Mad Birds in Australia

We have a lot of birds in Australia, over 370 different species live in and around Brisbane alone, who knows how many different kinds we have across the whole country.

Some though are, shall we say, a sandwich short of a picnic. Or, as we are talking about our feathered friends, a bit ‘one flew over the Cuckoo’s nest’.

Do I need to be blunt? Okay. Some are very much like what they eat.


Let’s take a look back then at the top five mad birds of Australia; let the countdown begin:

5. The Kookaburra

The kookaburra is obviously quite mad, who laughs like that? And when one laughs, they all start laughing! You can see my video of a kookaburra in my post Bird Watching in Brisbane and there is also a link to another post where you can listen to that totally insane group laughter.

4. The Ibis

The Ibis is obviously mad because it looks mad and it walks mad, therefore it must be mad. We get the Australian White Ibis in these parts, and you can read more about them in my post When Ibis Attack!

3. Mad Noisy Bird

I have no idea what kind of bird this one was, but I do know for sure it was mad. Maybe not mad though, maybe this bird simply suffered from a condition and maybe I just needed to be a little more understanding. But I’m not sure, do birds get Tourette’s? Check it out for yourself in my post Oh No! Trouble with the Neighbours. I couldn’t identify this bird, maybe you can?

2. Brush Turkey

Whether you call him a Brushturkey, Australian Brush-turkey, Scrub Turkey, Bush Turkey or Alectura Lathami, it doesn’t matter. He’s mad! Always tidying up, building piles, busying himself around, totally insane. Or is he one of the smartest birds on the planet? There’s a reason why he builds his nest with such precision, find out in my post Who’s This Little Hoarder Ripping Up My Shrub?

1. The Australian Magpie

Not just mad, psychotically aggressive! Every year it’s the same, they think we are trying to steal their babies so they attack our heads! They attacked my head! I video it, watch it on my post Swooping Magpies: How Stupid Are They?

So, really, is that the top five mad birds of Australia?

No, there’s one more little birdie you’ve yet to meet, and this one would sooner kill you than invite you in for a merry singsong.

Now, who do we know that is mad enough to come face-to-face with a cassowary? Ah yes, of course, that mad Doctor Leahy…

To get a real close-up view of the cassowary though, it’s a good idea to be somewhere safe, like behind a sturdy fence. Being trapped in a car doesn’t really offer the same comfort…

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{ 2 comments… add one }
  • John December 24, 2012, 5:42 pm |

    I love it in Brisbane with the variety of bird life. I have been told and I believe it’s true, that 10% of ALL Australian bird species can be found within the Greater Brisbane suburbs. That sounds unlikely when you consider the massive size of Australia, but if you think about it there are a range of diverse habitats within the greater Brisbane area, areas of remnant Eucalypt forest (e.g. suburbs near to Mt Cootha), mangrove and wetlands near the coast (e.g Boondall, or Nudgee), and then all the generalist species that inhabit the suburbs closer to the CBD, then 10% becomes easier to accept.
    For bird life there are two broad ecological ranges along Australia’s East Coast, birds that can be found in the northern range are more heat tolerant species, and birds in the southern range less heat tolerant. If you picture the two ranges as elongated ovals on a map of Australia’s east coast, then the ovals overlap over South East Queensland, not too hot, and yet not too cold, for many many species, hence the large variety of birds here.
    When the first Europeans arrived, they assumed, that no bird had ever evolved here in Australia, and that the resemblance of the finches, wrens, crows, etc etc to the ones we left behind in Blighty, must be because birds somehow island hopped all the way over Asia down through Indonesia to Australia, but from a Northern Hemisphere evolutionary starting point; this idea was the accepted wisdom until the late 1980s, but guess what? the reverse is true, molecular genetic evidence has since shown that many ‘European’ species evolved right here, and then made the island hopping trip to the Northern hemisphere the other way.
    One last bit of Aussie bird trivia – the bird the Aussies call a Magpie (surely because it’s black and white like the ones back home), of course it’s not, it part of a songbird family with close relatives being Currawongs and Butcher Birds. And they do all love a sing song.
    Awesome bird life (and natural beauty) here in Brisbane, I hope that’s eventually understood by someone in power with a conscience dominated by something other than profit, before they develop what’s left and turn it all into one big lego housing estate, punctuated by shopping malls, as must have been policy in recent times judging by some of the outer suburbs I’ve seen.

    • BobinOz December 24, 2012, 10:46 pm |

      Ha ha, that kind of sums up why I ended up in Brisbane; not too hot and not too cold. I can assure you though, I won’t be island hopping my way back to the northern hemisphere, I’m here to stay 🙂

      I’m not surprised the Australian magpie is nothing like the European magpies I’ve been used to, magpies in the UK would never swoop on somebody’s head and try to peck their eyes out which is the favourite past time of the Aussie magpie.

      That said, I love the diversity of Brisbane’s birdlife. I didn’t even notice birds in England, they all look like sparrows, here they are simply a magnificent addition to our amazing wildlife. Let’s hope we offer them all the protection they need.


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