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Grey-Tailed Tattler - Tringa brevipes - Gnaraloo Wildlife Species

Grey-Tailed Tattler
Tringa brevipes
Photo by Heather Shipp, 2017

The grey-tailed tattler is usually seen in small flocks on sheltered coasts with reefs and rock platforms. Grey-tailed tattlers have a wide range and are often fly-overs or residents of exciting places such as Russia, Taiwan, Thailand, Malaysia, New Zealand, Fiji, and Australia. Due to loss of wetlands, industrial expansion, and pollution, the population of this precious species is declining and as of 2014, grey-tailed tattlers were IUCN Red Listed as Near Threatened, but the Marine Sanctuary Zones at Gnaraloo provide a happy and healthy habitat for this recovering species.

Wedge-Tailed Eagle - Aquila audax - Gnaraloo Wildlife Species

Wedge-Tailed Eagle
Aquila audax
Photo by Simone Bosshard, 2018

The wedge-tailed eagle is Australia’s largest raptor. The diet of the wedge-tailed eagle usually reflects prey items available in each specific niche, however, rabbits and hares are always present. Rabbits usually comprise about 30-70 % of this raptor’s diet, but can make up 92 % in ideal habitats. While they normally hunt individually, groups of eagles occasionally hunt together to increase the size of prey item. Working together, a group of eagles can attack and kill animals as large as adult male kangaroos.

Australian Bustard - Ardeotis australis - Gnaraloo Wildlife Species

Australian Bustard
Ardeotis australis
Photo by Heather Shipp, 2017

Australian bustards have sexual dimorphism, meaning females and males of the same species look quite different. Males can be up to one metre tall and are three times heavier than their female counterparts. Because they are such a heavy bird, bustards use flight as a last resort; however, their flight is strong and they are known as Australia’s heaviest flying bird. Bustards are also particularly interesting because they have been observed eating whole cane toads (Bufo marinus), an invasive species in Australia and poisonous to the majority of predators who eat them.

Welcome Swallow - Hirundo neoxena - Gnaraloo Wildlife Species

Welcome Swallow
Hirundo neoxena
Photo by Heather Shipp, 2017

The welcome swallow is Australia’s most widespread swallow and it can be found in almost any habitat, urban or rural. Both parents work together to build the cup-like nest, often found on or near manmade structures. Females incubate the eggs, but once hatched the young are fed by both parents. They have short bristles along the sides of their mouths which help protect their eyes in addition to guiding insects successfully into their mouths while in flight. The bird got its name from early sailors who knew that when they saw the swallows it would mean the land would soon welcome them.

Nankeen Kestrel - Falco cenchroides - Gnaraloo Wildlife Species

Nankeen Kestrel
Falco cenchroides
Photo by Simone Bosshard, 2017

The Nankeen kestrel is a small falcon (30-35 cm; 60-80 cm wing span) with rufous upper parts, bold black flight feathers, whitish underparts, and a dark tail band. They can be found all around Australia, including at Gnaraloo, where they are often seen nesting during the spring. Nankeen kestrel pairs are typically monogamous and often mate for life. Pairs will often nest in the same area each year, sometimes reusing the very same nest. Nankeen kestrels are well adapted for the prevalently strong winds that frequent Gnaraloo. They can frequently be seen gliding agilely through the air and characteristically hovering before dropping to the ground and capturing prey for their next meal.

Zebra Finch - Taeniopygia guttata - Gnaraloo Wildlife Species

Zebra Finch
Taeniopygia guttata
Photo by Simone Bosshard, 2017

Zebra finches are the most common and widespread of Australia’s grassfinches and live in social flocks of up to 100 or more birds! Males are easily distinguishable from females due to their chestnut cheek pouches, which is also why they are commonly called the chestnut-eared finch. Zebra finches pair for life and both birds care for the eggs and the young in the nest. Young finches are independent after just 35 days and with only 40 additional days before the age of reproduction, the zebra finch is one of the fastest maturing bird species on record.

Eastern Osprey - Pandion cristatus - Gnaraloo Wildlife Species

Eastern Osprey
Pandion haliaetus
Photo by Claire Guillaume, 2017

Ospreys are a predatory bird, specializing in fish, which make up 99 % of their diet. These birds can be found globally from the salt marshes of Florida, USA to the coastline of Gnaraloo, WA. Ospreys hunt by diving to the water’s surface, from up to 30 m above, with their talons ready to pluck fish from the water. Unlike most animals, osprey benefit from human habitats, using telephone poles, channel markers, and other similar locations to make their large stick-and-sod nests. Human interference, however, has not always been positive. In the 1950’s some populations suffered near extinction due to chemical pollutants such as DDT, which thinned their eggs and halted reproduction. Osprey populations have since increased and are again listed as Least Concern on the IUCN Red List.

Emus - Dromaius novaehollandiae - Gnaraloo Wildlife Species

Dromaius novaehollandiae
Photo by Heather Shipp, 2017

The Emu is Australia’s largest native bird and can grow up to nearly 2 meters in height, also making it the second largest bird in the world, surpassed only by the ostrich (Struthio camelus)! Emus encompass a very large range and inhabit most of the continent; however, they tend to prefer open woodlands and savannah areas with plenty of available water and food. They have strong legs and three forward-facing toes that enable them to sprint up to nearly 50 km / h for short periods of time, helping them escape perilous situations. Emus are ratites, meaning their sternum, or breastbone, lacks a keel and thus they are unable to fly; this category also includes birds such as ostriches and cassowaries (Casuarius spp.). Emus are polyandrous, meaning each female will typically mate with more than one male during the breeding season. After the female lays the eggs, the male is in charge of incubating them and raising the young.

Western Australian Galah - Eolophus roseicapillus - Gnaraloo Wildlife Species

Western Australian Galah
Eolophus roseicapillus assimilis
Photo by Heather Shipp, 2017

Western Australian Galahs are sedentary birds and tend to form loose groups with others. Whilst eating, one bird will watch for the group and if disturbed, the entire flock will retreat. The difference between male and female galahs is visible; the eyes of the male have a dark brown iris, while the female’s iris is pink. Galahs are generally social but will form a strong bond with one mate, whom they will breed with for life. It is known that if a galah loses this bond they can even enter a state of depression! Galahs are commonly found as pets and if this is the case, they may create their love bond with a human or another pet. Better watch out though – if a mirror is nearby, these birds occasionally make their bond with their own reflection.

Australasian Pipit - Anthus novaeseelandiae - Gnaraloo Wildlife Species

Australasian Pipit
Anthus novaeseelandiae
Photo by Heather Shipp, 2018

Australian Hobby - Falco longipennis - Gnaraloo Wildlife Species

Australian Hobby
Falco longipennis
Photo by Heather Shipp, 2017

Australian Pelican - Pelecanus conspicillatus - Gnaraloo Wildlife Species

Australian Pelican
Pelecanus conspicillatus
Photo by Heather Shipp, 2017

Australian Pied Oystercatcher - Haematopus longirostris - Gnaraloo Wildlife Species

Australian Pied Oystercatcher
Haematopus longirostris
Photo by Heather Shipp, 2017

Australian Raven - Corvus coronoides - Gnaraloo Wildlife Species

Australian Raven
Corvus coronoides
Photo by Heather Shipp, 2017

Banded Lapwing - Gnaraloo Wildlife Species

Banded Lapwing
Vanellus tricolor
Photo by Jeremie Collado, 2017

Bar-tailed Godwit - Limosa lapponica - Gnaraloo Wildlife Species

Bar-Tailed Godwit
Limosa lapponica
Photo by Jeremie Collado, 2017

Black Swans - Cygnus atratus - Gnaraloo Wildlife Species

Black Swans
Cygnus atratus
Photo by Claire Guillaume, 2016

Brown Goshawk - Gnaraloo Wildlife Species

Brown Goshawk
Accipiter fasciatus
Photo by Andre Schmilowsky, 2013

Caspian Tern - Hydroprogne caspia - Gnaraloo Wildlife Species

Caspian Tern
Hydroprogne caspia
Photo by Heather Shipp, 2018

Common Tern - Sterna hirundo - Gnaraloo Wildlife Species

Common Tern
Sterna hirundo
Photo by Claire Guillaume, 2016

Crested Tern - Thalasseus bergii - Gnaraloo Wildlife Species

Crested Tern
Thalasseus bergii
Photo by Heather Shipp, 2017

Crested Pigeon - Ocyphaps lophotes - Gnaraloo Wildlife Species

Crested Pigeon
Ocyphaps lophotes
Photo by Heather Shipp, 2017

Eastern Reef Egret (dark morph) - Egretta sacra - Gnaraloo Wildlife Species

Eastern Reef Egret (dark morph)
Egretta sacra
Photo by Heather Shipp, 2017

Lesser Crested Tern - Thalasseus bengalensis - Gnaraloo Wildlife Species

Lesser Crested Tern
Thalasseus bengalensis
Photo by Heather Shipp, 2017

Pacific Gull - Larus pacificus - Gnaraloo Wildlife Species

Pacific Gull
Larus pacificus
Photo by Tess DeSerisy, 2018

Pied Butcherbird - Cracticus nigrogularis - Gnaraloo Wildlife Species

Pied Butcherbird
Cracticus nigrogularis
Photo by Claire Guillaume, 2016

Pied Cormorant - Phalacrocorax varius - Gnaraloo Wildlife Species

Pied Cormorant
Phalacrocorax varius
Photo by Heather Shipp, 2017

Red-Capped Plover - Charadrius ruficapillus - Gnaraloo Wildlife Species

Red-Capped Plover
Charadrius ruficapillus
Photo by Simone Bosshard, 2018

Sacred Kingfisher - Todiramphus sanctus - Gnaraloo Wildlife Species

Sacred Kingfisher
Todiramphus sanctus
Photo by Claire Guillaume, 2013

Greater Sand Plover - Charadrius leschenaultii - Gnaraloo Wildlife Species

Greater Sand Plover
Charadrius leschenaultii
Photo by Jeremie Collado, 2017

Sanderling - Calidris alba - Gnaraloo Wildlife Species

Calidris alba
Photo by Heather Shipp, 2017

Silver Gull - Chroicocephalus novaehollandiae - Gnaraloo Wildlife Species

Silver Gull
Chroicocephalus novaehollandiae
Photo by Heather Shipp, 2017

Singing Honeyeater - Lichenostomus virescens - Gnaraloo Wildlife Species

Singing Honeyeater
Lichenostomus virescens
Photo by Heather Shipp, 2017

Sooty Oystercatcher - Haematopus fuliginosus - Gnaraloo Wildlife Species

Sooty Oystercatcher
Haematopus fuliginosus
Photo by Heather Shipp, 2018

White-Faced Heron - Egretta novaehollandiae - Gnaraloo Wildlife Species

White-Faced Heron
Egretta novaehollandiae
Photo by Simone Bosshard, 2018

White-Winged Fairy-Wren - Malurus leucopterus - Gnaraloo Wildlife Species

White-Winged Fairy-Wren
Malurus leucopterus
Photo by Heather Shipp, 2017

Have you seen animals that are not listed here?
Please submit your photos of what you saw at Gnaraloo – on land or in water – with a species identification.

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