Australia, the amazing country located within the continent of Oceania, has a rich and diverse variety of birds. Among them, the incredible large Australian running birds, such as cassowaries (genus Casuarius ) and emus, stand out without a doubt . Regarding the endemic bird species of the country, that is, those that we can only find in the wild within Australian territory, the classification established by the Birdlife International association stands out . In this way, taking into account the geographical distribution of the country, we can differentiate between endemic Australian birds. From: Cape York, Wet Tropics of Queensland, Eastern Australia, Southeastern Australia, Tasmania, Southwest Australia, Northwest Australia, and Christmas Island.
Tasmanian parakeet, named after one of the most striking Australian birds
The Tasmanian parakeet belongs to the order of those commonly known as broad-tailed parakeets or rosellas . This species lives only and exclusively on the island of Tasmania , off the extreme southeast of Australia.
These colorful wide-tailed parakeets are considered one of the most beautiful Australian exotic birds, with a yellow head and belly, with a list of intense red on the forehead, as well as blue cheeks. Instead, its long tail is gray-green, with bluish lateral feathers, like its wings and its legs and beak are gray.
Commonly known as the black-breasted torillo , the Turnix melanogaster species is a small bird, similar in appearance to partridges and quails. Both males and females of this species are characterized by a mottled plumage in which black, white and brownish feathers are mixed.
The black-breasted torillo lives in the humid forests of eastern Australia, mainly in coastal areas, exhibiting terrestrial habits.
The spotted owl is one of Australia’s most characteristic nocturnal birds of prey . It owes its common name to the predominant gray plumage with white mottling that it presents. Like all nocturnal birds of prey, it feeds on rodents and other small mammals.
The presence of the spotted owl is quite abundant, although it lives exclusively in the humid tropical region of the Cape York peninsula , northeast of Australia.
Spalding’s spinetail, one of the Australian songbirds
The Spalding’s tail is a passerine species, that is, it belongs to the broad group of birds commonly known as songbirds . The peculiarity of this bird lies in the morphology of its tail, long and rigid, which allows it to cling to tree branches while feeding on the small invertebrates and vertebrates found in these trees.
The bush turkey is also commonly known as the red-headed talegalo . It is a strange bird that is considered one of the most striking primitive species in Australia, according to the criteria of many experts.
It is a galliform bird (shaped like a rooster), small in size, similar to a hen but with turkey features. The plumage of the Australian bush turkey is predominantly dark.
The Victoria bird of paradise, also commonly known as Queen Victoria’s rifle bird , is a colorful species of the passerine group. It lives throughout the year in the northwestern region of Australia. It is easy to find throughout the Atherton Plateau (Queensland), which is its main area of distribution.
Within the group of passerine birds we can also find in Australia:
- Macleay’s Honeys
- El capullinero verde
- El diamante orejirrojo
- The royal or arrogant avelira
- The eastern bristle billed
- The reddish bush
Also known as the sooty executioner ( Strepera fuliginosa ) , the Australian black currawong is an endemic bird to the island of Tasmania. However, in other small Australian islands we can also find the pious executioner ( Strepera graculina) and the ashen executioner ( Strepera versicolor ) .
These species of the Artamidae family of birds have similar aspects to that of crows, with robust and slender carriages. The Australian black currawong’s diet is omivore, including a wide variety of berries, small vertebrates, and invertebrates.
Worldwide known, cockatoos (Family Cacatuidae) include 21 species distributed throughout Australasia (the Philippines, Indonesia, New Guinea, Australia and the Solomon Islands). All of them are characterized by the presence of a plume or grouping of feathers longer than the rest on the upper part of the head.
Focusing on Australia, the most prominent species of Australian cockatoos are:
- Long- billed Funeral Cockatoo
- Short- billed Funeral Cockatoo
- Cockatoo cavadora
- Picofina Cockatoo
Australian race birds
Running birds constitute a superorder within the bird classification , which includes all those birds that do not fly and generally have very long legs. These flightless birds have reduced wings and, in addition, they do not have a keel (bone structure in which the pectoral muscles used for flight in flying birds are attached).
In Australia, the running birds are grouped within the order of the casuariformes. They are large, run fast and, as we have seen before, lack the ability to fly. The appearance of Australian running birds is similar to that of ostriches, although their necks are shorter and have three toes instead of two, as an adaptation to running. The most outstanding species of this group are, without a doubt:
- Cassowary: reach 1.50 m. high and its most characteristic feature is the presence of a bony protrusion (helmet) on the front of the skull. The plumage of the cassowaries is black, with a showy blue and red neck.
- Emu: as can be seen in the image, the plumage of the emu is grayish-brown in color, whose feathers end in a black tip. Their legs are strong and long, adapted to the high-speed races that they usually do.