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Key plants used by Australian birds:
Belah, She-oak (Casuarina [...])

Aboriginal names: "bilaarr/belah/belar" [gamilaraay], "muurrgu/murrgu" [yuwaalaraay], "bruck-bruck", "kullindi", "narang", "nyerri", "queeda"

The Belah (Belar), or "She-oak", is one species in a whole family of trees/shrubs called "Casuarina" or "Casuarinaceae". Casuarinas are usually found in open forest or scrub. Most species of casuarinas are dioecious, i.e. there are male and female plants, which look different. Casuarinas are important sources of nectar for various species of honeyeaters. Glossy Black-Cockatoos have a preference for casuarina seeds.

Note that the name of "Oak" is a misnomer.

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.


Casuarinas lining a creek at Warrumbungle NP

Small stand of casuarinas (in front of some eucalypts)

Young casuarina with abundant flowering mistletoe; the Painted Honeyeater specializes in mistletoe in casuarinas

Close-up view of a casuarina seed cone

Female Glossy Black Cockatoo cracking open a casuarina seed cone
[Near Narrabri, NSW, October 2006]

Obviously, Red-browed Finches do not have the power to crack casuarina seeds as Glossy Black-Cockatoos would do - they must wait until the seed cones open up by themselves to release the mature seeds
[Old Quipolly Dam, Qurindi, NSW, May 2013]


This is not necessarily a complete list. We collate here various ways in which birds can use various types of plant.

Perch Roost Shade Food Nectar Fruit Seed Prey Nest
Shelter Vantage

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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