Victoria's birds are spectacularly diverse and found in almost every shape and size, from tiny honeyeaters to imposing one metre tall eagles.
Birds have adapted to almost all environments in Victoria and occupy the air, oceans, rivers, seashores, forests and deserts.
Victoria is home to more than 450 different species of birds, including parrots, birds of prey, waders, waterfowl and songbirds.
Victoria's birds are loved for their songs and vocalisations. Some can even mimic human speech.
All birds lay eggs to incubate their young, and all have feathers. No other animal can claim both these traits.
Birds also have wings, evolutionary adaptations of ancient forelimbs. Most birds use their wings for flight, but some, like emus and penguins, are grounded.
The majority of birds are also insectivores, feeding only on insects, although some, like owls and eagles, are carnivores (meat-eaters). Others are also herbivores (plant-eaters) or frugivores (fruit-eaters).
As they do not have teeth, birds cannot chew food. Instead they have a gizzard, a special grinding organ in their stomach that crushes their food.
Did you know?
- Little penguins do their 'flying' underwater and can swim up to 50 kilometres a day and dive to depths of up to 30 metres.
- Wedge-tailed eagles can soar at heights of more than 2,000 metres and have a wing span of about 2.5 metres.
- Emus can run at speeds of almost 50 kilometres per hour and have specially adapted feet to move across a range of terrain.
- Brolgas 'dance' to court and bond with their partner.
- Owls are able to turn their head 180 degrees to help them detect sounds to locate prey. They can move their head in almost any direction without moving their body.
- Bird bones are hollow and thin walled to make them lighter and enable them to fly. Birds also breathe using a unique one-way respiratory system. This system is much more efficient than our lungs.
- The peregrine falcon has been clocked at almost 200 kilometres per hour when diving at prey.
Download the following fact sheets for interesting facts and information on some of Victoria's bird species: