The Native Birds of the Daintree Rainforest

The Native Birds of the Daintree Rainforest

Written by: Cameron Ward

Published: 04/07/2016

Reading time: 3 mins

The Daintree Rainforest is well known as a top birdwatching spot thanks to its diverse selection of bird species of all shapes and sizes.

There are more than 430 species of bird within the Wet Tropics. This abundance of birds means there are plenty of opportunities to see weird and wonderful species.

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. You can find all of them in the beautiful Daintree.

Keen bird watchers flock to the rainforest every year in order to spot endangered and rare bird. Watch as they set up their homes for the year or stop for a break as they pass through on a longer journey. As well as the endemic species above there are plenty of common species too. Look for buff-breasted Paradise Kingfishers, Black Bitterns, Mangrove Robins, Double-eyed Fig Parrot, and the Great-billed Heron.

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. This causes a constant rotation of 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

With 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.

Cameron Ward
Cameron Ward
Managing Director at Sightseeing Tours Australia

Cameron Ward turned his travel passion into a thriving Australian tourism business. Before he co-founded his own business, Sightseeing Tours Australia, he was enjoying being a Melbourne tour guide. Even now, Cameron delights in helping visitors from all around the world get the most out of their incredible Australian trip. You’ll see Cameron leading tours or writing about his favourite Australian places where he shares his local insights.