Non-passerine birds
AUSTRALASIAN Tropical & Subtropical Moist Broadleaf Forest

The non-passerine birds of the rainforests of Australia and New Guinea and surrounding islands. For the page on the rainforests of Fiji and eastwards.

Birds of the rainforest

I have lived for a longer time in North Queensland Australia than I have spent working in New Guinea; thus I will have more images from the former than the latter. However, the New Guinea region has a far higher diversity of rainforest birds than the Australian mainland. This is partly due to the more equatorial position, but also there is simply so much more area of rainforest in New Guinea than Australia. This section also includes the birds from other islands of Melanesia (Fiji and eastwards is included in Rainforest of Oceania).

Family Casuariidae: Cassowaries

Cassowaries are the largest rainforest birds on the planet. There are three species. They are all found in New Guinea, with one species also found in north-east Australia.

Casuarius casuarius'Southern/Double-wattled Cassowary' (Etty Bay, Australia). Found in and around rainforest, in north-east Australia, and southern New Guinea.

Casuarius unappendiculatus, 'Northern/Single-wattled Cassowary' (juvenile, Sepik River, Papua New Guinea). Found in northern New Guinea.

Family Megapodiidae

Orange-footed Scrubfowl (image by Damon Ramsey)(Cairns Botanical Gardens, Australia)

'Orange-footed Scrubfowl'.


Alectura lathami'Australian Brush Turkey'. The largest species in this family. 

Family Columbidae: Doves & Pigeons

Columba leucomela, 'White-headed Pigeon'. Large. White on head, breast and belly, contrasting with dark bark. Red on bill. Endemic to rainforests of east coast of Australia.


These pigeons are mostly brownish with long tails.

(O'Reillys Lodge, Queensland, Australia)

Macropygia phasianella, 'Brown Cuckoo-Dove'. Plain looking from a distance, but quite pretty close up.

Ptilinopus spp. 'Fruit Doves'

The most colourful of pigeons!

(Maravagi, Solomon Islands)

Ptilinopus viridis, 'Claret-breasted Fruit Dove', Found in the Spice Islands, New Guinea and Solomon Islands.

(Espiritu Santo, Vanuatu)

Ptilinopus tannensis, 'Tanna Fruit Dove'.

Ducula spp. 'Imperial Pigeons'

(Arnarvon Islands, Solomons)

Ducula pistrinaria, 'Island Imperial Pigeon'. Found in rainforest and mangroves on islands throughout the Solomons and eastern New Guinea.

Damon Ramseyme speaking pidgen in Papua New Guinea

Family Accipitridae: Hawks, Kites, Eagles

Family Cacatuidae

Cacatua ducorpsii, 'Solomons Cockatoo', 'Ducorp's Cockatoo', (Marovo Lagoon, Solomons).

Family Psittaculidae

(Pudaidori Island, Biak, West Papua, Indonesia)

Geoffroyus geoffroyi, 'Red-cheeked Parrot'. Sexually dimorphic; male has blue head and red neck, in some populations this is very bright, as in image above. This is a widespread species, and there are up to 17 subspecies. They are found around wet and dry forest, mostly lowland New Guinea, but also extending west through the Moluccas and east to Cape York.

(O'Reilly's Lodge parrot feeding area, Australia)

Alisterus scapularis, 'Australian King Parrot'. Male is a striking red and green, with female having only having red on belly. Call is a single high piercing metallic whistle. Endemic to forests and nearby habitats of Australia's east coast.

Eclectus roratus, 'Eclectus Parrot' male (Sepik River, Papua New Guinea). Sexes in this species are extremely dimorphic; the males are bright lime green and the females are red: however in flight they look unexpectedly dull in silhouette.

(Lamington, Australia)

Platycercus elegans 'Crimson Rosella'. Found in forests and wetter woodlands along east coast and throughout south-east of Australia. 

Pseudeos cardinalis, 'Cardinal Lorikeet', (Marovo Lagoon, Solomons).

For the next page: Songbirds of the Australian rainforest

For a video of a guided walk looking for birds along the floor of the subtropical Australian rainforest 

Back to the page on Australasian rainforest

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