Wild In The West

Wildlife in the Western Suburbs

We are very privileged to live so closely with native wildlife here in the Western suburbs, and so we thought it was appropriate to celebrate the great variety of local creatures we can meet – especially in The Gap and Bardon, where we border state forest reserves, National Park, natural bushlands and parks. Keep an eye out for our native wildlife and see what you can spot too.

The western suburbs of Brisbane are home to a very diverse range of bird species. The most common birds you will come across including our noisy friends the Rainbow Lorikeets, Sulphur-crested Cockatoos, and Kookaburras; Magpies, Pluvers, Magpie-larks, Noisy Minors, King parrots, Galahs, Blue-faced and Scarlet Honeyeaters (cover image), Grey Fantails, Pale-headed Rosellas, Pied Currawongs, Native Crested Pigeons, and of course, Brush Turkeys – which always get a bad rap, especially by keen gardeners. A couple less widely known and unusual birds that can be seen camouflaging into bushes or on the ground are Bush Stone-Curlews and Pheasant Coucals, which are more timid around people in comparison to other common species in the area. Other less common (but very special) local bird sightings include Wedge Tail Eagles, Purple Swamp Hen, Powerful Owl, Whipbirds, Little Friarbird, Tawny Frogmouth, Olive-backed Oriole, Satin Bowerbird, Lewin’s Honeyeater, Yellow-tailed Black Cockatoo, and Rose Robin. What birds have you seen in your backyard?

Very common across all of Brisbane, Brushtail Possums and Ringtail Possums are widely seen around western suburbs; especially during the evening, night, and early morning when they’re primarily active.

Several species of bats can be found around the local area. Fruit bats, also known as grey-headed flying foxes are the most common to see. They can form large colonies and are often observed near parks or areas with fruiting trees. Please remember they are native and are a protected species.

Various lizard species can be found locally, including commonly seen Eastern water dragon and various Skinks. These reptiles are most often seen near water sources like drains and creeks, parks, and in gardens. Blue-tongued Lizards and Lace Monitors are more rarely seen, but quite a few people have come across them in their gardens – especially in the winter months. Types of snakes often seen are Green Tree Snakes, Eastern Brown Snakes, and most commonly, Carpet Pythons. Red-bellied Black snakes have also been spotted, and while they can cause significant illness no deaths have been recorded. While tree snakes and carpet pythons are rarely a danger to humans, Eastern Brown Snakes are highly venomous. If you encounter a snake and are unsure of its species or behavior, it’s advisable to maintain a safe distance and contact a local wildlife or snake removal service for assistance.

A number of recent sightings of echidnas have occurred in The Gap. Echidnas are generally shy and elusive animals, and their spiky exterior provides them with effective protection. They are commonly seen during the lead-up to their winter season mating period, when they are most active. They are generally solitary animals, but during mating season females can be followed by several males.

Other Local Sightings
Other less common sightings by local residents include:
Koalas – seen usually at night in bushland areas, and recently in The Gap and Ashgrove, Antechinus, Fireflies, Bandicoot, Water Rat, Striped Marsh Frogs and Phascogale.

If you find a sick or injured animal, contact the RSPCA on 1300 ANIMAL (1300 264 625); Wildcare Australia on 07 5527 2444 – both available for calls 24/7; Brisbane Area Rescue Network (BARN) on 0405 056 066; or call your local vet who can advise what is best to do with orphaned and injured wildlife. A vet will assess first to confirm there are no injuries then will contact the appropriate carer in the area if suitable.

Images: Scarlet Honeyeater cover image credit © Colin Bushell Photography. Other images: © Colin Bushell Photography and Elizabeth Norton (echidna photo).