Top Five Birds I’ve Seen In Sydney

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Alyssa Burlison
April 28, 2024

Uh oh! It’s time for a bird watching post. My friends and family that follow along with my blogs all knew this was coming and here it is. I’m an avid bird watcher. Back home my favorite thing is to kayak on a river by my house in search of great blue herons and snowy egrets. It’s exciting. Nature has gifted me with a fabulous scavenger hunt and I’m excited to be a part of it.  That being said when I came to Australia I had no idea the treat I was in for. There are tons of unique and fabulous birds in Sydney. I would like to take a moment to share a few of my favorites so far. 


  • Rainbow Lorikeet

    The Rainbow Lorikeet. Where do I begin? I saw my first Rainbow Lorikeet on a hot girl walk at Manly beach. I had just eaten the best smoothie bowl of my life. Jimmy Buffet was blasting through my headphones. I didn’t think my day could get any better. That’s when I looked up. Just above me hidden in the branches of a tree was a colorful little bird. He was green with a blue face and a red chest. It was spectacular. At that moment I knew I made the right choice coming to Sydney. Since then I often see these little birds flying overhead on my way to class. The Rainbow Lorikeet is now one of my favorite birds and a great sight to see on my morning walks. 

  • Sulphur Crested Cockatoo 

    I saw cockatoos during my first week in Sydney. We took a trip to the blue mountains and on the long bus ride there, I saw two of them perched on top of a telephone pole. At this point, I had no idea wild parrots inhabited Australia so I was shell shocked. They were so majestic with beautiful white feathers and a bright yellow chest. I spent the rest of the day on cloud nine knowing I get to add a new bird to my journal. Did my excitement for seeing a new bird convince my friends I was crazy? Probably. But if loving birds makes me crazy then I don’t want to be sane. 

  • Kookaburra 

    AHHHHH. That’s what I said when I saw a Kookaburra. Unlike the other birds that I had just happened to stumble upon, I wanted to see a Kookaburra. When I finally did, it was worth the wait. I had been walking back from grocery shopping when this bird landed on a fence post next to me. He was gorgeous and at least twice as big as I was expecting. We stared at each other for a beautiful moment then he flew off. Meeting this Kookaburra was a highlight of my exchange experience. 

  • Australian Magpie 

    When surrounded by stunning birds like lorikeets and cockatoos, the black and white Magpie might be easy to forget about. So why did I include this bird? Because it sounds cool. My first week here, I left my window open and went to bed. At 6 a.m. I awoke to the sound of what can only be described as screaming aliens. But more majestic. This was the Australian Magpie waking me up to have a wonderful new day in Sydney.  If you're a Disney adult (I’m definitely not btw) then the Australian Magpie’s squawk might remind you of the critters that can be heard at Galaxy’s edge. Since then I’ve grown attached to the noise it makes. The Magpie’s squawk serves as a reminder that I’m in a new and exciting place. 

  • Ibis

    How could I complete this bird without mentioning the Ibis. The Australian’s refer to it as a “bin chicken” and absolutely loathe this little creature. One man told me he wished they could be deported. When I asked him where they should get deported to he responded with “hell”. Unlike most Aussies, I adore the Ibis. Even though they are a bit filthy, the Ibis was the first bird I saw when I landed in Australia. This bird welcomed me to my new home and for that I’m eternally grateful. 


Even though I’m seeing all these amazing birds, I miss the Great Blue Herons and the Texas heat. The point of this post isn’t to convert my readers to bird watching. Instead I think it serves as a reminder that the things we love look different when abroad. Maybe your favorite food feels different or the birds aren’t anything like the ones you adore back home. It’s better to take on these changes with an open mind and excitement to learn something new. 

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Alyssa Burlison

Hi! My name is Alyssa Burlison and I'm a writing and film double major at Texas Christian University.  I love to write and am working on a romantic comedy inspired by Jimmy Buffet's music. I'm a foodie and I love hiking and stand up paddle boarding! 

2024 Spring
Home University:
Texas Christian University
Creative Writing
Film Studies
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