The Little Pied Cormorant is a common bird found near many bodies of water throughout Australia. They prey on crustaceans and fish and can chase their food underwater or paddle on the surface with their webbed feet. They dry themselves on branches, stumps and banks by shaking the water off, preening and spreading their wings to be dried by the air. They breed in colonies and make nests in trees or on the ground and are often seen on our Daintree cruises.
The Darter frequents bodies of water of mainland Australia. It can submerge itself whilst hunting for food, either chasing prey or waiting for it to come closer with its head posed above the water, spearing any fish or other aquatic animals when they get close. They dry themselves by sitting on a branch or log and airing their wings, often preening to remove excess water from their wings. They nest in trees above the water using twigs and leaves and are sometimes seen on our Daintree river cruises.
These birds congregate in large flocks and have their own roosting sites. They feed during the day and fly back to the roosting sites at night, even if it is far away. They eat seeds, roots, berries, nuts and insects, often damaging crops and we are sure to mention them and point them out on our Daintree river tours.
The Papuan Frogmouth is the biggest Frogmouth, it has a large bill and eats grasshoppers, spiders, lizards, frogs, rodents and other birds. It is nocturnal and roosts in trees and other cover during the day, blending into the background and sitting still if it senses danger. They build a nest from twigs in trees and are an amazing animal that we seek out on our Daintree discovery tours.
The White-faced Heron is the most common heron in Australia, likely because they hunt a wide variety of prey, including crustaceans, fish, insects, spiders and snails and do not have to nest near water courses like other herons. They breed most of the year in a loose platform of sticks. We often see this species of Heron on our Daintree crocodile tours.
The Great-billed Heron lives in mangrove-lined watercourses in northern Australia, moving slowly along the edge of the water looking for fish, baby crocodiles and other aquatic animals. They nest in trees using sticks. We find their nests regularly when on Daintree bird watching tours.
The Striated Heron also lives in the mangroves. They wander over the banks to get prey and can also dive into the water which is a fascinating sight for our guests on our Daintree tours. They make a nest out of sticks in the forks of mangroves.
The Great Egret also belongs to the heron family; it is the largest of the white herons and catches pretty by watching and waiting on the water line, moving slowly and spearing prey. They mostly feed on fish but do eat crustaceans and amphibians which is information we feature on our Daintree river tours. They nest using sticks either in trees or in reed beds. There is also a Little Egret which displays much of the same behaviours of the Great Egret, however is smaller and eats smaller prey.
Also called the Jabiru, these birds stand between 1.1 – 1.4 metres high and hunt with a powerful bill. They can fly several hundred metres in the air and make a large nest (1.8 metres wide and 0.9 metres deep) up to 25 metres high in a tall tree. The Jabiru is a fascinating creature and one of the focal points of our Daintree discovery tours events.
The Royal Spoonbill gets its name from the shape of its beak. It wades through shallow water, slowly sweeping its bill through the water and scooping prey up once trapped. They build a shallow nest from sticks in trees or bushes which we can sometimes spot when on our Daintree cruises.
The Azure Kingfisher lives along coastal streams and mangrove-lined water ways. It spends most of its day perched about 1 metre from the surface of the water near where we do our Daintree cruises, staring intently for prey. It will dive down if it spots a fish or crustacean and bring it back to its perch to eat it. It creates a tunnel in banks for a nest and lays 4 – 7 eggs.
The Little Kingfisher is the smallest of kingfishers in Australia. it also sits on branches close to the Daintree river cruises water, watching for prey and nests in decaying stumps by burrowing into it.
Welcome Swallows are fairly common throughout eastern and southern Australia. It makes a cup-shaped nest in many protected areas, including sheds, under bridges and hollow trees. We can often spot the welcome swallow on our Daintree crocodile tours.
Shining Flycatchers inhabit mangroves and rainforest along watercourses. The male is totally black, a glossy shining coat gives these Flycatchers their name. The female has a glossy black head with a chestnut body and white chest. These are very popular amongst our Daintree bird watching tours visitors. These birds flit around looking for insects and crustaceans and make a cup-shaped nest from bark fibre and grass.
These birds are small and inconspicuous, darting around mangrove forests in search of insects and we often spot them on our Daintree tours. It makes a nest from shreds of bark, grass and roots, adorned with spiders web and lined with feathers. The nest looks like debris left from a flood, giving this bird its other name the ‘Floodbird’.
Ospreys prey on fish and keep close to the coast sometimes nearby to where we do our Daintree river cruises. Their territories can stretch between 5 – 20 kilometres along the coastline which they patrol for fish. They can swoop down or plunge feet-first into the water, snatching the fish from the water and taking it back to their roost. They make a bulky nest out of sticks, lined with grass and seaweed in trees, cliff faces and transmission towers constructed close to the coast.
Black Kites are mostly scavengers but do swoop on live rodents and reptiles (Although we’ve yet to see one swoop on one of the big crocodiles we regularly see on our Daintree crocodile tours.) They mostly move around in flocks and nest in a rough platform of sticks in trees or reuse old nests left by crows or hawks.
Brahminy Kites are also mainly scavengers, living only along mangrove-lined coastal areas. Brahminy Kites are solitary in Australia, never gathering in flocks like Black Kites. It makes a nest out of sticks and lines it with leaves and other litter and is often admired by people doing Daintree bird watching tours.
Orange-footed Scrubfowls live in dense coastal rainforest. They make a large mound out of vegetation and soil to incubate their eggs and can use the same mound for a number of years and likely pair for life. We have seen this many times in our Daintree tours.
These birds live in gardens, mangroves and rainforests – wherever there are nectar bearing flowers. They make nests from bark, dead leaves, grass and cobwebs and, as we frequently see on our Daintree river tours, can be reused for years.
Metallic Starlings are Australia’s only native starling. They are glossy black with red eyes and travel in large noisy flocks. Fruit is 95% of their diet and they are drawn to fruiting rainforest trees. Their nests are globular with a side entrance, usually in dense packs within the same tree. Starlings are very popular with our Daintree discovery tours passengers.
These birds blend in with foliage and sing sporadically, sometimes for long periods of time and are a welcoming soundtrack to our Daintree cruises. They usually sit in one tree for hours feeding, until flying to the next. They make a cup-shaped nest from bark, grass, dried leaves and cobweb and lined with plant material.
Black Butcherbirds are large and powerful birds. They are metallic black but have a grey-blue base on their bills. They live in coastal rainforests and mangroves – such as near where we do our Daintree river cruises -and are territorial. They eat smaller birds, large insects, crustaceans and fruit. The nest resembles a bowl of sticks.
We welcome you aboard our tour boats and invite you to read more about our tours, times and rates. Bookings should be made in advance to avoid disappointment and it's important you read our daily timetables.
As an operator in a Conservation zone we recognise the importance of meeting the highest environmental standards. Our business was designed around the environment, with the buildings and walkways constructed to minimise the impact.
Our boat was designed to be comfortable, quiet and to maximize our Daintree River cruises observation. Guests are encouraged to stand on the front deck to get “up close and personal” with wildlife on our Daintree crocodile tours.