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Bird Watchers

Habitat

Araluen’s unique setting offers a variety of habitats suited to many different birds providing them with shelter, nest sites, a wide range of food sources and permanent water. Some will be residents, some visit seasonally while others will pass through occasionally.

The elements of the habitats include:

  • Many hectares of jarrah-marri forest with dense undergrowth to areas of more open trees and rocky outcrops
  • Stinton Creek with dense cover adjacent to most of the banks but some more open areas. Water, rocks and permanent pools
  • Garden beds with a wide range of exotic and native plants of various heights, areas of lawn and water from reticulation in summer
  • Very few predators that aren’t part of the natural bush
  • Little use of pesticides that could harm birds
  • Not disturbed for much of the year. There’s always somewhere safe.

Hints

If you see a bird and wonder what it is, there are often only a few seconds, so:

  • Most important:  Did you see any distinctive colour or pattern which might be a clue?  In some species, males are much brighter in late winter/spring; in others, the sexes are quite similar with only subtle differences in the colours.
  • Was it tiny (like a wren) or larger?  Can you estimate its length?
  • Was it feeding? If so, on the ground, in a shrub, up in a tree, in water?  What was it eating eg seeds, insects, nectar?
  • Was it alone or in a group?
  • Did it do anything particularly noticeable?
  • Where was it in the Park?  Eg on a lawn, in the bush, by or in the creek, in a particular garden bed, up in a tree canopy, flying overhead, etc.
  • Some birds have very distinctive calls which become familiar with time. Many can be heard in recordings online. It’s the background twittering that is hard to identify.

Where to see them at Araluen

Birds may be seen throughout the Park but suggestions for particularly good areas for easy observation are:

  • The Contour Walk from the Chalet, through the rose garden, the adjacent bush, Westrek Bridge and along the creek – often several different insectivorous birds
  • The lawn area and its edges adjacent to the Mary Hargreaves Pergola – birds that like a bit of safe, sunny open space
  • From the Entry Car Park down to and by Stinton Creek, the Roundhouse then upstream as far as Forest View

Seasonal Notes

Autumn to mid-winter
Autumn brings shorter days, lower temperatures and, hopefully, good rainfall that will continue throughout winter. This is an excellent time to see birds as the young adults are moving around feeding before settling into territories to breed in the spring. They are not so secretive and the Park is a bit more open with deciduous trees and pruning.

Late winter to late spring
This is the main breeding season for most of the birds in the Park depending on the weather and the increasing length in daylight. There is an abundance of food for nestlings, water and shelter though some birds may move into the quieter areas of the bushland to breed. Cuckoos call frequently. Sacred Kingfishers return in October and mark the change to much longer and warmer days.

Late spring to early autumn
This is the time for possible extreme heat with little rain. The Park, with shade and permanent water provides safe shelter for the many species that choose to stay. This is also the time to see wedge-tailed eagles, red-tailed black cockatoos and many parrots.

Bird List

Water Birds

  • Australian White Ibis – occasional

  • Australian Wood Duck

  • Little Pied Cormorant - spring and summer

  • Pacific Black Duck

  • Rufous Night-Heron

  • White-faced Heron

  • White-necked Heron - occasional

Birds of PreyThis is the main breeding season for most of the birds in the Park depending on the weather and the increasing length in daylight. There is an abundance of food for nestlings, water and shelter though some birds may move into the quieter areas of the bushland to breed. Cuckoos call frequently. Sacred Kingfishers return in October and mark the change to much longer and warmer days.



Raptors:

Brown Goshawk
Square-tailed Kite - a natural predator. Circles around treetops hunting for prey (small birds). Uncommon raptor known to live locally in the Perth Hills.
Wedge-tailed Eagle - intermittent. Mostly overhead in summer. Long term residents of the Canning Valley and adjacent bushland. (A sighting of either a Peregrine Falcon or an Australian Hobby)
Owls:

Southern Boobook
Tawny Frogmouth - not a true owl but also a dusk/nocturnal bird of prey