Superb Fairywren Malurus cyaneus ©Andy Walker Website
Birding Victoria

Victoria is possibly Australia’s best-kept birding secret. This smallest mainland state boasts some terrific birds and a wide variety of habitats. From the eastern temperate rainforests to the mallee of the north-west over 490 bird species have been recorded in this state, which is about the size of the United Kingdom. This compares pretty well with Western Australia, for example, which is many times the size of Victoria yet has a list of just over 500 species. Victoria is a small state by Australian standards but the distances are still vast and it would be difficult to cover all the best birding sites in one visit. Here is a brief overview of the best spots.

If you’re visiting Victoria you’re most likely to enter via Melbourne, Australia’s second largest city. Those with limited time would be advised to visit Ferntree Gully National Park or Toolangi State Forest for Superb Lyrebird, Pink Robin, Pilotbird and other wet forest specialists. A visit to Werribee Treatment Plant is a must for any birder travelling to Victoria. This extensive area is one of Australia’s premier birding destinations – numerous lagoons and mudflats play host to many species of wader, wildfowl and water birds.

Travelling east from Melbourne to East Gippsland some of the best birding can be found around Mallacoota. The forests and heath lands here differ markedly to those in other parts of the state as they enjoy a slightly milder climate. Some of the birds to search for here include Glossy Black Cockatoo, Ground Parrot and Eastern Bristlebird. Further north, one crosses the Great Dividing Range in order to bird one of Australia’s most endangered habitats, the box-ironbark forests. Some of the better areas for birding include Rushworth State Forest, Whipstick and Kamarooka State Forests near Bendigo and the legendary Chiltern National Park. A suite of woodland birds specialises in these dry forests. Some of the more sought after species here are Turquoise Parrot, Spotted Quail-Thrush, Regent Honeyeater and Speckled Warbler amongst others.

South west of Melbourne, a trip along the Great Ocean Road to the Otway Ranges will be rewarded with spectacular scenery and some great birding. This area is probably the best place in Australia for the enigmatic Rufous Bristlebird. If you go all the way to Port Fairy you may be able to join a pelagic trip on which many species of albatross, petrels, prions and other seabirds can be observed – arguably the best pelagic trip in the world. Up in the north west of the state the mallee is the biggest draw with a number of spectacular or hard-to-find species restricted to this habitat. These include Malleefowl, Regent Parrot, Red-lored Whistler, Mallee Emu-Wren and Striated Grasswren. The best parks to visit are Little Desert, Wyperfeld, Hattah-Kulkyne and Murray-Sunset national Parks.

This page is sponsored by Firetail Birdwatching Tours

  • Susan Myers


Number of Species
  • Number of bird species: 516

    State Bird - Helmeted Honeyeater Lichenostomus melanops
Useful Reading

  • Regional Field Guide to Birds: South-East Coast and Ranges

    | By Graham Pizzey & Frank Knight | Harper Collins Australia | 2013 | Paperback | 144 pages, colour photos, colour illustrations | ISBN: 9780732295356 Buy this book from
  • Where to See Birds in Victoria

    | Edited by Tim Dolby, Penny Johns & Sally Symonds | Allen & Unwin | 2009 | Paperback | 192 pages, Colour photos, maps | ISBN: 9781741757361 Buy this book from
  • Rotamah Island Bird Observatory

    Observatory WebsiteSatellite View
    Including Gippsland Bird Research - Rotamah Island is in the Lakes National Park. Bird and other Wildlife is abundant near the Observatory and walking tracks lead from the Observatory to all parts of the island and the 90 mile beach…
Museums & Universities
  • Museum Victoria

    The site contains some species accounts and photographs
  • BirdLife Ballarat

    BirdLife Ballarat hold meetings on the 2nd Tuesday of the month except January. The Branch meets at the Primary Industries Training Centre, Cnr. Gillies & Gregory Streets, Wendouree at 7.30 pm. There is usually a guest speaker at our meetings. Our AGM is held in April each year - April 10, 2012
  • BirdLife Bass Coast

    Our primary concern is for conservation of birds and bird habitat. Our region covers most of the Bass Coast Shire extending from the Western Port coastline of West Gippsland to Cape Liptrap and north to the Strezlecki Ranges and includes Phillip Island and French Island. A diversity of habitats is covered on our outings, enabling us to view a wide range of species
  • BirdLife Bayside

    Although BirdLife Bayside is based in Beaumaris (Melbourne) as that is where our meetings are held, we range far and wide on our outings and our membership is not geographically based
  • BirdLife Bellarine Peninsula

    Birdlife Bellarine is a small group of bird enthusiasts dedicated to bird observing. The group draws membership primarily from the Bellarine Peninsula, but also has members from as far afield as Melbourne
  • BirdLife East Gippsland

    BirdLife East Gippsland is a regional branch of BirdLife Australia, promoting the appreciation, understanding and conservation of birds and their habitats
  • BirdLife Echuca District

    BirdLife Echuca District is a cross-border Branch that aims to serve approximately 120 members who reside in southern New South Wales (including Shire of Murray, Deniliquin, Shire of Conargo, Barham and surrounding areas) or northern Victoria, (including Campaspe Shire, City of Greater Bendigo, Gunnawarra Shire, Loddon Shire and surrounding areas
  • BirdLife Hamilton

    We embrace central western Victoria with members and outings covering the following areas Merino, Carapook, Konongwootong, Caddens Flat, Casterton, Nareen, Harrow, the southern edge of Rocklands Reservoir, Victoria Valley & Southern Grampians, Glenthompson, Caramut, Hawkesdale, Willatook, Orford, Hotspur, and Digby
  • BirdLife Horsham

    Horsham branch has outings in the local area on the first Sunday of each month except January
  • BirdLife Melbourne

    BirdLife Melbourne, the Melbourne Branch of BirdLife Australia has resulted from the coming together of MELBOCA (Melbourne Branch of BOCA) and the Melbourne Members of BA Vic Group, following the merger of BA and BOCA
  • BirdLife Mildura

    Birdlife Mildura is situated in the northwest corner of Victoria. We are fortunate to have a range of habitats to explore from riverine red gum and black box forests with billabongs to shallow, saline drainage lakes and vast areas of mallee including the Murray-Sunset National Park
  • BirdLife Mornington Peninsula

    Located on the Mornington Peninsula in Victoria, the Mornington Peninsula branch of BirdLife Australia was formed in 1983 as the
  • BirdLife Murray Goulburn

    The Murray Goulburn Branch of BirdLife Australia is based in the Shepparton region in Victoria’s Goulburn Valley, 180 km north of Melbourne.
  • BirdLife Ovens and Murray

    BirdLife Ovens and Murray is a branch providing local activities for BirdLife members in the Ovens and Murray region of south-eastern NSW and north-eastern Victoria
  • BirdLife South East SA

    Membership consists of BirdLife Australia members in south-eastern South Australia and south-western Victoria. Close links on projects and activities are shared with Friends of Shorebirds South East for this same area
  • BirdLife Warrnambool

    BirdLife Warrnambool (formerly Sou
  • BirdLife Yarra Valley

    BirdLife Yarra Valley is a branch providing local activities for BirdLife members in Healesville and the Yarra Valley
  • Field Naturalists Club of Victoria

    The Field Naturalists Club of Victoria (FNCV) was founded in 1880, and continues as a vigorous and practical advocate of conservation and the study of natural history to this day. The Club has over 600 members and publishes the bimonthly magazine The Victorian Naturalist. This site describes the special interest groups within the FNCV, the clubs program of meetings and excursions, includes a report of recent meetings and an outline of ongoing research activities
  • Friends of the Helmeted Honeyeater

    Friends of the Helmeted Honeyeater formed in May 1989 when the Helmeted Honeyeater population reached a critically low level of 50 birds
  • Murray Goulburn

    The Murray Goulburn Branch of BirdLife Australia is based in the Shepparton region in Victoria
  • Victorian Ornithological Research Group Inc

    Facebook Page
    The Victorian Ornithological Research Group (VORG) is a small project-focused ornithological group of amateurs and professionals based in Victoria, Australia. It was formed in 1962. It publishes a bulletin, VORG Notes.
  • Victorian Wader Study Group

    The Victorian Wader Study Group (VWSG) was formally constituted in 1978, however fieldwork actually began in 1975. The VWSG's primary objective is to conduct a long-term comprehensive study of waders and terns throughout Victoria. The VWSG is a non-profit organisation and is made up of 100+ volunteers.

Abbreviations Key

  • BIC Mount Rothwell (Little River Earth Sanctuary)

    InformationSatellite View
    Little River Earth Sanctuary in Victoria offers a truly unique wildlife experience. Join us on a guided walk and discover endangered animals in their natural habitat, as it was 200 years ago, before European settlement. A visit to Little River Earth Sanctuary is to totally immerse yourself in a quality Australian bush experience…
  • MNP Yaringa

    InformationSatellite View
    Yaringa Marine National Park covers 980 hectares between the mainland and Quail Island Nature Conservation Reserve, about 9 kilometres southwest of Tooradin. The area comprises saltmarsh, mangroves, sheltered intertidal mudflats, subtidal soft sediments and tidal channels. The mudflats within the Marine National Park are of national significance primarily as a feeding habitat for wader birds and other water birds. Many water birds and wader birds roost among the mangroves and nearby coastal woodlands…
  • NCR Whipstick

    InformationSatellite View
  • NP Chiltern-Mt Pilot

    WebpageSatellite View
    Situated in north-central Victoria almost on the New South Wales border, Chiltern National Park is one of the best known birding spots in the state. With good reason, too - this 4300ha park is absolutely superb…
  • NP Dandenong Ranges

    WebpageSatellite View
    In 1987 Sherbrooke Forest, Doongalla Reserve and Ferntree Gully National Park were combined to form Dandenong Ranges National Park. Covering 3215 hectares, the park plays an important role in protecting a population of famous lyrebirds and other fauna, as well as protecting the forests and fern gullies of the Ranges. Since June 1997 Olinda State Forest and the Mt Evelyn Forest have also been included in Dandenong Ranges National Park…
  • NP Greater Bendigo

    WebpageSatellite View
    The Greater Bendigo National Park is a national park located in the Loddon Mallee region of Victoria, Australia. The 17,020-hectare (42,100-acre) national park was created in 2002 from the former Whipstick State Park, Kamarooka State Park, One Tree Hill Regional Park, Mandurang State Forest and the Sandhurst State Forest...
  • NP Murray-Sunset

    WebpageSatellite View
    The Murray-Sunset National Park is just about my favourite place in Victoria, especially as we have no tropical rainforest here (you cannot have everything). It is located in an area known as the mallee (for the dominant species of Eucalypt here) in northwest Victoria…
  • NP Rotamah Island & Lakes

    WebpageSatellite View
    Rotamah Island is in the Lakes National Park. Bird and other Wildlife is abundant near the Observatory and walking tracks lead from the Observatory to all parts of the island and the 90-mile beach. The homestead provides very comfortable accommodation and facilities, and is an excellent base for a wide range of activities to suit all ages and interests…
  • NP Terrick Terrick

    WebpageSatellite View
    Terrick Terrick is a small national park located in the North-central region of Victoria, about 100km north of Bendigo…
  • National Parks

    WebsiteSatellite View
    Parks Victoria is a statutory authority, created by the Parks Victoria Act 1998 and reporting to the Minister for Environment, Climate Change and Water,The Hon Lisa Neville MLA and Minister for Ports; Minister for Roads and Road Safety, The Hon Luke Donellan MLA.
  • SF Rushworth

    InformationSatellite View
    Rushworth SF is about 1.5 hours by car from my home town of Melbourne and one of the largest areas of box-ironbark forest left in the state - a pretty woeful state of affairs…
  • WCP Moonlit Sanctuary

    WebsiteSatellite View
    Moonlit Sanctuary is only 50 minutes south-east of central Melbourne, at the top of the Mornington Peninsula, and on the way to the Penguins on Phillip Island. Melbourne’s award winning wildlife park, Moonlit Sanctuary Wildlife Conservation Park invites you to explore 10 hectares of bushland, meeting endangered species, feeding kangaroos and wallabies, petting koalas and enjoying encounters with colourful birds, reptiles, dingoes and many other animals.
Forums & Mailing Lists
  • Birdline Victoria

    Mailing List
    Birdline Victoria is a service for birdwatchers to report and find out about rare or unusual bird sightings in Victoria, Australia. The information that we receive here will be used not only by interested birdwatchers but also in the preparation of such documents as the Victorian Bird Report.
Guides & Tour Operators
  • Firetail Birdwatching Tours

    Facebook Page
    Firetail Birdwatching Tours, operated by Simon Starr, is Victoria’s longest running specialist bird guiding company. A wide range of itineraries are offered from half a day to over a week, specialising in birding and nature tours across the entire state of Victoria and adjacent New South Wales. …
  • The Melbourne Birder

    Facebook Page
    Guided birding tours in the Greater Melbourne region - We offer a variety of bird watching tours encompassing the broad range of habitats found in south-central Victoria. Birdlife in this region is prolific, varied and exciting, and coupled with some of southern Australia's most magnificent scenery only a short distance away from the Melbourne CBD, a visually stimulating and satisfying nature-based experience can be expected
Trip Reports

Click on WAND to see Fatbirder’s Trip Report Repository…

  • 2016 [11 November] - Andy Walker

    PDF Report
    his East Coast tour commenced on 28th October 2016 in Melbourne, Victoria, then continued through southern New South Wales and north through southern and then northern Queensland, and terminated in Cairns on 13th November 2016.
  • 2019 [07 July] - Christian Teltscher

    Birding day to the south-west of Melbourne to add some target species to my Australia list
  • 2019 [10 October] - Max Breckenridge

    PDF Report
    The good conditions here meant that it was remarkably birdy, and we were bombarded by new species as we stepped out of the bus – Black, White-fronted, Spiny-cheeked, and New Holland honeyeaters fed in flowering trees, while hordes of White-winged Trillers fed on the grassy lawn and flocks of Masked and White-browed woodswallows chattered noisily overhead. A walk around the lodge was good for White-eared Honeyeater, the tiny Weebill, Eastern Rosellas, and a surprise pair of the scarce Black-eared Cuckoo showing closely. After some searching, a walk along the fox-proof fence proved very fortunate as we soon located a single Malleefowl! Working our way north to the town of Ouyen, we made several fortuitous stops. The first was at Lake Hindmarsh where a roadside ditch revealed a party of Black-tailed Nativehens, and some lakeside trees were being used by the beautiful Regent Parrot and Purple-crowned Lorikeet for nest hollows. Nearing Ouyen, we made a quick stop in a patch of mallee south of town and were soon enjoying remarkably close views of Shy Heathwren, Crimson Chats, a stunning male Splendid Fairywren, two new species of thornbill, and a lovely Redcapped Robin.
  • Tim Dolby's bird trip report site

    Birds and birding in Alice Springs, Cairns, Chiltern, Croajingolong, Darwin, Flinders Ranges, Gluepot, Grampians, Great Barrier Reef, Gulf of Carpentaria, Hattah, Kakadu, Lamington, Little Desert, Murray-Sunset, Simpson Desert, Strzelecki Track, Sturt NP, Terrick Terrick and Wyperfeld
Places to Stay

Click on WAND to see Fatbirder’s Trip Report Repository…

  • Little Desert Nature Lodge

    Experience and learn of the natural beauty of this vast Australian wilderness while staying at the renowned Little Desert Lodge. Whimpey Reichart`s personalised desert tours and educational resources ensure a lifetime memory…
  • Strathvea

    Nestled in five acres of English gardens and surrounded by native bushland and state rainforest, Strathvea is only an hour from Melbourne. We are a place where guests are totally pampered and every day is relaxed and carefree. Bush walking, bird watching…
  • Wide Horizons Bed & Breakfast

    Native birds frequent the garden and the nearby Maroondah Dam, within walking distance. Close by is the Healesville Sanctuary with its unique display of Australian native animals and birds.
Other Links
  • Birding Victoria

    The Birding Victoria website aims to assist visiting birders in finding south-eastern Australia’s special birds whilst also offering full details of potential tours. A huge amount of information is listed on birding sites and individual species, plus there are links to a wide range of relevant websites and resources….
  • Birding in Gippsland

    Featuring birding in Gippsland, flora and fauna, local history, the area in which we live, photographs, and much more
  • Eremaea Birds

    Welcome To Eremaea Birds - Your personal bird list organiser and global atlas combined
  • Ben Cruachan

    Duncan's blog about the nature of Gippsland, Australia. Birds, plants, insects, reptiles, and anything else that takes my fancy…
  • Ian Smissen - A passion for birds…

    I live on the Bellarine Peninsula--a great place for birds--so you'll see a lot of sites around the Bellarine and Geelong region (I've now started a Birds of the Bellarine Peninsula page on this blog as my bird list for the region) but I will include locations from wider afield and interstate if work, family and other commitments allow me to travel more widely…
  • Natural Newstead

    Observations of flora, fauna and landscape in central Victoria…
  • Pete Shanley - Pete's Flap

    The musings, photos and trip reports of a late-rising, birder (Peter Shanley) from Melbourne, Australia…
Photographers & Artists
  • Artist - Greg Oakley Wildpix

    Bird pictures…
  • Photographer - Cheryl Ridge

    Great bird pictures from this Australian photographer
  • Photographer - David Kleinert

    An excellent photographer with a penchant for spiders as well as birds and other fauna
  • Photographer - Peter Fuller

    Brilliant photos and photographic trip reports
  • Photographers - Sarah Koschak & Andrew Skeoch

    Gallery with some truly stunning photographs

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