Alice Springs Fauna •

Birds in Alice SpringsBabblers Black-faced Cuckooshrike Brown Falcon Rainbow Bee-eater Sacred Kingfisher Wedge-tailed Eagle Western Bowerbird Whistling Kite

One of the popular and interesting birds seen around Alice Springs is the Western Bowerbird (Chlamydera guttata). Named Karrke, in the Central Australia Arrente language, this bird is often heard before being seen. With their great gift of mimicry they are known to make a range of sounds from mechanical churrs, churring, crackles, whistles, rasps, chain-saw, cat cries, and they even mimic other bird species.

Western Bowerbird, Olive Pink Botanic Garden
Western Bowerbird (Chlamydera guttata), Olive Pink Botanic Garden

Endemic to Central Australia and semi-arid Western Australia, they are often sighted in native fig trees, people’s backyards and drinking at bird baths. The male bird can be seen gathering green and white objects to decorate their bower.

Treasures of our Western Bowerbird
Treasures of the Western Bowerbird, Alice Springs NT

The Western Bowerbird has beautiful scalloped plumage, the colours ranging from dark brown to a near black, with patterns of spots that range from light fawn to orange brown. The underside plumage is also a light fawn to buff colour.

Western Bowerbird, Olive Pink Botanic Garden
Western Bowerbird, Olive Pink Botanic Garden

It is the erectile iridescent lilac/pink nape crest (known as the nuchal crest) that attracts the eye, especially in the mature male when they perform in front of the female birds. The female has the same lilac/pink crest, but it is less prominent, whilst it is absent in the immature bird.

Western Bowerbird, Olive Pink Botanic Garden
Western Bowerbird, Olive Pink Botanic Garden

The bower of the male Western Bowerbird can often be seen at the Olive Pink Botanic Garden.

Western Bowerbird, Olive Pink Botanic Garden
Western Bowerbird, Olive Pink Botanic Garden

More information about the Western Bowerbird can be found in

Western Bowerbird (Chlamydera guttata)
Western Bowerbird (Chlamydera guttata), Alice Springs NT

  • Scientific Classification
  • Kingdom: Animalia
  • Phylum: Chordata
  • Class: Aves
  • Order: Passeriformes
  • Family: Ptilonorhynchidae
  • Genus: Chlamydera
  • Species: C. guttata
  • Binomial name: Chlamydera guttata

Birds in Alice SpringsBabblers Black-faced Cuckooshrike Brown Falcon Rainbow Bee-eater Sacred Kingfisher Wedge-tailed Eagle Western Bowerbird Whistling Kite

Alice Springs FaunaAlice Springs Bees Amegilla Bee Bright-white Masked Bee Bush Bee Ceylalitus perditellus Golden-browed Resin Bee Red-headed Masked Bee Alice Springs Butterflies & Moths Blue Moon Butterfly Caper White Butterfly Alice Springs Reptiles Bearded Dragon Long-nosed Dragon Perentie Alice Springs Spiders Birds in Alice Springs Babblers Black-faced Cuckooshrike Brown Falcon Rainbow Bee-eater Sacred Kingfisher Wedge-tailed Eagle Western Bowerbird Whistling Kite Black-footed Rock Wallaby

Alice Springs FloraAnnual Yellowtop Fork-leaf Corkwood Ghost Gum Native Bluebell Rat’s Tail Striped Mintbush Sturt’s Desert Pea Weeping Bottlebrush