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Australian bird habitats: road/roadside

Description of habitat

Roads and roadsides provide habitats that are diverse enough for a considerable number of bird species to live there permanently. And while many birds are killed by cars, others take advantage of the hazards that traffic brings with it, by scavenging for roadkill, from small insects bouncing off cars' windscreens to large mammals, such as e.g. kangaroos. Others make use of roadside vegetation, including weeds. Some structures, such as e.g. bridges, also provide various bird species with nesting places. Which bird spcecies can be found by roadsides obviously depends to a large degree on what landscape - and what part of the continent - a road passes through. There are also differences between bird species found along sealed and unsealed roads.

Cockatoo species listed here usually pick up grain from roads that has been lost by trucks, whereas parrots are after grass seeds on the roadside.

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

Road in outback NSW, with roadside vegetation of grassland, some scrub and open woodland

In the photo below the sunflowers will attract parrots, while the grass and weeds attract small birds, such as e.g. fairy-wrens and finches.

Dirt road in inland NSW, with roadside vegetation of tall grass, weeds and escape commercial crop seeds, in this case sunflowers, with some wilgas along the fence line

Dirt road in outback NSW, with roadside vegetation of grass, some scrub and open woodland

Australian Pipit on an outback road

Yellow Thornbill in the remnants of last year's roadside weeds

Zebra Finches in the remnants of last year's roadside weeds

Fairy Martin nests under a road bridge

Great Egret emerging from a temporarily flooded roadside ditch
[Near Moree, NSW, June 2013]

Golden-headed Cisticola on a roadside fence
[Eulah Creek, NSW, December 2013]

Australian Pratincoles are often found in habitats without vegetation, such as e.g. gibber, fallow fields, or, as shown here, roadsides (photo courtesy of C. Hayne)
[Near Moree, NSW, December 2013]

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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