eating nectar, insects, lerps, honeydew, some seeds, manna and fruit.

Status: Common on the mainland of Australia and not present in Tasmania.

Interesting Facts: The White-plumed Honeyeater is one of the first birds to call in the morning and the last to call in the evening.



Yellow Thornbill

All thornbills are small birds, however, the Yellow Thornbill is one of the smallest. It used to be known as the ‘Little Thornbill’.

Yellow Thornbill Jayden

Scientific Name:Acanthiza nana

Common Name: Yellow Thornbill

Distinguishing Features: The Yellow Thornbill is a small to medium-sized bird and the most yellow of the thornbills. It is greenish-olive on the back, with white streaking on the cheeks and ears, and has pale to bright yellow underbelly. There is a reddish brown tone on the chin and throat. The young birds are similar but dull.

Habitat: They nest in forests, woodlands and shrublands with acacias and paperbark plants.

Diet: They mainly insects but sometimes seeds

Status: Common

Interesting Facts: They like established areas more than new urban developments. They look like their close cousin the Yellow-rumped Thornbill but instead the Yellow Thornbill has more yellow on the underbelly.



Welcome Swallow

The Welcome Swallow is very versatile bird and can live and survive in many different places!

Ethan a Swallow's Fight

Scientific Name: Hirundo neoxena.

Common Name: Welcome Swallow.

Distinguishing Features: They have a deeply forked tail, of which the females are slightly longer than the males. They have a metallic blue-back and orange face and neck.

Habitat: They live in cities, farmlands, paddocks, deserts, forests, grasslands, wetlands, rivers, lakes, beaches and even off the coast.

Diet: They eat insects and bugs.

Status: Secure.

Interesting Facts: Welcome Swallows can live almost everywhere. They can even live on buildings and in the desert!



Rainbow Lorikeet

In the past few weeks I have been researching the bird, ‘Rainbow Lorikeet. They are 25-30cm tall and have a wing span of 17cm. Rainbow lorikeets eat fruit, pollen, and nectar from eucalyptus plants. The rainbow Lorikeet was originally released in Western Australia and is now classified as a pest. It is usually found around rain forests, woodlands and coastal bush.

If you cannot see my bird fact file easily click on the box below the file for a full screen image.

The Rainbow Lorikeet