5 of our favourite Savannah Birds on the Atherton Tablelands

Northern Queensland is home to almost half of all Australian bird species, with over a dozen endemic bird species found nowhere else, making this region a bird watcher's paradise. Read on to discover five of our favourite Savannah birds.

Brolgas and Sarus Cranes

The Brolga and Sarus are Australia’s only two crane species. If you visit the Atherton Tablelands during the winter months, you’ll likely spot the statuesque grey Sarus Cranes, feeding in swamps and paddocks during daytime and flying in formation back to their favourite spots at sunset. The Brolga on the other hand is known for its spectacular dance displays during breeding season which happens from February to May.

Photo Credit @nundaiisrealm // Instagram

Yellow-breasted Boatbill

Boatbills possess an unusually shaped and disproportionately sized bill, which is a physiological adaptation to facilitate efficient hunting for airborne insect prey. Further, the hooked tip of its beak allows it to forage for insect prey across the canopy and along the floor of the forests it lives in.

Photo Credit @bazzabaker // Instagram


Tooth-billed Bowerbird

Endemic to the region, the Tooth-billed Bowerbird is sedentary (does not travel far) and lives in the Atherton Region of Australia between 600 and 1400m altitude. It is observed readily round Chambers Wildlife Rainforest Lodge, especially during the breeding season from September to January.

Photo Credit @oliverlavillette // Instagram


Victoria’s Riflebird

Another species endemic to the Atherton Tablelands region is the Victoria’s Riflebird, known as duwuduwu to the local Aboriginal people. It is also one of four birds-of-paradise indigenous to Australia and can be seen all throughout the year. However courtship / mating season is arguably the most interesting time as males attract females by their fascinating display of throwing up their rounded wings either side of their head, bobbing up and down and swaying from side to side.

Photo Credit @cloud.canopy // Instagram


Golden Bowerbird

The Golden Bowerbird is the world’s smallest bowerbird, however it is able to build the largest of all bowers, which are external symbols of the male’s fitness. Rival males may even steal higher valued decorations from each others’ bowers as the females only select the male who uses the rarest ornaments, such as orchids, jasmine, seedpods and lichens.

Photo Credit @davidongley // Instagram