The Wet Tropics is home to nearly half of Australia's birds, harbouring more than 370 bird species within the region.

In total 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)

 Male satin bowerbird
Photographer: Mike Trenerry

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 find out more about Wet Tropics birds in here:


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 Birdlife Australia.

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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