Birds in my Townsville garden

This list is now closed, since we moved about two kilometres away in February 2019; see for a similar list from the new location.

This index of birds in my Mundingburra (suburban Townsville) garden was compiled with two functions in mind:

  • As a resource for anyone wondering about birds around Townsville. It includes most of the common urban birds of the region and may be a quicker reference than the comprehensive guides such as The Slater Field Guide to Australian Birds.
  • As an index to the birds I have written about on Green Path.

The birds we see most often are in bold type, (post) links lead to a blog post with a photo and (pic) links go to a photo without much relevant text. Most of my linked photos were taken in my garden but some are shots I have taken elsewhere. If I haven’t yet posted here about the species I have linked to information on Birds in Backyards (B in B) or photos on Birdway.

Finally, my title is not strictly correct, since the limits of ‘my garden’ are fuzzy. ‘Seen from my garden’ – including birds flying high overhead, foraging on the nature strip or perched on the powerlines – is more accurate; the total is about 50 species.

Last updated April 2019

1. Honeyeaters and Friarbirds

  • Brown Honeyeater (post) (pic) (pic)
  • White-gaped Honeyeater (post) (pic) (pic) (pic) (pic) (pic)
  • Blue-faced Honeyeater (post) (pic pic – juveniles)
  • White-throated Honeyeater (pic – Town Common)
  • Yellow Honeyeater (post – Riverway) (pic)
  • Helmeted (Hornbill) Friarbird (post) (pic) (post) the only Friarbird I saw here until late 2015
  • Little Friarbird (post) (post) (pic) (pic) since Sept. 2015

2. Parrots and Cockatoos

  • Rainbow Lorikeet (post) (post) (post) (pic) (pic)
  • Scaly-breasted Lorikeet, Trichoglossus chlorolepidotus (post) (post – Oak Valley)
  • Sulphur-crested cockatoo (post)
  • The wonderful Black Cockatoos (post – Ross Creek) are seen often in Gill Park and along Ross River but I’ve only seen them here once – a trio flying steadily overhead in July 2017.

 3. Pigeons and Doves

  • Peaceful Dove (post) (pic) (pic)
  • Torresian Pigeon aka Pied Imperial Pigeon (post) (post) (pic)
  • Wompoo Pigeon aka Wompoo Fruit-dove (B in B)
  • Spotted Turtle-dove (post) (post)
  • Feral pigeon (pic – Ross Creek) a surprisingly rare visitor

4. Cuckoos and Coucals

The Koel and Channel-bill are both wet-season visitors to the region and neither of the other two are regulars in my garden.

  • Common Koel aka Eastern Koel Eudynamys orientalis (post) (pic – female)
  • Channel-billed Cuckoo (post) (post)
  • Brush Cuckoo Cacomantis variolosus (post)
  • Coucal aka Pheasant Coucal (post) (pic)

5. Kingfishers and Kookaburras

  • Sacred Kingfisher (post) (pic)
  • Collared Kingfisher (Birdway)
  • Blue-winged Kookaburra (pic) (I haven’t recorded a Laughing Kookaburra here but they may well have visited. See this post for both species.)

6. Cuckoo-shrikes and Trillers – Campephagidae

  • Black-faced Cuckoo-shrike Coracina novaehollandiae and White-bellied Cuckoo-shrike C. papuensis (post)
  • Varied Triller Lalage leucomela (post)

7. Flycatchers and Monarchs – Monarchidae

  • Black-faced Monarch Monarcha melanopsis (post)
  • Leaden flycatcher Myiagra rubecula (post – male) (pic – female) (pic – male)
  • Magpie-lark, aka Pee-wee or Pee-wit (Birdway)

8. Other regular visitors

  • Yellow-bellied Sunbird, aka Olive-backed Sunbird  (post) (post)
  • Spice Finch (post – Ross River parklands) (pic)
  • Common Myna aka Indian Mynah (B in B)
  • Spangled Drongo (pic) (pic) (pic)
  • Figbird (post) (post – Ross River parklands)
  • Bowerbird (pic – Airlie Beach)
  • Plover aka Masked Lapwing (B in B) often on our nature strip but rarely in our yard
  • White Ibis (pic) (pic) the only waterbird we see regularly.
  • Curlew (post – Hervey’s Range) (post – Mundingburra) often on our nature strip but rarely in our yard
  • Scrub Turkey (post)
  • Rainbow Bee-eater (post) (pic) (pic) (pic)

9. Other occasional visitors

  • White-breasted Woodswallow Artamus leucorynchus (Birdway)
  • Mistletoebird Dicaeum hirundinaceum (post) (B in B)
  • House sparrow (post) a surprisingly rare visitor
  • Willie wagtail (Birdway) (post) more common along Ross River
  • Magpie (B in B) a surprisingly rare visitor
  • Baza aka Crested Hawk (post)
  • Barking Owl (Birdway) often heard but never seen
  • Tawny Frogmouth (B in B)
  • Brown Goshawk (post)
  • Sea Eagle (post – Ross River parkland) seen high overhead (pic)
  • Brahminy kite (Birdway) not so high overhead as the Sea-eagle
  • Black Kite (post – Hervey’s Range) at tree-top height over the back lawn
  • Pelican (Birdway) flying high overhead (pic)
  • Egret (probably Intermediate, A. intermedia, but maybe Little) foraging in my banana patch during a very dry (pre-Christmas) period.
  • Pacific Black Duck (Anas superciliosa)

10 Missing

This section doesn’t try to mention all the rest of Australia’s 900 species or even the 400 recorded in our region, only species and families well known around the city but not sighted in my garden. We see no grassland birds or shore birds at all, and virtually no waterbirds (we’re halfway between Ross River and Anderson Park but too far from either of them for the waders, herons, ducks and geese). Most links in this list take you to family index pages on Birdway.

Postscript, October 2019

Our new garden attracts a very similar range of birdlife, as one would expect, and I have been recording it in this blog post.