Birds – Non Native to Australia

Many birds were introduced by early European settlers for various reasons: as pest controllers, pets, sport, and to remind them of home

Some introduced birds have become major pests, and compete with native species for resources such as space, food or nest sites

Some are also great nuisances to humans: nesting in and around buildings, causing mess – acidic bird droppings can eat into sandstone and other building materials

  • Common Myna (Acridotheres tristis)

    Common Myna
    (Acridotheres tristis)

    Facts

    • These birds are an invasive pest in Australia. In a 2008 popular vote, the bird was named "The Most Important Pest/Problem" in Australia
    • Native to Asia, first introduced to Australia between 1863 and 1872
    • The bird can live and breed in a wide range of temperatures, though it thrives in hotter regions
    • Identified by their brown body, black hooded head and the bare yellow patch behind the eye
    • Are believed to paid for life, they breed through much of the year depending on location, building their nest in a hole in a tree of wall. Clutch size 4-6eggs
    • Diet consists of insects, arachnids, crustaceans, reptiles, small mammals , seeds, grain and fruits and discarded waste from humans
  • Common Starling (Sturnus vulgaris)

    Common Starling
    (Sturnus vulgaris)

    Facts

    • Wide variation in plumage, in autumn when the plumage is new, birds are glossed black, with a purple and green shine, and the tips of the body feathers have large white spots. At this time the bill is dark and the legs are brown. With wear, the white spots are lost, while the bill and legs turn yellow. During the breeding season adults become glossy-black without any spots. Young birds are dull grey-brown
    • Size range is 20cm to 22cm
    • Native to European woodlands, introduced into Australia in the late 1850s through to 1870
    • Diet consists of seeds, insects, spiders, worms, human scraps and fruit crops
  • Euroasian Skylark (Alauda arvensis)

    Euroasian Skylark
    (Alauda arvensis)

    Facts

    • The small bird was introduced in 1857 from Britain
    • The upper parts are brown with strong dark central streaks to the feathers
    • Found in cultivated grasslands and crops, wastelands and coastal dunes
    • Diet consists of invertebrates, small seeds and young grass shoots
    • The outstanding feature of the Eurasian Skylark is its well known song
  • European Blackbird (Turdus merula)

    European Blackbird
    (Turdus merula)

    Facts

    • The males are uniformly black with a yellow to orange bill and eye ring and tail is long an rounded
    • The females are dark brown with faint streaks on the chest and also have a duller yellow brown bill
    • Tend to fly fast but undulating and low to the ground when flushed to rapidly regain cover
    • Most commonly found in south eastern Australia for its urban bushland, parks, gardens and horticultural areas
    • Diet consists of insects, earthworms, snails and spiders,fruit, small reptiles and vegetable matter
    • 3 to 5 pale blue green eggs with reddish brown spots are laid in a large, deep bowl of dry grass, bark strips and leaves bound by mud. The nests are usually well concealed
  • European Goldfinch (Carduelis carduelis)

    European Goldfinch
    Carduelis carduelis)

    Facts

    • Introduced to Australia in the 19th century
    • It has a red face, with a black crown and shoulders, the side of the head are white, the upper parts and flanks are brown, the abdomen and rump are white, the black wings have conspicuous yellow bars and a white trailing edge in flight, the tail is black, tipped with white
    • Diet consists of small seeds and insects
    • Builds a cup-shaped nest in low bushes
  • Feral Pigeons

    Feral Pigeons

    Facts

    • Native to Europe, Africa and Asia, where it prefers agriculture areas
    • Distribution is all larger towns and cities of Australia, except darwin
    • Can be found in urban areas
    • Diet consists of seeds and scraps
    • Breeds anytime of the year, but peak times are spring and summer (July to February
  • House Sparrow (Passer domesticus)

    House Sparrow
    (Passer domesticus)

    Facts

    • They are actually large finches
    • The male has conspicuous grey crown, black face and throat, and dark black and brown upper parts
    • The female is slightly paler than the male and lacks the grey crown and black face, instead having a pale buff eye stripe
    • These birds occur in and around human habitation, as well as cultivated areas and some wooded country
    • Diet consists of insects, spiders, berries, seeds, flower buds and scraps of food discarded by humans
  • Laughing Dove (Streptopelia senegalensis)

    Laughing Dove
    (Streptopelia senegalensis)

    Facts

    • Introduced to Australia in the 1890s
    • Smallish dove with the head and back pinky-brown in colour, the wings blue-grey and he belly whitish
    • Small white patch on chin and long white tips on the outer tail feathers
    • Also known as the Laughing Turtle Dove
    • Generally seen in urban areas and in parks, gardens etc
    • Diet consists of grain, seeds from garden plants and weeds, and bread scraps
  • Northern Mallard (Anas platyrhynchos)

    Northern Mallard
    (Anas platyrhynchos)

    Facts

    • It is a large, dabbling duck with the distinctive males having glossy green head and neck, a white collar and a chestnut breast
    • Females are smaller and are mottled and streaked dusky brown
    • Can be found in urban areas on ponds and lakes, often with other water birds
    • Diet consists of aquatic vegetation and insects
  • Nutmeg Mannikin (Lonchura punctulata)

    Nutmeg Mannikin
    (Lonchura punctulata)

    Facts

    • It is a small plump finch with a dark brown face and throat
    • The Nutmeg Mannikin flicks its wings and sways its tail constantly
    • Species is known as the Spice Finch
    • Can be found in reeds, grasses and especially in the crops around farms
    • Diet consists of half ripe seeds, has become a scavenger around farms and garbage dumps and has been known to pick the flesh of road kill
  • Red Whiskered Bulbul (Pycnonotus jocosus)

    Red-whiskered Bulbul
    (Pycnonotus jocosus)

    Facts

    • Inhabits mainly parks, gardens and streetscapes and orchards
    • Favour areas infested with weeds, lantana, privet and blackberry
    • This bird has a pointed black chest, white cheeks, brown black reddish under tail
    • It has a red whisker mark below the eye but is not always easily seen
    • Diet consists of a variety of native and introduced fruits, insects and flower buds
  • Rock Dove (Columba livia)

    Rock Dove
    (Columba livia)

    Facts

    • Australian Rock Doves, also known as Feral Pigeons, are descended from the Rock Pigeon, most common colours of feral birds are a mixture of grey, black, white and brown, with purple and green sheens
    • Prefers open agricultural areas
    • Diet consists of mainly seeds, but will also sample most scraps
    • Nestling sites are situated along coastal cliff faces, as well as the artificial cliff faces created by apartment buildings with accessible ledges or roof spaces
  • Spotted Dove (Streptopelia chinensis)

    Spotted Dove
    (Streptopelia chinensis)

    Facts

    • These birds are mostly light brown above, with darker centres to the feathers of the back and wings
    • The head is grey and the neck and underparts are grey-brown, tinged with pink
    • Distingushing feature is the large black collar on the base of the hind neck, which had many white spots
    • Common around human habitation and can easily be seen in parks, gardens and agricultural areas
    • Diest consists of seeds, grains and scraps