Norfolk Island is home to a fascinating mixture of land, water and seabirds. The island's isolation means that a high proportion of these birds are found nowhere else in the world. Over 20 species of seabirds can be readily seen from the coastal areas of Norfolk Island.
Birds of special interest
Green parrot Cyanoramphus cookii
The green parrot is the symbol of Norfolk Island National Park and a conservation success story. Thanks to an assisted breeding program, this iconic bird is recovering from near extinction. Listen for their characteristic 'kek-kek-kek' call and keep your eyes out for this parrot's bright green feathers, red crown-patch and blue-edged wings.
Sacred kingfisher Todiramphus sanctus norfolkiensis
With their blue-grey wings, green back and golden breast, these kingfishers can often be seen perching on branches and posts. The local name for these charismatic birds is 'nuffka', literally meaning Norfolker. From September to December they form burrows for nesting by flying full speed into the ground to loosen dirt before finishing the job with their claws and beak.
White-capped noddy Anous minutus
Also known as black noddies, you can recognise these birds by their black-brown feathers and distinctive white patch on the top of their heads. During summer, many of the tall trees become home to large numbers of whitecapped noddies. They are known locally as 'titeracks' - a sound similar to an adult bird's call.
Photo: Quinton Marais
Red-tailed tropicbirds Phaethon rubricauda
Wide tropical and sub-tropical distribution. Possibly 1400 breeding pairs on Christmas Island. Nest under bushes beside sea and in holes in first inland cliff. Commonly seen displaying in groups of two to twenty above Settlement. Good viewing spots at the cutting near the George Fam Centre and in front of the Rumah Tinggi Tavern, especially in the middle of the day, when adults partake in showy display flights.
The adult White-tailed Tropicbird is a slender, mainly white bird, 71-80 cm long including the very long central tail feathers, which double its total length.