Support
Subscribe
Subscribe to BirdNote

Sign up to receive a weekly email preview of the following week's shows!

Sign Up
Support BirdNote

Help BirdNote tell more stories, reach more people, and inspire action.

DONATE

You are here

Australia's Rainforest Birds

Isolated and unique from all other rainforests on earth
© Brian McCauley View Large

The rainforests of Eastern and Northeastern Australia harbor many species of birds found almost nowhere else. This Eastern Whipbird — which is more often heard than seen — hangs out in the dense understory. Easier to lay eyes on is the large, pigeon-like Wompoo Fruit-Dove. Feathered in a stunning combination of green, purple, and yellow, this bird is clearly named for its voice. And a pig-like grunting on the forest floor tells us we’re in the company of the Southern Cassowary. Its helmet — called a casque — makes it look as much like a dinosaur as any living bird. 

Full Transcript

Transcript: 

BirdNote®
Australia’s Rainforest Birds
Written by Bob Sundstrom

This is BirdNote.

[http://macaulaylibrary.org/audio/193295, 0.02-.05]  

The rainforests of Eastern and Northeastern Australia are isolated from all other rainforests on earth. As a result, they harbor many species of birds found almost nowhere else. [http://macaulaylibrary.org/audio/193295, 0.02-.05]  

The Eastern Whipbird hangs out in the dense understory. It’s dark, crested, 10 inches long — and more often heard than seen. Like its neighbor, the Spotted Catbird, that’s nearly a foot long and emerald-green with white spots. [http://macaulaylibrary.org/audio/202015, 0.37-.42] 

Easier to lay eyes on is the large, pigeon-like Wompoo Fruit-Dove, perching high in a tree, gulping down small fruits. Feathered in a stunning combination of green, purple, and yellow, this bird is clearly named for its voice. [http://macaulaylibrary.org/audio/202015, 0.37-.38] It also calls New Guinea home.

While pig-like grunting on the forest floor tells us we’re in the company of the largest bird on the continent — the Southern Cassowary.
[http://www.xeno-canto.org/species/Casuarius-casuarius]

On average, the female weighs 130 pounds and stands around 5 feet tall, looking like a giant, lush, black hairpiece on thick legs.
[http://www.xeno-canto.org/species/Casuarius-casuarius]

A helmet called a casque makes it look as much like a dinosaur as any living bird. Check our website for a photo.
[http://www.xeno-canto.org/species/Casuarius-casuarius, first recording in list]

For BirdNote, I’m Mary McCann.

###

Bird sounds provided by The Macaulay Library of Natural Sounds at the Cornell Lab of Ornithology, Ithaca, New York: Eastern Whipbird [193295] recorded by David A McCartt;  Spotted Catbird [189064] recorded by Cedar A Mathers-Winn; Wompoo Fruit-Dove [202015] recorded by Emma I Greig.
Southern Cassowary recorded by Marc Anderson, sourced from http://www.xeno-canto.org/species/Casuarius-casuarius  
BirdNote’s theme music was composed and played by Nancy Rumbel and John Kessler.
Producer: John Kessler
Executive Producer: Dominic Black

© 2016 Tune In to Nature.org        March 2018         Narrator: Mary McCann

ID#   australia-02-2016-03-21   australia-02(b) 

Sights & Sounds

Related topics:

Related field notes:

Home
Shows
Galleries
More