Can You Identify All of These Australian Birds from a Photo?

By: Khadija L.
Image: By Faisal Akram from Dhaka, Bangladesh, via Wikimedia Commons

About This Quiz

Birds, also known as Aves, are vertebrates which are characterized by having feathers, beaked jaws and by laying hard-shelled eggs. They can be found in every single habitat and environment around the world, ranging from aquatic to grasslands and come in sizes ranging from 2 inches to 9 feet tall. 

In 2014, it was estimated that there are almost 900 recorded bird species in Australia and on its offshore islands. Of those, almost 50% percent of these birds are endemic to Australia, meaning that there are only found on that continent, one-tenth of which are expected to go extinct before the end of the century. 

These birds come from many different groups, from small weebills to colorful parrots, to large flightless emus, to beautiful swans and many other species. 

How well do you know Australian birds? Would you be able to identify these birds if you saw them? Well in this quiz, we'll give you images of these popular birds and it will be your job to match each to its name. Will you be able to do it? Not many people can. Take this quiz to find out!

The Abbott’s Booby is a seabird which is known for breeding only on Christmas Island (a small island belonging to Australia). It has a white head and neck while its back and rump are white with black spots and a black tail. It is listed as endangered due to the clearing of its forest habitats for phosphate mining.

The Noisy Pitta is a shy bird that can be found on the eastern coast of subtropical and tropical rainforests of Australia and southern parts of New Guinea. They are known for building dome shaped nests on the ground, which is also where they feed.

The Pale-headed Rosella is a noisy medium-sized parrot found throughout most of Queensland and New South Wales in Australia. The bird is so named because it is brightly colored, with the exception of its head and face, which are white and bluish​ white, respectively. The females’ colors are slightly duller than the males'.

The Apostlebird is a medium-sized dark grey bird found in open dry forests and woodland in the eastern region of Australia. It got its name because early settlers believed that these birds stayed in groups of 12 (but in actuality, they can go up to 30) which likened them to Jesus Christ’s apostles.

The Orange-bellied Parrot is so called because of a bright orange patch on its belly. These birds are known for breeding on the south-west​ coast of Tasmania and usually migrate to the southern part of Australia to spend their winters. They are very social birds that interact with other small parrots but are distinguished by their bright plumage.

The Gouldian Finch is a small colorful grass finch that includes three separate species, the black-headed, red-headed and yellow-headed form. They are typically found in sub-coastal areas in western and northern Australia. Their feeding pattern changes based on whether they are breeding or not.

The Straw-necked Ibis is a large water bird which has a very long and prominent down-curved black bill with glossy blue-black feathers on its back. These birds are known for their regular seasonal movements, the longest recorded distance being 3500 kilometers.

The Black-faced Cormorant is a large black and white bird which has a purely black face. It is the only one of Australia’s cormorants which does not live around terrestrial wetlands. They are instead confined to inshore marine habitats. They forage by deep diving up to 40 feet in pursuit of fish.

The Australasian Darter, sometimes called the snakebird because if its long and slender neck, is a water bird found in parts of Western and South Australia. They are found inhabiting the wetlands where they are able to swim beneath the water’s surface with their necks protruding above the water, adding to the nickname.

The Black Swan is a type of bird which, once it reaches adulthood, is mostly black, giving it its name. They are found in different types of wetlands throughout Australia, New Zealand and New Guinea. They are vegetarians and their diets consist of algae and weeds.

The Crimson Finch is a dark brownish-grey bird which has a distinctive bright crimson face and tail, as well as having crimson tinges throughout its upper body. These birds are typically found in dense grassy woodlands in northern Australia where they feed on grass seeds.

The Tawny Frogmouth is a nocturnal bird which closely resembles a frog due to the mottled silver-grey appearance of its plumage, which it uses to help camouflage itself. This bird can be found throughout many different habitats all across Australia as well as on the island of Tasmania.

The Blue-breasted Fairy-wren is a small shy bird found in dense shrubby vegetations in the southwestern regions of Australia. The male species, when breeding, has a bright violet-blue plumage, which is what gave it its name. The non-breeding males and females are greyish-brown.

The Western Spinebill is a small bird that can be found in the heathlands and woodlands of the southern parts of Australia where plants like banksias can be found growing. The males have an olive-grey crown with white eyebrow markings and an auburn-brown color on their breasts.

The Blue-breasted Fairy-wren is a small shy bird found in dense shrubby vegetations in the south-western regions of Australia. The male species, when breeding is a bright violet-blue plumage which is what gave it its name while the non-breeding males and females are greyish-brown in color.

The Australian Grebe is a small waterbird capable of building floating nests. They are known for having two different plumage phases, one during the non-breeding phase and one during the breeding phase. They were also self-introduced to New Zealand and the other Pacific islands.

The Green Catbird is a large stout green bird that has a white bill and red eyes. They are found in the lush sub-tropical rainforests of the east and south coasts of Australia. The bird gets its name from its wailing call which sounds like a cat, for which they can sometimes be mistaken.

The Azure Kingfisher is one of the smallest kingfishers and is found across the northern and eastern regions of Australia. They are known for plunging from overhanging branches into the ​water to catch fish and other aquatic insects. They are also known for having royal-blue plumage with contrasting orange underparts.

The Gang-gang Cockatoo is a small, stocky bird with large broad wings. The adult males have a scarlet red head and crest while the females are dark grey. They were found on King Island but since the 1960s, have become extinct there. They are now endemic to the south eastern regions of Australia where they nest in hollow trees.

The Banded Stilt is an endemic bird that can be found in the south of the country around shallow salt water. These birds are known for having long orange or pink legs that help them when wading. The banded name comes from the broad chestnut bands across the breast and belly.

The Scarlet-chested Parrot is a brightly colored bird consisting of green, blue, yellow, red and purple. These birds are endemic to the southern and western regions of Australia where they breed from August to January and nest in hollow trees.

The Regent Honey Eater is a small bird which, as its name suggests, mainly feeds on nectar and other plant sugars. The bird has often been called the most beautiful of all of the honeyeaters due to its bold yellow and black plumage. It is found in places like Queensland, Adelaide, New South Wales and Victoria.

The Pink Robin is a small bird known for having a pink washed breast and belly, particularly the males, while the females only have a pinkish tint. These birds are only found in rainforests in the southeastern regions of Australia where they breed in moist areas then move on to drier open habitats after the season has passed.

The Horsfield’s Bronze Cuckoo is found in wooded habitats all across Australia as well as on some of the islands. It is known for its distinctively persistent whistling call which can be heard in many parts of Australia. Like other cuckoos, they lay their eggs in the nest of other species which usually alarms the hosts.

The Crested Shrike-tit consists of three subspecies, all of which can be found on mainland Australia. It is known for having a unique Mohawk-looking hairstyle and a black-and-white face. They feed on different invertebrates in the canopy of trees in woodlands and forests.

The Black-throated Finch is an endangered bird known for having a bluish grey head, while its chin, throat, breast and beak are all black. It is divided into two subspecies, both of which can be found in the grassy woodlands of north Queensland.

The Australian King-Parrot is a bird that can be found in the rainforests on the east coast of Australia. A unique feature of these birds is that the male parrots have a completely red head while the females’ is green. They usually stay in pairs or small families and can be seen flying below the treetops​.

The Wonga Pigeon, sometimes called the Wonga Wonga, is a large plump pigeon which is known for the unique half-moon markings under its tail. These monogamous birds are usually seen along the east coast of Australia where they feed on seeds, plants and insects.

The Laughing Kookaburra is a large kingfisher bird found throughout eastern Australia and parts of New Zealand. It has a very distinctive cackling voice which many people are able to identify and its plumage is also easily recognizable. They were introduced into Tasmania and western Australia and have now placed many other species under pressure.

The Australian Magpie is an extremely popular bird which is known for its striking black and white plumage. The bird is found in many parts of the country and has a very distinctive caroling song. Since 1998, the bird has been said to be declining significantly with many conservation efforts being taken to save it.

The Masked Owl is a nocturnal bird which can be found on mainland Australia and Tasmania. It has three plumages and a chestnut and white facial disc. These animals roost in vertical hollow trees in woodlands and open forests. They are also known for roosting in caves, crevices and sinkholes when large trees are unavailable.

The Brush Bronzewing is a dark olive-brown bird found on Fraser Island and mainland Queensland. They inhabit the dense shrub areas as well as wet and dry forests. The eggs are incubated by both parents and after hatching, they stay with the parents until the next set of eggs are laid.

The Pheasant Coucal is a large pheasant-like ground-dwelling bird that can be found in the northern and eastern regions of Australia as well as in New Guinea. It differs from the other cuckoos in that it is not a nest parasite. Instead, it builds its own. Both sexes exhibit the same plumage but the females are significantly larger than the males.

The Black Bittern is a sooty black bird which has yellow patches on the side of its neck which extends to the wings. It is known for inhabiting dense types of vegetation. They are very secretive birds so not much is known about their breeding and social behaviors.

The Dollarbird was so named because it has two large white spots, one on each wing which is said to resemble silver dollar coins. These birds feed exclusively on flying insects which they hunt down in an aerial pursuit. Every September, they travel to Australia to breed after which they return to​ New Guinea for winter.

The Australian Owlet-nightjar is a very popular small nocturnal bird which can be found all over the country. They come in two plumages: common grey and russet-brown with black stripes that extend over the head. They roost in hollow tree branches where they peek their heads out if they are disturbed.

The Eastern Grass Owl, sometimes called the Daddy Long-legs Owl, is a bird with elongated legs that help it to live in the grassland. They have a distinctive heart-shaped facial disc which is white in males and pale orange in females. Unlike many other owls, this species nests on the ground where they hunt for rodents, insects and other birds.

The Cape Barren Goose is a large pale grey goose that has a small head in comparison to the rest of its body. It has a stubborn triangular-shaped bill which is hidden by a greenish-yellow cere. Although found on the mainland of Australia, they are known for breeding on islands off the southern coast of the country.

The Hoary-headed Grebe is a small stocky bird with dark grey and white plumage. They can be found all over Australia and New Zealand. They are usually seen in flocks which can be as many as thousands of birds. They are known for diving under water in a synchronized fashion when approached by predators.

The Magpie-lark is sometimes called Murray Magpie in certain parts of Australia, and Peewee, due to its distinctive sound. It is a black and white bird that spends most of its time on the ground. These birds are typically seen in gardens, parks and in open areas of bush and can get quite aggressive,​ especially when defending their nests.

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