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Rottnest Island

Birds of Rottnest Island

Rottnest Island is home to many birds. Coastal birds around Rottnest Island include the pied cormorant, osprey, pied oystercatcher, silver gulls, crested tern, fairy tern, bridled tern, rock parrot and reef heron.

About ten percent of the eastern end of Rottnest Island is made up of salt lakes, containing brine shrimp. Brine Shrimp support a large number of birds such as the red-necked avocet, banded stilts, ruddy turnstone, curlew sandpiper, red-capped dotterel, Australian mountain duck, red-necked stint, grey plover, white-fronted chat, caspian terns and crested terns.

The red-necked stint (which weighs only 30 grams) - as well as the grey plover, ruddy turnstone, grey-tailed tattler and curlew sandpiper - is a transequitoral migrant which breeds in the Arctic Circle and flies to the southern hemisphere during the non-breeding season.

There are many sea birds around Rottnest Island, including the yellow-nosed albatross, the cape petrel, Wilson's storm petrel, Australian gannet, great skua and wedge-tailed shearwater. Of these only the wedge-tailed shearwater lands on the Island to breed in colonies of burrows at Cape Vlamingh and Radar Reef.
The birds of the Melaleuca and Acacia woodlands include the tree martin, welcome swallow, silvereye, spotted turtledove, laughing turtledove, fan-tailed cuckoo, red-capped robin, golden whistler, western warbler, singing honey eater and Australian raven.
Birds commonly found around the settlement area include the silver gull, Australian raven, sacred kingfisher and the banded plover (or lapwing). Peafowl, an introduced species released onto the Island in about 1915, can also be seen around the Settlement.

The osprey, nakeen kestrel and ring-necked pheasant favour the heath on Rottnest Island. The two to four pairs of osprey resident on Rottnest Island breed there every year, returning to their nests which are among the most durable structures in the world - one located at Salmon Point is estimated to be approximately 70 years old. The osprey nests are located at the highest point of a stack or headland, giving the birds a great vantage point.

The brackish swamps are home to the black duck and grey teal duck.

Get Involved with Research!

Rock Parrot ResearchResearch is currently being undertaken to determine the population size of Rock Parrots on Rottnest Island. This small parrot occurs on the rocky coastline and some islands of south and west Australia. Rock Parrots were common on Rottnest Island prior to the 1940s but the population was drastically reduced through predation by cats and by the removal of young birds in the 1940s and 1950s for the local bird keeping community.

Public support and sightings are needed for the success of this project and any feedback would be greatly appreciated to help conserve this species on the Island. 

Download the Rock Parrot Research Flyer for more information.

Download information on delayed removal of Stinging Nettle.

Download map of signficant Rock Parrot feeding habitat.