What is the birdlife of Phillip Island?

What is the birdlife of Phillip Island?

Written by: Cameron Ward

Published: 03/13/2020

Reading time: 3 mins

Look to the skies to see Phillip Island’s multitude of creatures!

Phillip Island’s skies are flooded with an array of sensational birdlife, regarded as a bird watchers paradise within Victoria. Packed full of natives to unique creatures seen nowhere else, no matter if you are avid bird water or a simple wildlife enthusiast, you’ll be amazed by the birdwatching opportunities abound on Phillip Island.

  • Short-Tailed Shearwaters

    Commonly known as the mutton birds, these birds are known as the most abundant seabirds in Australian waters. They are great migrators, flying to Phillip Island between September and April after travelling 12,000 kilometres from Alaska’s Aleutian Islands. Due to the birds being affected by the San Remo bridge lights when flying towards the island, Phillip island switches the lights off for a few evenings, making it the perfect place to see the birds flood the night skies.

  • Pelicans

    Get the closest you can to the birds of Phillip Island with the daily Penguin feeding. Head to the beach at San Remo and enjoy seeing these wild birds’ squabble and squawk while the local fisherman feed them their fish catches. It’s guaranteed that at least a few of these bird’s head to the docks every day, letting you get an up-close view of the birds while they munch down on their dinner.

  • Hooded plovers

    Found on some of Phillip Island’s popular beaches is the exclusive Hooded Plover. Less than 600 of the birds are found throughout Victoria, with approximately 40 nestled about Phillip Island. They are a recognised threaten species, with their eggs being continually destroyed by dogs, cats, and beach users. Thankfully, Phillip Island’s population is slowly increasing due to research and protection, giving visitors a safe and sustainable way to see these unique creatures!

  • Wetland Wildlife

    Phillip Island’s largest lake is also the home base for numerous wetland birds. See the frequent birds such as stunning swans, Cape Barren Geese, and pelicans float above the waters in stunning grace. As well as more unique creatures such as the migratory Straw-necked ibis birds, Sooty Oyster Catchers, and Australia’s only all-black shorebirds. Simply stroll along the lake’s edges, stopping for a delicious picnic lunch or afternoon snooze while you hang near these colourful creatures.

  • Nocturnal Birds

    Trek out to Phillip Island at night to see the range of nocturnal birds swarming the skies. Owls, in particular, are a treat at this time, with a multitude of species hidden about the bushland.

  • Penguin Seabirds

    This type of aquatic flightless bird is by far the biggest appeal for tourist, regarded as the smallest and cutest penguin known to man! The only way you can see these penguins is via Penguin Parade, an eco-friendly facility that gives visitors an up-close view of the creatures. Head here after sunset and see the incredible show of the large colony of penguins slowly waddling up from the beach into their sand nests nearby.

Related article: The Best Wildlife Encounters on Phillip Island

Cameron Ward
Cameron Ward
Managing Director at Sightseeing Tours Australia

Cameron Ward turned his travel passion into a thriving Australian tourism business. Before he co-founded his own business, Sightseeing Tours Australia, he was enjoying being a Melbourne tour guide. Even now, Cameron delights in helping visitors from all around the world get the most out of their incredible Australian trip. You’ll see Cameron leading tours or writing about his favourite Australian places where he shares his local insights.