Birds of Shark Bay

Shark Bay has a bounty of birds. More than 240 different species are found here, or about 35% of Australia’s bird species. They range from the 10-cm zebra finch to the six-foot emu; from the squeaky reel of the thick-billed grasswren to the haunting notes of the chiming wedgebill. Some, such as the common greenshank, fly 12,000 km between Shark Bay and Siberia. Others, like the Dorre Island rufous fieldwren, are found nowhere else in the world.

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Global significance

For some birds, such as the regent parrot, Shark Bay marks the northern limit of their range. For osprey, pelicans and other seabirds, Shark Bay is an ideal place to nest. Each spring more than 65 species visit during their migration from the northern hemisphere. Regardless of the season, Shark Bay is a place of global birding significance.

Rare and Endangered Species

Some of Shark Bay’s birds are threatened with extinction. Here they are safe from predators; here they have a chance to thrive. Learn more about

The threatened malleefowl

Malleefowl © DEC / Babs & Bert Wells

Whether you’re looking for wrens or raptors, cormorants or cockatoos, birdwatchers will not be disappointed. Visit our wildlife viewing page for a full run down on the best bird-watching spots. You can download a list of Shark Bay species here.

You can also look up your favourite feathered friends at Fauna Base.