The Native Birds of the Daintree Rainforest

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CassowaryThe Daintree Rainforest is well known as a top birdwatching spot thanks to its diverse selection of scenery that draws in bird species of all shapes and sizes.

With more than 430 species surrounding the Wet Tropics and the Great Barrier Reef locations in Australia, there are plenty of opportunities to catch a glimpse of weird and wonderful birds from all walks of life.

In the Wet Tropics region, there are 13 endemic bird species, including the Macleay’s Honeyeater, Pied Monarch, Lesser Sooty Owl, and Victoria’s Riflebird, which can all be found in the confines of the Daintree Rainforest.

Keen bird watchers flock to the rainforest every year in order to spot endangered and rare birds setting up their homes for the year or stopping off as they pass through onto another part of their journey. As well as the endemic species above, you can also find the buff-breasted Paradise Kingfishers, Black Bitterns, Mangrove Robins, Double-eyed Fig Parrot, and the Great-billed Heron. Blue-winged Kookaburra - Ian Worcester R

Many of these birds can be spotted in the rainforest throughout the year, but there are a few species that drop by every now and again, adding to the dense and interesting population of birds.

One of the most popular birds in the Daintree Rainforest National Park, though, is the Southern Cassowary. The forest is a hotspot for these unusual and prehistoric-looking beauties, with high numbers meaning there is a fair chance you’ll see one.

Growing between 1.5m and 2m high, these birds are intriguing with their bony helmets and the bright colours of their feathers. Their bright blue necks make them stand out amongst the foliage, while the pointed “cap” they wear on their heads is reminiscent of ancient dinosaur species.

Birds on the Ground

king fisherWith literally hundreds of bird species to keep an eye out for in the Daintree Rainforest, it is difficult to know where to even look. Most people assume you have to crane your neck and glance over the treetops, but there are numerous species that live on the ground.

The Cassowary is one of these species, but you can also see Australian Brush Turkeys, Red necked Cranes, Bush-Hens, Noisy Pittas, Orange Footed Scrub Fowls, and Emerald Ground Dove’s wandering around at ground level.

Birds in the Trees

There are still plenty of birds to spot in the trees, though. Species like the Buff-breasted Paradise Kingfisher, Pale-yellow Robins, Little Shrike Thrushes, Grey Whistlers, Spectacled Monarchs, and Varied Trillers can be spotted warbling away in the lush green canopies around the Daintree Rainforest.