Boroondara is home to many native birds.

If you find an injured native bird, contact Wildlife Victoria: (03) 8400 7300 or Wildlife Victoria.

Many native birds are threatened by:

  • cats, dogs and foxes
  • the loss of their natural habitat.

You can help protect native birds by:

  • keeping cats in at night
  • providing a shallow dish of water in a high, safe place for birds to drink and bathe in
  • planting nectar-rich flora
  • planting dense plants to provide shelter.

Here are some of the native birds you might see in Boroondara.

Azure kingfisher

Scientific name: Alcedo azurea.

This is one of the smaller Kingfisher birds. It is related to the Kookaburra.

You can find it:

  • along the banks of well vegetated, slow-flowing rivers
  • nesting in a burrow built into the river bank
  • along the Yarra River.

It grows up to 19cm in body length and has a wing span up to 30cm.

How to spot an azure kingfisher

This bird has:

  • distinct azure blue head, neck and upper parts of its body
  • orange stripes on either side of its body.

The male and female look similar. The younger birds have a darker cap and their colours are generally not as vibrant.

It is a solitary bird, sometimes seen in pairs. It catches prey by diving from overhanging perches into the water.

Eastern spinebill

Scientific name: Acanthorhynchus tenuirostris.

The eastern spinebill belongs to the Honeyeater family of birds.

It grows to 13cm to 16cm.

The eastern spinebill is vulnerable in Boroondara.
Eastern Spinebill

Eastern Spinebill. Image by Ian Moodie.

You can find it in:

  • Mountain ash forests
  • woodlands
  • heathlands
  • local gardens and parklands.

It feeds in the shrub layer on nectar and insects.

Females build cup-shaped nests made from twigs, grass and bark, bound by hair and spiders web.

How to spot an eastern spinebill

The eastern spinebill has:

  • a fine, long curved beak to get nectar from indigenous plants
  • white breast and throat
  • black and grey the wings and lower back
  • buff colour underparts and upper back.

The male has a distinct grey black crown that extends down either side of its breast.

The female looks similar but with less distinct markings.

Nankeen night heron

Scientific name: Nycticorax calendonicus.

The Nankeen night heron is a seasonally nomadic bird.

It grows to around 60cm in height. It is fawn and white coloured.

The Nankeen night heron is endangered in Boroondara.
    Nankeen Night Heron

    Nankeen Night Heron. Image by Ian Moodie.

    You can find it near:

    • Willsmere-Chandler Park
    • wetlands in Lewin Reserve
    • the Yarra River
    • mangroves
    • riverine floodplains
    • billabongs
    • urban parks.

    It is a night-time hunter and eats insects, crustaceans, fish and frogs.

    It breeds in colonies alongside egrets and cormorants in trees above water. Both parents incubate the eggs.

    How to protect the nankeen night heron

    You can help protect it by keeping:

    • to the tracks when near billabongs and waterways
    • your dogs on leads when near billabongs and waterways.

    Purple swamphen

    Scientific name: Porphyrio porphyrio.

    The Purple swamphen is a medium-sized water bird.

    It has a:

    • broad dark blue/purple collar
    • dark blue chest
    • dusky black body.
    Purple Swamphen

    Purple Swamphen. Image by Ian Moodie.

    You can find it:

    It makes a nests from trampled weeds. It usually lives in small groups. All family members help to incubate and care for the young.

    It is a competent swimmer and flies to avoid predators.

    How to protect the purple swamphen

    You can help protect it by:

    • staying on walking tracks when near billabongs and waterways
    • keeping your dogs on leads when near billabongs and waterways.

    Rainbow lorikeet

    Scientific name: Triglossus haematodus

    The Rainbow lorikeet has distinct colourful plumage.

    It is a medium-sized bird and grows to 25cm to 30cm.

    Two brightly coloured birds, with blue, red, yellow and green feathers, nesting in a tree

    Rainbow Lorikeet. Image by Ian Moodie.

    It has a:

    • blue head and belly
    • green wings, tail and back
    • orange/yellow breast.

    You can find it in:

    • Belmont Park and Willsmere-Chandler Park
    • coastal regions
    • urban parks and gardens
    • tree hollows in eucalypt forests, woodlands and in gardens.

    Spotted pardalote

    Scientific name: Pardolotus punctatus

    The spotted pardalote is one of Australia's smallest birds.

    It is only 8cm-10cm long.

    The spotted pardalote is endangered in Boroondara.
    Spotted Pardalote

    Spotted Pardalote. Image by Patrick_K59.

    You can find it in:

    • Pridmore Park, Back Creek, and along the Yarra River
    • Eucalypt forests
    • woodlands
    • scrubs
    • watercourses
    • parks and gardens.

    It is brightly coloured with a smattering of jewel-like white dots. It is sometimes known as the diamond bird. You can recognise it by its cheerful three-note call.

    It breeds in burrows excavated into creek banks and cliffs.

    We are revegetating waterways to improve its habitat and provide shade and protection.

    Tawny frogmouth

    Scientific name: Podargus strigoides

    The tawny frogmouth is a member of the nightjar family.

    It is often mistaken as a species of owl.

    Tawny frogmouths are vulnerable in Boroondara.
    Tawny Frogmouth

    Tawny Frogmouth. Image by Ian Moodie.

    You can find it:

    • in forests, woodlands or wetlands
    • hidden among the tree branches
    • at Stradbroke Park or Back Creek Reserve.

    The colour of its feathers lets it camouflage easily.

    It hunts for prey, including insects, slugs, snails, moths and mice, day and night. Its call makes a soft 'ooo-ooo-ooo' sound.

    It breeds from August to December with both sexes incubating the eggs.

    More information

    Watch our Birds of Boroondara webinar.

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