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Australian bird habitats: paddock/pasture

Description of habitat

The area of the Australian continent covered by grassland has increased since white settlement as a consequence of land clearing for paddocks and pasture. Extensive cattle and sheep farms are found throughout the semi-arid interior of the continent. The creation of open grassland favours some species at the expense of others. For example, the Common Bronzewing, once the most common dove/pigeon of inland NSW, is now found mostly in the remaining patches of contiguous forest and woodland, whereas now Crested Pigeons dominate the open country.

We distinguish here between paddocks (tall, partly native grass similar to grassland) and pasture (short, mostly introduced, lucerne-type vegetation more similar to lawns or sports grounds).

Paddock

The list of birds shown here coincides largely with that for grassland.

Bird species found in this type of habitat or plant

This is not necessarily a complete list. We display here some examples of bird species found by us in this kind of habitat or plant. Hover your cursor on thumbnails to see names of species; click on thumbnail to go to the page describing the species.

Photos

Paddock on the western slopes of the Great Dividing Range, NSW, where previously there would have been eucalypt forest

Spotted Harrier hunting in its typical way, low above grassland, which in this case is a paddock

Pasture

The list of birds shown here coincides largely with that for lawns and sports grounds. This list contains more entries, mostly for bird species found on flooded pasture, but also for those species that do not tolerate human interference (which will happen regularly on lawns and sportsgrounds).

Bird species found in this type of habitat or plant

This is not necessarily a complete list. We display here some examples of bird species found by us in this kind of habitat or plant. Hover your cursor on thumbnails to see names of species; click on thumbnail to go to the page describing the species.

Photos

Example of pasture, with Australian Shelducks and Australian White Ibis feeding (photo courtesy of S. Kirkby)

These pages are largely based on our own observations and those of our contributors. The structure of these bird pages is explained HERE. For more salient facts on any bird species please refer to a field guide.

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