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Key plants used by Australian birds:
Fig tree (Ficus [...])

Aboriginal names: "dhiil" [yuwaalaraay, yuwaalayaay]

Australia has a number of native fig trees, which grow mostly in high to moderate rainfall areas, providing birds and other animals (such as bats) with a valuable food source. Although not offering nectar to birds, figtrees are sought after by some species of fruit-eating doves and cuckoos, but also by the bird that received its name accordingly, the Figbird. Fig trees are usually found in closed forest, including rainforest, sometimes also in open forest. Fig trees can reach enormous sizes and although they get very old, they also have impressive growth rates, as shown below.

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.


10-year old Moreton Bay Fig (Ficus macrophylla) in a private driveway

View into the crown of a mighty Moreton Bay Fig (Ficus macrophylla) at Wingham Brush NR

Example of a tree whose canopy can be so dense that there is little light penetrating and therefore little undergrowth: a Strangler Fig, which has disposed of its former host in tall closed forest

In some sheltered locations native fig trees can grow on the western side of Australia's Great Dividing Range - here maturing fruit, which are an important food source, at Sawn Rocks, Mt. Kaputar NP

Fig trees can find a foothold in the most unlikely places like here, at Sawn Rocks, Mt. Kaputar NP


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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