Bird Biodiversity at Eaglerise Farm

We have kept an opportunistic bird list updated for the past 20 years. Since 2014 we have had a Birds Australia expert conducting official bird surveys along 5 transects. Dr John Shepherd has forwarded this outline as of Feb 2020.


Systematic bird species recording has been carried out regularly since June 2016 using best practice BirdLife Australia methods. A total of 34 surveys at three sites across the farm revealed that 71 species are present. On a hillside farm at an elevation of 300-500m above sea level, this is a remarkable result. The organic farming methods practiced, and the provision of some small dams and the significant revegetation undertaken on the lower hill slopes and in the gullies have provided a sustainable habitat and the farm is a good example of how to bring back birds.

The species range across most of the main bird groups and many are resident breeders in the revegetation. Australian Wood and Pacific Black Ducks, Australasian Grebes and White-faced Herons are found on the dams. Red-rumped (Grass) Parrots, Galahs, Eastern Rosellas and Sulphur-crested Cockatoos are common, together with Crested Pigeons. Five species of raptor inhabit the slopes, including nesting Wedge-tailed Eagles and Brown Falcons.

Of a special importance are the numerous small woodland species that are generally uncommon or rare in the Albury, Table Top and Mullengandra districts. These include six vulnerable (to extinction) birds: Brown Treecreeper, Flame Robin, Hooded Robin, Varied Sittella, Dusky Woodswallow, and Diamond Firetail. Another vulnerable bird, the Little Eagle, has also been sighted. As well, Southern Whiteface, White-browed Babbler and Crested Shrike-tit are also present. Rainbow Bee-eaters arrive from the north for each summer to nest in the gully banks. This summer (2019-20) a pair of rare Red-backed Kingfishers have been present, a seldom recorded species in the district. Each winter significant numbers of Flame Robin feed in the pastures along the lower slopes of the farm. In one paddock alone, in 2018, 29 of these robins were counted.

To find all these species on the farm is a testament to the success of the revegetation program and farming practices.

Compiled by John Shepherd, President of BirdLife Australia, Ovens and Murray Branch.

Rainbow Bee Eaters

Here’s a video of our Rainbow Bee Eaters. They are a highlight of our year when we hear them arrive. Their beautiful song signifies the end of the cold weather and the start of the hot dry season. We don’t normally know when they leave. We just notice one day that we haven’t heard them for a little while. This clip shows them getting ready to fly north after breeding in our gully banks.

Superb Fairy Wrens

Just a little bit of Australian birds joy. These are Superb Fairy Wrens, malruscyaneus. The male is the blue one. This is filmed in real time, the soundtrack from ABCjazz was a complete fluke. It was playing on the TV in the background. These birds are having a birdbath in water going into one of our grapevines. These are the joys of observation.

Here is our pair of resident Australian Grebes. This pair live on our front dam. It’s great to take our evening walk and see these small birds scurry around the dam. Their nest can sometimes be seen floating around the dam. When their chicks hatch, they are tiny and if we approach the dam, the chicks climb on their mother’s back and she swims off with them to safety. I’ve seen her hide three chicks on her back and you wouldn’t know they were there.

They hide their eggs in their nests with wet grass as they try to direct us away from their nest site.

Wedge-tailed Eagle

Here is the largest bird of prey in Australia.
Mullengandra means a place where eagles fly. That is why we call our farm Eaglerise Farm. Our aim was always to develop an ecosystem that encourages the return on the mighty Wedge Tail Eagle. Well!!! Here you have it!

Eaglerise Farm Opportunistic Bird Sightings

  Common Name Scientific name Occurrence
1 Australian Wood Duck Chenonetta jubata often
2 Grey Teal Anas gracilis Often
3 Australian Shelduck Tadorna tadornoides Once
4 Hardhead Aythya australis Sometimes, seasonally
5 Pacific Black Duck Anas superciliosa Common
6 Mallard Anas platyrhynchos Occasionally
7 Australasian Shoveler Anas rhynchotis Occasionally
8 Australasian Grebe Tacyhbaptus novaehollandiae residents
9 Darter Anhinga melanogaster Occasionally
10 Little Pied Cormorant Phalacrocorax melanoleucos common
11 Australian Pelican Pelecanus conspicillatus Seldom
12 White-faced Heron Ardea novaehollandiae Common
13 Australian White Ibis Theskiornois molluca Occasionally
14 Whistling Kite Haliastur sphenurus Seldom
15 Little eagle Hieraaetus morphnoides Occasionally
16 Wedgetail Eagle Aquila audax Resident
17 Black-shouldered Kite Elanus axillatis Common
18 Brown Goshawk Accipter fasciatus Common
19 Nankeen Kestrel Falco cenchroidess Common
20 Australian Hobby Falco longipennis Occasionally
21 Peregrine Falcon Falco peregrinus Common
22 Brown Falcon Falco berigora Occasionally
23 Red-kneed Dotterel Erythrogonys cinctus Residents
24 Crested Pigeon Ocyphaps lophotes Common
25 Yellow-tailed Black-Cockatoo Calyptorhynchus funereus Seldom
26 Gang-gang Cockatoo Callocephalon fimbriatum Rare
27 Little Corella Cacatua tenuirostris Common
28 Sulphur-crested Cockatoo Cacatua galerita Common
29 Galah Cacatua roseicpilla Common
30 Rainbow Lorikeet Trichoglossus haematodus Rare
31 Australian King-parrot Alisterus scapularis Rare
32 Crimson Rosella Platycercus elegans elegans Common
33 Eastern Rosella Platycercus eximius Common
34 Red-rumper parrot Psephotus haemotonotus Resident
35 Black-eared Cuckoo Chrysococcyx osculans Seldom
36 Tawny Frogmouth Podargus strigoides Common
37 Red-backed Kingfisher Todiramphus pyrrhopygia Rare
38 Sacred Kingfisher Todiramphus sanctus Occasionally
39 Laughing Kookaburra Dacelo novaeguineae Common
40 Rainbow Bee-eater Merops ornatus Seasonally common
41 Dollarbird Eurystomus orientalis Rare
42 Brown Treecreeper Climacteris picumnus common
43 Superb Fairy-wren Malurus cyaneus Common
44 Striated Pardalote Pardalotus striatus Common
45 Yellow-rumped Thornbill Acanthiza chrysorrhoa Common
46 Chestnut-rumped Thornbill Acanthiza uropygalis Common
47 Southern Whiteface Aphelocephala leucopsis Common
48 Little Wattlebird Anthochaera chrysoptera Relatively common
49 Spiny-cheeked Honeyeater Acanthagenys rufogulris Occasionally
50 Noisy Friarbird Philemon corniculatus Occasionally
51 White-plumed Honeyeater Lichenostomusflavescens Common
52 Brown-headed Honeyeater Melithreptus brevirostris Rare
53 Eastern Spinebill Acanthorhynchus tenuirostris Rare
54 Mistletoebird Dicaeum hirundinaceum Common
55 Crimson Chat Epithianura tricolor Rare
56 Hooded Robin Melandryas cuculata Common
57 Flame Robin Petroica phoenicea Common
58 Scarlet Robin Petroica multicolour Often
59 Red-capped Robin Petroica goodenovii rare
60 Eastern Yellow Robin Eopsaltria australis Rare
61 Jacky Winter Microeca fascinans Sometimes
62 White-browed Babbler Pomatostomus superciliosus Common
63 Grey-crowned Babbler Pomatostomus temporalis sometimes
64 Varied Sitella Daphoenositts chrysoptera Rare
65 Crested Shrike-tit Oreoica gutturalis Sometimes
66 Olive Whistler Pachycephala olivacae Rare
67 Golden Whistler Pachycephala pectoralis Rare
68 Rufus Whistler Pachycephala rufiventris Common
69 Grey Shrike-thrush Colluricincla harmonica Often
70 Restless Flycatcher Myiagra alecto Often
71 Grey Fantail Rhipidura fuliginosa Sometimes
72 Willie Wagtail Rhipidura leucophrys Often
73 White-winged Triller Lalage tricolor Sometimes
74 Black-faced Cuckoo-shrike Coracina novaehollandiae Often
75 White-browed Woodswallow Artamus superciliosus Sometimes
76 Black-faced Woodswallow Artamus cinereus often
77 Dusky Woodswallow Artamus cyanopterus Sometimes
78 Pied Butcherbird Cracticus nigrogularis rare
79 Australian Magpie Gymnorhina tibicen Often
80 Pied Currawong Strepera graculina Sometimes
81 Australian Raven Corvus coronoides Often
82 White-winged Chough Cororax melanorhamphos Rare
83 Apostlebird Struthidea cinerea Rare
84 Australian (Richards) Pipit Anthus vovaeseelandiae Often
85 Zebra Finch Taeniopygia guttata Rare
86 Double-barred Finch Taeniopygia bichenovii Rare
87 Diamond Firetail Stagonopleura guttata Common
88 Red-browed Finch Neochimia temporalis Common
89 House Tree Sparrow Passer domesticus Common
90 European Goldfinch Carduelis cardue;is Rare
91 Welcome Swallow Hirundo neoxena Common
92 Fairy Martin Hirundo ariel Common
93 Clamorous Reed-Warbler Acrocephalus stentoreus Sometimes
94 Rufous Songlark Cincloramphus mathewsi Common
95 Silvereye Zosterops lateralis Sometimes
96 Common Starling Sturnus vulgaris Common
97 Common Myna Acridotheres tristis Rare
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