It is no wonder that so many birds call the Cairns region home. With the variety of habitats such as mountain, coastal, riverine, mangrove, wetland, woodland, grassland, rainforest, rural and urban parkland, this area has the largest avifauna of any region in Australia. It is home to over 450 species of birds of which 12 of these are local endemics. The higher altitude rainforests that some of these species occur in, is usually above 600m.
Wet Tropic Endemic Species
- Tooth-billed Bowerbird – easily seen when displaying in mid- to high-altitude rainforest between August & December.
- Golden Bowerbird – best seen at bowers during breeding season (Sep-Jan), chance sightings out of this period, generally at higher altitudes.
- Fernwren – generally seen in the higher altitude rainforests.
- Atherton Scrubwren – higher altitude rainforests.
- Mountain Thornbill – higher altitude rainforests.
- Bridled Honeyeater – common, some altitudinal migration in winter, found in rainforest and adjacent woodlands.
- Macleay’s Honeyeater – common at lower and mid altitudes in and around rainforest areas.
- Chowchilla – easiest when calling in the early morning, usually in higher altitude rainforest.
- Bower’s Shrike-Thrush – fairly easy to find in higher altitude rainforests, some altitudinal migration.
- Pied Monarch – throughout rainforest and adjacent woodlands, except at highest altitudes, but can be elusive.
- Victoria’s Riflebird – throughout rainforested areas and adjacent woodlands, but can be elusive.
- Grey-headed Robin – common in rainforest, generally at higher altitudes.
- (Lesser Sooty Owl has now been lumped with Sooty Owl and is no longer a “Wet Tropics” endemic.)
Additionally many distinct subspecies occur including:
Names and Taxonomic order taken from:
Systematics and Taxonomy of Australian Birds
Christidis L & Boles W E (CSIRO, Melbourne 2008)