Deserts Shrublands & Grasslands (Mulga & Spinifex)

The surprising diversity of the birds of the arid habitats of Australia...

Class Aves: Birds

While the diversity of birds in the Australian arid areas is not high compared to the other habitats on the continent, and the equivalent arid areas of Africa, there are many interesting species to be found...

Family Columbidae

(Nallan Station, Western Australia)

Ocyphaps lophotes, 'Crested Pigeon'.

Family Meliphagidae: Honeyeaters

(Nallan Station, Western Australia)

Acanthagenys rufogularis, 'Spiny-cheeked Honeyeater'.

Family Petroicidae: Australasian Robins

(Nallan Station, Western Australia)

Petroica goodenovii, 'Red-capped Robin'. Found in many drier habitats across Australia.

(Nallan Station, Western Australia)

Melanodryas cucullata, 'Hooded Robin'. Found in open habitats over much of Australia.

Family Orioicidae

Crested Bellbird (image by Damon Ramsey)(Nallan Station, Western Australia)

Oreoica gutturalis, 'Crested Bellbird'. One of the birds most distinctive of the Australian arid habitats. The black bib and bright orange eye are distinct features of the male. They are usually seen hopping along the ground between mulga bushes, where they apparently feed on insects and seeds. Their call is one of central Australia's most evocative and far-carrying; a repetitive and slightly honking morse code; the first two notes slow, and the following three much quicker. Often, the male and female do a duet, with the male making this previous call, and the female accenting the last notes with her more honking bell like notes.

Family Estrildidae: 'Grass-Finches'

(Nallan Station, Western Australia)

Taeniopygia guttata, 'Zebra Finch'.

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