Yungaburra Birdlife

Bird watching in Yungaburra

Yungaburra is situated at the heart of the Atherton Tablelands, much of which is in the Wet Tropics World Heritage area.

There are a wide diversity of habitats, from upland rainforest, wet sclerophyll forest and eucalypt woodlands, to wetlands and farmlands. This area is famous for its animal and bird watching.

The Wet Tropics is home to nearly half of Australia's birds which means that the region harbours more than 370 bird species, in a relatively small area.

A high proportion of these are 'endemic', found nowhere else in the world.

Below you will find details on some of our endemic birds, bird watching areas,
and links to a bird list for the Atherton Tablelands and Yungaburra.





Why not benefit from the expertise of a professional guide? They will know exactly where to find that elusive bird or help with identification of species.

See our tours page for more.

Endemic Birds of the Wet Tropics

12 species are known to be strictly endemic to the Wet Tropics and 9 of them are from the uplands with the other 4 ranging down to lower altitudes.

The Upland endemic birds are: Tooth-billed Bowerbird, Golden Bowerbird, Bridled Honeyeater, Fern Wren, Atherton Scrubwren, Mountain Thornbill, Grey-headed Robin, Chowchilla, Bower's Shrike-thrush.

The other three endemics are: Macleay's Honeyeater, Victoria's Riflebird, Pied Monarch.

There are another ten birds with subspecies restricted to the Wet Tropics area and these are: Australian King Parrot , Double-eyed Fig Parrot , Pale-yellow Robin, Yellow-breasted Boatbill, Grey Fantail, Eastern Whipbird, Brown Gerygone, Spotted Catbird, Satin Bowerbird, Boobook Owl.

Here is some information on a few:

Victoria's Riflebird

Part of the Bird of Paradise Family, the male bird is velvet black, with beautiful iridescent green on head and neck and tail, while the female and juvenile birds are brown.

The male riflebird is renown for his spectacular courting display. He throws its head back, opening his beak wide to reveal the bright yellow inside, stretching its wings out and upward in a rounded fashion. He then sways back and forth in a mesmerising dance, calling loudly to impress as many females as possible.

Victorias Riflebird - copyright J Wright
Victorias Riflebird Display - copyright J Wright

Golden Bowerbird

This small bowerbird resides in the Wet Tropics upland forests above 800 metres. The mature male has golden colourings, with the female olive-brown and ash-grey.

The bowerbird males go to great lengths to attract many females each breeding season by constructing a 'maypole' bower. The bower is based around two tall towers that may be up to three metres high and one metre apart with a display pole perched between them. The completed structure is then adorned with flowers, lichen and berries. Males even go to the trouble of raiding other males' bowers to steal their decorations.

Golden Bowerbirdi - copyright Holmes
Golden Bowerbird - copyright Holmes




Places to see birds

There are many excellent sites for birdwatching near Yungaburra, on the Atherton Tablelands.

Yungaburra Township

The Yungaburra Township and Petersen Creek are great birdwatching areas with both rainforest and open eucalypt forest species.

Lake Eacham Section
Crater Lakes National Park

490 Ha with several types of upland tropical rainforest. Wet Tropics endemic species seen here are; Southern Boobook, Atherton Scrubwren, Mountain Thornbill, Macleay's Honeyeater, Bridled Honeyeater, Grey-headed Robin, Chowchilla, Bower's Shrike-thrush, Pied Monarch, Victoria's Riflebird, Double-eyed Fig Parrots & Tooth-billed Bowerbird.

Lake Barrine Section
Crater Lakes National Park

Wet tropics rainforest and a lake that is favorable for water birds. Wet Tropics endemics seen here are; Lesser Sooty Owl, Fernwren, Atherton Scrubwren, Macleay's Honeyeater, Bridled Honeyeater, Grey-headed Robin, Chowchilla, Bower's Shrike-thrush, Pied Monarch, Victoria's Riflebird, Tooth-billed Bowerbird.

MT Hypipamee National Park

Features such endemics as Fernwrens, Golden Bowerbirds, and Mountain Thornbirds.

Curtain Fig State Forest

Favourites are the Bower's Shrike Thrush, Rufous Owl and Metallic Starlings, Double-eyed Fig-Parrots.

Hasties Swamp National Park

Just on the outskirts of Atherton on the Herberton Rd, this wetlands has a bird hide for viewing the many water species. Migratory species such as Magpie Geese, Sarus Cranes and Brolgas join ducks, and other water species.

Bromfield Swamp

Near Malanda is good for early morning or late afternoon viewing. From July to November you can see Brolgas and Sarus Cranes.

Lake Tinaroo and the Danbulla State Forest Drive

A number of spots around the lake are very good. The reforested area of Pelican Point is a popular nesting area, you may see Pelicans, ducks, Black-shouldered Kites and other birds of prey, Purple Swamphens, White-throated Gerygones and large numbers of Golden-headed Cisticolas. Around other areas of shoreline you will see kingfishers and Comb-crested Jacanas (lotus birds), plus other birds already mentioned.