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Birds at HWCA 


A total of 217 bird species, represented in 56 families, have been recorded at the Hunter Wetlands Centre Australia. Click here to see the most recent sightings Birds sighted at 2017.

The species list comprises:

  • 72 typical wetland species, including 67 waterbirds and 9 migratory waders
  • 18 raptors
  • 8 pigeons and doves
  • 15 species of parrots and cockatoos
  • 9 cuckoos
  • 17 honeyeaters

In deeper ponds, areas of open water are suitable for waterfowl such as teal, magpie geese, swans and many duck species. 

The freshwater swamp forest is utilised as a heronry by 2000 breeding pairs of 4 egret species. 

This forest is also an evening roost for approximately 4000-16,500 Australian White Ibis and Straw-necked Ibis.

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.

Many migratory species recorded at Kooragang NR have also been recorded at Shortland Wetlands, particularly when muddy margins of the ponds are exposed.

These include:

  • Australasian Bittern,
  • Latham’s Snipe,
  • Marsh Sandpiper,
  • Common Greenshank,
  • Wood Sandpiper,
  • Red-necked Stint,
  • Sharptailed Sandpiper and
  • Curlew Sandpiper.

With the Shortland Wetlands providing an extension of habitat to Kooragang NRthe wetland vulnerable and endangered species are:

  • Black-necked Stork (endangered)
  •  Freckled Duck (vulnerable)
  • Australasian Bittern, (vulnerable)
  • Comb-crested Jacana (vulnerable) 
  • Blue Billed Duck (vulnerable)
  • Black Bittern (vulnerable)

It also 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.

A total of 16 migratory species recorded at Shortland Wetlands are listed under the China-Australia Migratory Bird Agreement (CAMBA); and 14 species are listed under the Japan-Australia Migratory Bird Agreement (JAMBA) with 12 species common to both agreements.

There are 7 vulnerable species and 1 endangered species listed under the NSW TSC Act 1995.

Hunter Wetlands Centre is also an important site for the conservation of two threatened species, the Magpie Goose and Freckled Duck. 

In 1987, HWCA  initiated a re-introduction program of the Magpie Goose to the Shortland Wetlands with 41 juvenile geese from Serendip Wildlife Research Station. 

The Hunter Wetlands Centre is one of only four centres around Australia to be chosen as a host of the Freckled Duck captive-breeding program.

HWCA is itself an Endangered Ecological Community in NSW as well as a Ramsar listed site.






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