Rosebank has a huge bird population and this makes it a bird watchers paradise.

The National Park’s subtropical rainforests support the threatened rufous scrub bird, white-eared monarch and the marbled frogmouth, as well as fruit-eating rainforest pigeons and other birds that pass the winter here at our lower altitudes. Tall wet forest areas support the critically endangered red goshawk and vulnerable sooty and masked owls.

The Nightcap NP & Whian Whian SCA have been identified as important Bird areas (IBAs) by Bird Life International, because they contain the largest known populations of albert’s lyrebirds as well as populations of paradise riflebirds, catbirds, regent bowerbirds, logrunners and migratory birds which arrive here each summer to feed on the rainforest fruits. The topknot pigeon arrives here in April in large flocks of about 200 birds and figbirds flock in March. In good years of high rainfall, these flocking birds can arrive as early as February. The highly social and noisy spangled drongos put on amazing aerial courtship displays during the summer.

Rosebank has just one flock of yellow-tailed black cockatoos. We have watched their numbers increase over the past few years from just 13 birds to 33. A recent report from Minyon Falls counted approx 60 of these magnificent birds but this is still to be confirmed.

Albert’s Lyrebird
Menura alberti

The Albert’s Lyrebird is very similar to the Superb Lyrebird but is the rarer of the two species. It is a ground-dwelling songster which mimics other species and man made sounds. For its courtship display it builds a mound in winter by trampling down vegetation rather than scratching up a mound from debris. From his mound which is usually located where the sun filters through the canopy, the male will put on an impressive song and dance display using his lyre shaped tail feathers to lure the females within his home range. The female will go off by herself after mating to find a moist gully where she constructs her own twiggy nest for her single egg, incubating and rearing her chick as a sole parent The Albert’s Lyrebird lives in a very restricted range in north-east NSW & south-east Qld where the forests have a deep cover of leaf litter where it can find its diet of insects amongst the rotting logs. The bird is 90cm long, brownish in colour with a rufous (chestnut) coloured belly. Sightings of these shy birds are important to NPWS-ph 6627 0200

Paradise Riflebird
Ptiloris paradiseus

The Paradise Riflebird is a medium sized bird in the Bird of Paradise family that is endemic to the rainforests of NSW and central eastern Qld.. The male is a black with an iridescent greeny-blue head, throat and tail. It has a black curved beak, with a bright yellow mouth while the female is a greeny-brown with black bars on her chest. In displays, the male extends his wings and fans them upward with its head behind the wings to expose his metallic green throat feathers. He then moves his head from side to side with open bill to show off his bright yellow mouth. The diet consists of insects and they can be found in the rainforests of the Big Scrub Remnant

Green Catbird
Ailuroedus crassirostris

Green catbird
photo: Alex Wilson

Australian Brush-turkey

Grey (white morph) Goshawk

Tawny Frogmouth

Southern Boobook
photo: Alicia Carter

Emerald Dove
photo: Alicia Carter

Wompoo Fruit-dove

Wonga Pigeon

Australian King Parrot

Superb Fairy-Wren
photo: Alex Wilson

Red-backed Fairy-Wren
photo: Alex Wilson

Eastern Yellow Robin juvenile
photo: Alex Wilson

Eastern Spinebill
photo: Alicia Carter

Spotted Pardalote
photo: Alex Wilson

Rainbow Bee-eater
photo: Alex Wilson

Eastern Whipbird
photo: Alex Wilson

Pheasant Coucal

Buff-banded Rail

Pied Butcherbird

Collared Kingfisher
photo: Alicia Carter

The Green Catbird is a species of bowerbird found in the subtropical rainforest but do not build a bower. The Green Catbird is widespread and common throughout its habitat range and is often seen on the fringes of the rainforests and sometimes adjacent to eucalypt forests. Its name is due to its unmistakable call, similar to that of an angry cat, although it has also been mistaken for a crying child. The male has beautiful bright green feathers with streaks of white on its neck and feather tips and black markings on its face. The Catbird eats a diet mainly of flowers, fruits and plants but has also been known to feed their young on small birds or reptiles. The breeding season is from September to January and they are most prolific in this area in from oct-dec when they are at the height of their courtship. Catbirds mate for life and nests have several layers of wet, soft wood beneath a lining of fine leaves and twigs.

BIRD LISTS of Rosebank (including the Nightcap NP & Whian Whian SCA)

(Bird lists for the area were recorded, photographed, researched & donated by Alan & Joan Davies, Alicia Carter, Alex Wilson & Sharon McGrigor)

Mound builders

  • Albert’s Lyrebird Menura alberti Vulnerable
  • Australian Brush-turkey Alectura lathami
  • King Quail Coturnix chinensis
  • Painted Button-quail Turnix varia

Birds of prey

Pacific Bazza
photo: Alicia Carter

Wedgetail Eagle
photo: Alicia Carter

Black-shouldered Kite

Brown Falcon
photo: Alicia Carter

  • Pacific Baza Aviceda subcristata
  • Marbled Frogmouth Podargus ocellatus Vulnerable
  • Tawny Frogmouth Podargus strigoides
  • Black-shouldered Kite Elanus axillaris
  • Whistling Kite Haliastur sphenurus
  • Wedge-tailed Eagle Aquila audax
  • Red Goshawk Erythrotiorchis radiatus Critcally Endangered
  • Brown Goshawk Accipiter fasciatus
  • Grey (white) Goshawk Accipiter novaehollondiae
  • Collared Sparrow Hawk Accipiter cirrhocephalus
  • White-bellied Sea-Eagle Haliaeetus leucogaster
  • Brown Falcon Falco berigora


Barking Owl
photo: Alicia Carter

Barn Owl
photo: Alicia Carter

  • Powerful Owl Ninox strenua Vulnerable
  • Barking Owl Ninox connivens Vulnerable
  • Masked Owl Tyto novaehollandiae Vulnerable
  • Sooty Owl Tyto tenebricosa Vulnerable
  • Southern Boobook Ninox novaeseelandiae
  • Barn Owl Tyto alba


Superb Fruit-Dove juvenile
photo: Alicia Carter

Rose-crowned Fruit-dove
photo: Alicia Carter

  • Rose-crowned Fruit-dove Ptilinopus regina Vulnerable
  • Superb Fruit-Dove Ptilinopus superbus Vulnerable
  • Wompoo Fruit-dove Ptilinopus magnificus Vulnerable
  • Topknot Pigeon Lopholaimus antarcticus
  • White-headed Pigeon Columba leucomela
  • Brown Cuckoo-Dove Macropygia amboinensis
  • Bar-shouldered Dove Geopelia humeralis
  • Emerald Dove Chalcophaps indica
  • Crested Pigeon Ocyphaps(Geophaps)lophotes
  • Wonga Pigeon Leucosarcia melanoleuca
  • Brush Bronzewing Phaps elegans


  • Double-eyed Fig Parrot cyclopsitta diophthalama Critically Endangered
  • Glossy Black-Cockatoo Calyptorhynchus lathami Vulnerable
  • Yellow-tailed Black-Cockatoo Clayptorhynchus funereus
  • Galah Eolophus (Cacatua) roseicapillus
  • Sulphur-crested Cockatoo Cacatua galerita
  • Rainbow Lorikeet Trichoglossus haematodus
  • Scaly-breasted Lorikeet Trichoglossus chlorolepidotus
  • Australian King Parrot Alisterus scapularis
  • Crimson Rosella Platycercus elegans
  • Eastern Rosella Platycercus eximius

Wrens, Finches & Honey eaters

  • Superb Fairy-Wren Malurus cyaneus
  • Red-backed Fairy-Wren Malurus melanocephalus
  • Variegated Fairy- Wren Malurus lamberti
  • Spotted Pardalote Pardalotus punctatus
  • Striated Pardalote Pardalotus striatus
  • Yellow-throated Scrubwren Sericornis citreogularis
  • White-browed Scrubwren Sericornis frontalis
  • White-throated Gerygone Gerygone olivacea
  • Brown Gerygone Gerygone mouki
  • Brown Thornbill Acanthiza pusilla
  • Striated Thornbill Acanthiza lineata
  • Noisy Friarbird Philemon corniculatus
  • Little Friarbird Philemon citreogularis
  • Noisy Minor Manorina melanoephala
  • Blue-faced Honeyeater Entomyzon cyanotis
  • Lewin’s Honeyeater Meliphaga lewinii
  • New Holland Honeyeater Phylidonynis novaehollandiae
  • Red Wattlebird Anthochaera carunculata
  • Little Wattlebird Anthochaera chrysoptera
  • Eastern Spinebill Acanthorhynchus tenuirostris
  • Rose Robin Petroica rosea
  • Eastern Yellow Robin Eopsaltrie australis
  • Chestnut-Breated Mannikin Lonchura castaneothorax
  • Pale-yellow Robin Tregellasia capito
  • Scarlet Honeyeater Myzomela sanguinolenta
  • Eastern Whipbird Psophodes olivaceus
  • Jacky Winter Microeca fascinans (leucophaea)
  • Welcome Swallow Hirundo neoxena
  • Mistletoebird Dicaeum hirundinaceum
  • Silvereye Zosterops lateralis
  • Red-Browed Firetail Finch Neochmia temporalis
  • Diamond Firetail Stagonopleura guttata
  • Red-eared Firetail Stagonopleura oculata
  • Varied Sittella Daphoenositta chrysoptera

other birds

  • Paradise Riflebird Ptilotis paradiseus
  • Green Catbird Ailuroedus crassirostris crassirostris
  • Bush-hen Amaurornis olivaceus Vulnerable
  • Black Bittern Ixobrychus flavicollis Vulnerable
  • Australian Logrunner Orthonyx temminckii
  • White-Eared Monarch Monarcha leucotis Vulnerable
  • Rufous Scrub-Bird Atrichornis rufescens Vulnerable
  • Buff-banded Rail gallirallus philippensis
  • Eastern Whipbird Psophodes olivaceus
  • Treecreeper
  • Golden Whistler Pachycephala pectoralis
  • Rufous Whistler Pachycephala rufiventris
  • Olive Whistler Pachycephala olivacea
  • Little Shrike-Thrush Colluricinicla megarhyncha
  • Satin Flycatcher Myiagra cyanoleuca

Golden Whistler

Red-Browed Firetail Finch
photo: Alex Wilson

Blue-faced Honeyeater

Scarlet Honeyeater
photo: Alex Wilson

  • Restless Flycatcher Myiagra inquieta
  • Willie Wagtail Rhipidura leucophrys
  • Black-backed Wagtail Motacilla lugens
  • Rufous Fantail Rhipidura fufifrons
  • Grey Fantail Rhipidura fuliginosa
  • Varied Triller Lalage leucomela
  • Common Koel Eudynamys scolopacea
  • Channel Billed Cuckoo Scythrops novaehollandiae

Regent Bowerbird female
photo: Alex Wilson

Satin Bowerbird
photo: Alicia Carter

Laughing Kookaburra twins

photo: Alex Wilson

  • Fan-tailed Cuckoo Cacomantis flabelliformis
  • Pheasant Coucal Centropus phasianinus
  • Australian Owlet-nightjar Aegotheles cristatus
  • White-throated Nightjar Eurostopodus mystacalis
  • Laughing Kookaburra Dacelo leachii
  • Sacred Kingfisher Todiramphus sanctus
  • Forest Kingfisher Todiramphus macleayii
  • Rainbow Bee-eater Merops ornatus
  • Dollarbird Eurystomus orientalis
  • Noisy Pitta Pitta versicolor
  • Spangled Drongo Dicrurus bracteatus
  • Magpie-lark Grallina cyanoleuca
  • Figbird Sphecotheres viridis
  • Olive-Backed Oriiole Oriolus sagittatus
  • Masked Woodswallow Artamus personatus
  • Fork-tailed Swift Apus pacificus
  • Regent Bowerbird Sericulus chrysocephalus
  • Satin Bowerbird Ptilonorhynchus violaceus
  • Black-faced Cuckoo-shrike Coracina novaehollandiae
  • Pied Butcherbird Cracticus nigrogularis
  • Grey Butcherbird Cracticus torquatus
  • Australian Magpie Gymnorhina tibicen
  • Pied Currawong Strepera graculina
  • Forest Raven Corvus tasmanicus
  • Australian Pelican Pelecanus conspicillatus
  • White-faced Heron Egretta novaehollandiae
  • White-necked Heron Ardea pacifica
  • Cattle Egret Ardea ibis
  • Little Egret Egretta garzetta
  • Australian Wood Duck Chenonetta jubata
  • Pacific Black Duck Anas superciliosa
  • Australasian Grebe Tachybaptus novaehollandiae
  • Australian White Ibis Threskiomis molucca
  • Straw-necked Ibis Threskiomis spinicollis
  • Black-necked Stork (Jabiru) Ephippiorhynchus asiaticus
  • Lewin’s Rail Rallus pectoralis
  • Dusky Moorhen Gallinula tenebrosa
  • Spur-winged Plover Vanellus miles.miles
  • Little Bronze Cuckoo Chrysococcyx minutillus
  • House Swift Apus affinis
  • Torresian Crow Corvus orru
  • Indian Peafowl Pavo cristatus

Refer to WIRES website for detailed descriptions and photo ID of birds at