The Central Highlands region is home to many species of bird, some of which are endemic to the state and others that are rare or threatened. Some of the more common birds you will see in the areas around Thousand Lakes Lodge are the Tasmanian Native Hen, the Yellow-tailed Black Cockatoo, the Black Currawong and the Yellow wattlebird. The Tasmanian Native Hen (Tribonyx mortierii) is a flightless bird that is common near fresh water rivers streams and lagoons. They are strong swimmers and can run at speeds of up to 50 km per hour to escape predators. A combination of green, brown and grey feathers, they have a yellow bill and distinctive bright red eyes. The Tasmanian Native Hen is endemic to Tasmania. The Yellow-tailed Black Cockatoo (Calyptorhynchus funereus) is a noisy bird with a high-pitched screeching call that is a familiar sound in the Tasmanian bush. They inhabit a variety of areas including woodland and subalpine areas such as the Central Plateau and up to 2000 m above sea level on the mainland. They can grow up to 68 cm and have black feathers with yellow patches on the cheeks and along their tails, and a short crest on the top of their heads. They feed on seeds, plants and insects, including grubs extracted from within trees. They reach these grubs by tearing strips from the tree with their beak, leaving behind telltale scarring on the tree. The Black Currawong (Strepera fuliginosa) is endemic to Tasmania and is common throughout the subalpine forest of the Central Highlands although it moves to lower altitudes during the winter. The can reach up to 49 cm and are completely black except for small white patches on the wing and tail feathers and a yellow eye. A bold bird that often snatch food from humans, their natural diet consists of fruit, invertebrates, lizards and mice.  The Yellow wattlebird (Anthochaera paradoxa) is Australia’s biggest honeyeater at up to 48 cm and can only be found in Tasmania. It is found in dry and wet forests, woodlands, alpine forests and coastal heaths and can inhabit subalpine areas such as the Central Highlands up to 1350 m altitude. They have grey brown feathers streaked with white, and a yellow belly as well as yellow lobes by their ears called “wattles”. They feed on nectar and insects and construct feather-lined nests within trees or shrubs.

Photo credit:  Francesco Veronesi

Photo credit: Francesco Veronesi