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Bird Watching in Cairns

Cairns is fast becoming world famous as a major bird watching destination. The sheer numbers of birds are only matched by their diversity. Bird watching opportunities are abundant and very accessible. A walk along the Esplanade, the Botanical Gardens or the City heart itself will result in hundreds of species of birds being seen. Councils generally have bird identification charts in areas where bird watchers congregate and special walks have been developed and sign posted to encourage visitors to enjoy this pastime.

The Cassowary is the second largest bird in Australia (after the Emu). Cassowaries are only found in North Queensland, normally in rainforest areas. These timid birds can be seen in the wild in some rainforest areas adjacent to Cairns. In certain areas there are warnings on the roads advising motorists to be careful of Cassowaries crossing. Please take these signs seriously as Cassowaries numbers have been seriously affected in recent years.

The Great Barrier Reef Islands also have large numbers of migrating and nesting sea birds. At certain times of the year some sandy cays are so heavily populated with seabirds that there is literally no sand to be seen.

When in Cairns the Department of Environment and Heritage also have very knowledgeable people on staff who are happy to help with bird identification and recommendations for places to visit to see particular species. For more information please call (07) 4052 3095 when in Cairns. There are also many tour operators who specialise in conducting bird watching tours. They can cater for all levels of interest from interested amateurs to visiting university groups.

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