While the Wet Tropics region is home to a quarter of Australia's frogs or a little over a third of the country's freshwater fish, it is home to nearly half of Australia's birds which means that the region harbours more than 370 bird species.

For those with an interest in statistics:

  • there are at least 137 species of closed forest dependent (rainforest and mangrove) birds in the Wet Tropics
  • 23 bird species are either endemic to the region or are largely confined to the Wet Tropics region
  • 13 species are known to be strictly endemic to the Wet Tropics and 9 of them are from the uplands with the other 4 ranging down to lower altitudes


Endemic birds of the Wet Tropics

McLeay's honeyeater
Photographer: EPA


The upland endemic birds are:

  • Tooth-billed bowerbird (Scenopoeetes dentirostris)
  • Golden bowerbird (Prionodura newtoniana)
  • Bridled honeyeater (Lichenostomus frenatus)
  • Fern wren (Oreoscopus gutturalis)
  • Atherton scrubwren (Sericornis keri)
  • Mountain thornbill (Acanthiza katherina)
  • Grey-headed robin (Heteromyias cinereifrons)
  • Northern logrunner (chowchilla) (Orthonyx spaldingii)
  • Bower's shrike-thrush (Colluricincla boweri)

The other four endemic birds are:

  • Lesser sooty owl (Tyto multipunctata)
  • Macleay's honeyeater (Xanthotis macleayana)
  • Victoria's riflebird (Ptiloris victoriae)
  • Pied monarch (Arses kaupi)


Sub-species restricted to the Wet Tropics

There are another ten birds with subspecies restricted to the Wet Tropics. They are:

  • Australian king parrot (Alisterus scapularis minor)
  • Double-eyed fig parrot (Cyclopsitta diophthalma macleayana)
  • Pale-yellow robin (Tregellasia capito nana)
  • Yellow-breasted boatbill (Machaerirhynchus flaviventer secundus)
  • Grey fantail (Rhipidura fuliginosa frerei)
  • Eastern whipbird (Psophodes olivaceus lateralis)
  • Brown gerygone (Gerygone mouki mouki)
  • Spotted catbird (Ailuroedus melanotis maculosus)
  • Satin bowerbird (Ptilonorhynchus violaceus minor)
  • Boobook owl (Ninox novaeseelandiae lurida)


More information

You can download some very interesting details about Wet Tropics birds in our fact sheets:


Birdwatching is a very popular activity in Australia and there are some large community organisations involved in counts, education, surveys and scientific research as well as regional and local branches that organise trips. A useful website is:

You can download a list of bird species for the Wet Tropics bioregion sourced from the Queensland Government's wildnet database.

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