Fraser Island Birds

Fraser Island has some 354 recorded bird species and a number of the island's birds are considered rare or vulnerable. Many birds, subject to international bird migratory treaties, visit Fraser Island during the year.

Fraser Island provides a range of habitats and it is only through the conservation of these habitats that the island can retain its rich abundance of bird life. 

The best times to observe birds are early mornings after sunrise and mid to late afternoons and a great range of birds can also be seen by walking through a variety of vegetation types.

Nocturnal birds, such as tawny frogmouths (Podargus strigoides) and owls (Tyto sp.) can sometimes be observed at night, swooping silently down from the trees to catch prey. During the day the tawny frogmouth roosts on branches and is difficult to see as its mottled grey and brown plumage helps it to resemble a dead branch or stump.

Eighteen birds of prey species have been observed on Fraser Island. One of the largest of these raptors is the white-bellied sea eagle (Haliaeetus leucogaster) which has a wing span of two metres or more.

Many wading birds are seen on the island and some migrate from as far away as Siberia. The largest migratory wader, the eastern curlew, (Numenius madagascariensis) can be seen from August to March and whimbrels (N. phaeopus) from September to April. A resident wader, the pied oyster catcher (Haematopus longirostris); can often be seen at low tide looking for bivalve molluscs.

Sea birds are often seen diving into the ocean after fish. Cormorants (Phalacrocorax spp.) and darters (Anhinga melanogaster) can be spotted on yacht masts and branches drying their wings.

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