The Atherton Tablelands -
A Birdwatchers and Wildlife paradise!

Black Faced
Black-faced Monarch

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 Painted by Jenny Holmes

 Bird Photos - Photographers - Greg Holland & Leon Keasey
This site features an outstanding collection of high quality photos of Australian bird life, containing hundreds of species...

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Australian Fauna Diversity

Feeding Rock Wallabies in the wild

The Atherton Tablelands is a Fauna lovers delight, not only is the landscape and climate diverse in a very small area, but also its inhabitants. Australian fauna icons, such as the platypus, cassowary, Lumholtz tree kangaroo, kangaroo, rock wallaby, wallaby, echidna, bandicoot and kookaburra etc, can all be found at, or within a short drive or walk from Atherton Blue Gum B&B or The Summit B&B. Bird life is abundant and diverse with over 40% of all Australian species found on the Atherton Tablelands. The environmental health of the Atherton Tablelands is verified by the number and diversity of its Frog species.

Atherton Blue Gum B&B and The Summit B&B are situated high on the slopes of Hallorans Hill. Hallorans Hill is an extinct volcano with Mabi Rainforest - Type 5B within its crater. This habitat is critically endangered and the Australian Government has listed it as such, only 2% of the original forest remains. John & Helen, from Atherton Blue Gum, have planted 3000 Mabi trees on their other property (The Summit Rainforest Retreat & Conference Centre), to extend this threatened eco system. Walks into this crater begin only a short distance from Atherton Blue Gum.

Endemic Birds

There are over 300 species of birds on the Atherton Tablelands. When conditions are right, 240 of these species have been recorded in 1 day by our local expert. For Birders visiting the Wet Tropics of North Queensland, the main objective is to observe all of the 13 bird species confined to the region. These endemic birds are resident at sites round Atherton that are accessible throughout the year. All species occur within and near rainforests and most occur widely. Reliable sites for each species are listed below. Atherton Blue Gum is only 3 - 15 minutes drive, from all of these sites. Atherton Blue Gum B&B is an ideal base for birding in Queensland.

For birding services in the Brisbane area, see Birding Services Brisbane.

Guiding Service

Alan's Wildlife Services provides a guiding service for half, full day and longer periods as required. Packages are available for nocturnal spotlighting, bird guiding and mammal spotting. Alan can guide from your vehicle, or from his vehicle. This service is available throughout North Queensland for birds and other native animals. Please contact us, if you require his rates or more information. Bookings are essential for this service. Alan is an excellent guide with an exceptional knowledge of fauna sites on the Atherton Tablelands.

Species restricted to higher elevation

  • Golden Bowerbird... The Crater, Baldy Mt Walk, Bartle Mt Walk, Hallorans Hill Crater
  • Tooth-billed Bowerbird... Lake Eacham, The Crater, Hallorans Hill Crater
  • Mountain Thornbill... The Crater, Baldy Mt Walk, Hallorans Hill Crater
The Gouldian Finch at Mareeba Wetlands

Species absent from lower elevation

  • Fern wren... The Crater, Kauri Creek Walk, Lake Barrine, Baldy Mt Walk
  • Atherton Scrub wren... The Crater, Lake Barrine
  • Bridled Honeyeater... Atherton [winter], The Crater, Lake Eacham, Hallorans Hill Crater
  • Grey-headed Robin... Lake Eacham, The Crater, Hallorans Hill Crater
  • Bowers Shrike-thrush... Lake Eacham, Lake Barrine, The Crater, Hallorans Hill Crater

Species unrestricted by elevation

  • Lesser Sooty Owl... all sites
  • Macleay's Honeyeater... Lake Eacham, Hallorans Hill Crater
  • Chowchilla... The Crater, Lake Barrine, Hallorans Hill Crater
  • Pied Monarch... Lake Barrine, Lake Eacham, Curtain Fig, Wongabel Botanical Walk, Hallorans Hill Crater
  • Victoria's Riflebird... all sites

Other Sites

  • Hasties Swamp - Birds of shallow wetlands [best July - November] and open forest.

Hasties Swamp
  • Nardello's Lagoon - Birds of permanent wetlands.
  • Bromfield Swamp - Regular roost site of Sarus Crane and Brolga [best June - November].
  • Mareeba Wetlands - The Gouldian Finch. (see photo above)
  • Hallorans Hill Crater - Mabi Rainforest species


Below are listed some of the Species of Birds & Butterflies spotted in the garden at Atherton Blue Gum. About 140 species have been seen in the immediate area by Glenn Holmes, who was a neighbour and a highly regarded birding expert. We are continually adding to our list.


Atherton Scrubwren
Australian King-parrot
Brush Turkey
Buff-banded Rail
Black-faced Wood swallow
Black-faced Monarch
Blue-faced Honeyeater
Bridled Honeyeater
Brown Gerygone
Brown Honeyeater
Black Kite
Blue-winged Kookaburra
Brown Cuckoo-dove
Bush stone Curlew
Chestnut-breasted Mannikin
Collared Sparrowhawk
Common Koel
Crested Pigeon
Eastern Spinebill
Eastern Whipbird
Emerald Dove
Forest Kingfisher
Grey Fantail
Grey Shrike-thrush
Graceful Honeyeater
Laughing Kookaburra
Lewin's Honeyeater
Little Kingfisher
Magpie Goose
Noisy Friarbird
Olive-backed Oriole
Pale-headed Rosella
Papuan Harrier
Peaceful Dove
Pheasant Coucal
Pied Currawong
Rainbow Lorikeet
Red-backed Fairy-wren
Red-backed Kingfisher
Red-browed Finch
Red-tailed Black Cockatoo
Restless Flycatcher
Rufous Whistler
Sacred Kingfisher
Satin Bowerbird
Sarus Crane
Scaly-breasted Lorikeet
Scarlet Honeyeater
Sulphur-crested Cockatoo
Spangled Drongo
Spotted Pardalote
Spotted Catbird
Varied Triller
White-cheeked Honeyeater
White-headed Pigeon
White-winged Triller
Willie Wagtail
Yellow-bellied Sunbird
Yellow-breasted Boatbill
Yellow-spotted Honeyeater

Spotted Catbird


Australian Rustic
Blue Triangle
Cairns Birdwing
Giant Hercules Moth
Green Spotted Triangle
Pale Green
Lemon Migrant

Ulysses Butterfly


Rock Wallaby
Lumholtz Tree Kangaroo
Possums (up to 7 species)
Red Tailed Pademelon
Green Tree Frogs
Amethystine Python
Brown Snake
The Platypus

Suggested Reading:

Nielsen. L. "Birds of Queensland's Wet Tropics and Great Barrier Reef Australia" Gerard Industries Proprietary Ltd. South Australia. 1996.

White-headed Pigeon


Atherton Blue Gum - 2015