Birds
Eagle Flinders Island Tasmania

Let your spirit take flight at the sight of soaring seabirds-albatross, Pacific Gulls, shearwaters - on the wing. Raptors such as swamp harriers, wedgetails and sea eagles provide exciting viewing. During the day, the Furneaux Islands' diverse birdlife puts on a spectacular show. With over 200 species visiting or living on our shores, you have the opportunity to experience our islands' untamed nature every day of the week. These birds range from the tiny Superb Wren to the giant Wandering Albatross.
Each type of bird brings its own story, the characteristic behavior of its type and often individual differences.

Laughing Kookaburra Flinders Island Tasmania

We have a flock of Yellow-tailed Black Cockatoos that live in our valley and it always amazes us, how graceful these large birds are. When they come close, their burbling chatter to one another is endearing to anyone. They can be seen taking the hard fist-size Banksia nuts apart, which we find difficult to do, even with a hammer and chisel.
The Australian Magpie seems plain enough until you hear its enchanting call, as if it were calling loudly from a great distance, with echoes in its voice that send shivers up the spine.
The Laughing Kookaburra was introduced from mainland Australia and has taken a toll on the nests of smaller birds, as it robs nests of eggs. We often think of it as a thug, but it brings a special magic to the island. This member of the Kingfisher family creates powerful sound waves with each call. We caution not to label it as 'laughing,' but to hear each call as if it were for the first time. Visitor will discover that they are all different.

Wedge Tailed Eagle Flinders Island Tasmaia

As tempting as it is to imitate the 'laugh' of the Kookaburra, Aboriginal children were cautioned not to do so, for the story went that the shock-waves of the Kookaburra's call awoke the world at dawn and put it to sleep at dusk, for that is when they call most frequently. Thus to imitate it would be to mock its important role in keeping the world turning in a regular fashion.
The grand wing-span of the White-breasted Sea Eagle is astounding to behold, cruising high overhead. Our beaches usually have a nesting pair close by.
The night-time call - "Mo-poke! Mo-poke!" - of the Southern Boobook owl gives depth to the entire valley, and calls you out, perhaps with a flashlight, to hear and see the evening activity of all the wildlife.

On Flinders Island, you can sit on a deserted beach and watch at sunset as penguins return to their hillside burrows. And here you can watch short-tailed shearwaters fill the late evening sky like a storm cloud. The Short-Tailed Shearwaters (also called Mutton-birds), return several million strong from their travel to the northern hemisphere on exactly the same day (September 22). Traditionally, Islanders hunt the new chicks in April. Today, several of the smaller islands are reserved to protect mutton bird rookeries as well as the nesting sites for Cape Barren Geese and other sea-bird species.They may be best seen on a boat trip, as they return at late dusk from feeding miles out to sea on krill. Each bird is not remarkable, but they come in flocks of tens of thousands. They alight on the water, waiting to return to their burrows until after predators are likely to be less active - then arise, thousands of them at once, beating the water with their wings, sounding like distant thunder, and fly up and around, led by who-knows-what, in great swirling patterns, only to alight again in the sea, a bit closer to home.

Or for the bird-watcher, there is an immense diversity of colour: the royal blue of the Superb Wren, the scarlet of the Flame Robin, the midnight-black of the cockatoo, and the snow-white of the heron. Our islands have eight of Tasmania's eleven endemic species, including the rare Forty-spotted Pardalote, Green Rosella and the Black Currawong. Significantly, the Cape Barren Goose - regarded as one of the world's rarest goose species - is prolific here. An estimated 12,000 of these birds can be seen flying between the outer islands and the pastures on Flinders Island.

Australian Pelican Whitemark Flinders Island Tasmania

Each bird has its story - the flash of color of a Green Rosella diving through the trees, the grand display of the Cape Barren Goose (the largest goose in the world) regarded as one of the world's rarest goose species, is prolific here. An estimated 12,000 of these birds can be seen flying between the outer islands and the pastures on Flinders Island. The extraordinary color unmatched by any human artifice of the Beautiful Fantail - and you can become intimate with all of them. Philosophers have compared birds to thoughts - each with its own color, pattern of movement, and quality. Some suggest that we should look at the traces left behind in the bird's flight - what trail it has left in the air as it weaves and interweaves in the sky.

New Holland Honeyeater Flinders Island Tasmania

Below, is a list by birdlife seen on Flinders Island. As an additional point of refereence, there are guide books availiable at Neagarra. Non-Australian Birds that have been introduced are marked by an asterisk (*).

Land Birds 
Australian Magpie
Australian Owlet-Nightjar
Australian Warbler
Beautiful Fantail
Black Currawong
Black-faced Cuckoo-Shrike
Black-headed Honeyeater
Brush Bronzewing
Cape Barren Goose
Clinking Currawong
Common Blackbird*
Common Bronzewing
Common Pheasant*
Common Starling*
Crescent Honeyeater
Dusky Robin
Dusky Woodswallow
Eastern Spinebill
European Goldfinch*
European Greenfinch*
Flame Robin
Forest Raven Forty-spotted Paradote
Green Rosella
Grey Fantail
Grey Shrike-Thrush
Horsfield's Bronze-Cuckoo
House Sparrow*
Indian Peafowl*
Laughing Kookaburra
Little Grassbird
Little Raven
Mallard*
New Holland Honeyeater
Olive Whistler
Painted Button-Quail
Pallid Cuckoo
Pink Robin
Richard's Pipit
Satin Flycatcher
Scarlet Robin
Scrubtit
Shining Bronze-Cuckoo
Silvereye Skylark*

Spotted Paradote
Straited Paradote
Strong-Billed Honeyeater
Stubble Quail
Sulphur-Crested Cockatoo
Superb Fairy-Wren
Swamp Quail
Swift Parrot
Tasmanian Scrubwren
Tasmanian Thornbill
Tawny Frogmouth
Tawny-crowned Honeyeater
Tree Martin
Welcome Swallow
White's Thrush
White-Fronted Chat
White-Throated Needletail
Wild Turkey*
Yellow-Tailed Cockatoo
Yellow-Throated Honeyeater 

Birds of Prey
Barn Owl
Brown Falcon
Brown Goshawk
Collared Sparrowhawk Grey Goshawk
Little Falcon
Nankeen Kestrel
Peregrine Falcon Southern Boobook ("Mopoke")
Swamp Harrier
Wedge-Tailed Eagle
White-Breasted Sea Eagle
Seabirds
Arctic Jaeger
Australasian Gannet
Australian Pelican
Black-Browed Albatross Common Diving-Petrel
Fairy Prion
Little Penguin
Short-Tailed Shearwater Shy Albatross
Wandering Albatross
White-Faced Storm-Petrel

 

Shore, Estuary, and Lagoon Birds
Australasian Bittern
Australasian Grebe
Australasian Shoveler
Australian Crake
Australian Shelduck
Banded Lapwing
Bar-Tailed Godwit
Black Swan
Black-Faced Cormorant
Blue-Billed Duck
Caspian Tern
Cattle Egret
Chestnut Teal
Crested Tern
Curlew-Sandpiper
Double-Banded Plover
Dusky Moorhen
Eastern Curlew
Eurasian Coot Fairy Tern
Great Cormorant
Great Egret
Greenshank
Grey Teal
Grey-Tailed Tattler
Hardhead
Hoary-Headed Grebe
Hooded Plover
Kelp Gull
Latham's Snipe
Lesser Golden Plover
Lewin's Rail
Little Egret
Little Tern
Little-Black Cormorant
Little-Pied Cormorant
Maned Duck
Masked Lapwing Musk Duck
Pacific Black Duck
Pacific Gull
Pectoral Sandpiper
Pied Oystercatcher
Purple Swamphen
Red Knot
Red-Capped Dotterel
Red-Necked Stint
Ruddy Turnstone
Sanderling
Sharp-Tailed Sandpiper
Silver Gull
Sooty Oystercatcher
Whimbrel
White-Faced Heron
White-Fronted Tern

A talk with a local naturalist can be arranged, if you wish. There are several who have spent years studying birds on the Island and have taken in many injured birds, to heal them and become more knowledgeable of them.