Bird Species

Hunter Wetlands Centre is a mecca for bird watchers and photographers. There are four purpose-built hides including one over the water at Water Ribbon Swamp, plus the Egret Tower overlooking Melaleuca Swamp.

A total of 217 bird species, represented in 56 families, have been recorded at the Hunter Wetlands Centre. Once a month, volunteer Paddy Lightfoot traverses the site identifying the various species and recording numbers, indicating if they are breeding, on a nest or have dependent young.

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Birds of Prey
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Diving Birds
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Ducks, Geese & Rails
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Herons & Egrets
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Perching Birds
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Crakes & Swans

Hunter Wetlands supports a high diversity of species, some in great abundance, at a critical stage of their seasonal breeding and migration cycles. A total of 28 species have been observed breeding within the wetlands.

Melaleuca Swamp, a freshwater swamp forest is utilised as a heronry by 4 egret species. This forest is also an evening roost for many Australian White Ibis and Straw-necked Ibis. In deeper ponds, areas of open water are suitable for waterfowl such as teal, magpie geese, swans and many duck species.

Endangered Species

Vulnerable & endangered species sighted at HWCA:

  • Black-necked Stork (endangered)
  • Freckled Duck (vulnerable)
  • Australasian Bittern, (vulnerable)
  • Black Bittern (vulnerable)

During local droughts, the drop in water level exposes mudflats and shallow margins which provide foraging areas for migratory shorebirds. During inland drought episodes, the Hunter Wetlands Centre acts as an important strategic refuge for a range of bird species including Freckled and Wandering Whistling Ducks.

Also an important site for the conservation of two threatened species, the Magpie Goose and Freckled Duck, HWCA has been involved in Special Projects to support these species.