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The birds of the Otways

Are you a bird lover? Then, Victoria is a great place for you to explore. Let’s start with the Otways. Travel to the Great Ocean Road into the Great Otway National Park. From the upper woodlands to the swamps, the Otways is a haven for colourful and lovely birds. It is also a paradise for bird watchers and enthusiasts. BirdLife International identified the Otways as an Important Bird Area (IBA) for hosting some uncommon bird species like the rufous bristlebirds, pink robins, and striated field wrens.

The Otways is home to several hundred different varieties of bird species both common and uncommon including the endangered ones. You can see swans, ducks, grebes, cormorants, pelicans, herons, and egrets. Then there are sandpipers, eagles, hawks, gulls, turtle doves, cuckoos, and peregrine falcons. You can also spot kookaburras, parrots, honeyeaters, robins, ravens, magpies, and firetails. Satin bowerbirds, currawong, fairy-wren, and Chestnut-rumped heath wren are pretty common. Then there are the crimson rosellas, forest raven and Tawny-crowned honeyeater. You can also spot some Bassian thrushes and brush bronzewing.

Nightbirds also populate in the Otways rainforest. Owls live and breed in the area including the tawny frogmouth owls, barn owls, and masked or powerful owls.

Along the Great Ocean Road, seabirds populate the coastlines and the river mouths. Seabirds include the Australasian gannets and little penguins. There are also albatrosses such as shy, black-browed, Yellow-nosed, and the wandering ones. Petrels are also common including southern giants, northern giants, White-chinned, Great-winged, Wilsons storm, white-faced storm, grey-backed storm, cape, and common diving. Then there’s the fairy prion, crested tern, and shearwater that includes the fluttering, flesh-footed, short-tailed, huttons, and sooty.

Parrots are all over the Otways from the woodlands to the swamps, from the wilds to the towns and villages. In the beautiful and poetic town of Lorne, friendly and naughty cockatoos welcome you. They even knock on your door and window panes. You can easily recognize cockatoos by their curved bills and crests. They’re bigger than common parrots.

There are 21 species of cockatoos in the world and several of them are found in the Otways. Sulfur-crested white, yellow-tailed black, yellow-crested white, and gang-gang are a common sight. Cockatoos sport white, black, or grey plumage. They’re less colourful, unlike the common parrots. But it’s their crest that provides accent to their plumage.

Bird watching in the Otways is not so much of a challenge but a pleasurable experience. Seeing some exotic and endemic birds in the woods would make you appreciate the beauty of nature and the diversity of its wildlife.

So prepare your cameras, lenses, tripods, and your sense of fun and adventure.

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