Sydney wildlife is pretty impressive for a large international city. We have unusual animals found in no other countries with some pretty impressive traits as well as large impressive birds and more than our share of beautiful colourful parrots. Whilst you will not find most of these animals in Pitt St, no Sydney tour is complete without seeing our amazing wildlife. Here are some of the fauna that makes up our Sydney wildlife.
The Eastern Grey Kangaroo lives throughout the Eastern third of Australia. The kangaroo is the largest animal in the world to use jumping as its primary means of movement. Furthermore, it can only move forwards and has an advanced reproductive cycle, making it a beautiful animal to study. It is from the macropod (meaning big foot) family and grows up to about 160cm. Moreover, the best way to experience wild kangaroos is to book one of our Walking with Kangaroos Tours.
The swamp wallaby is the smaller cousin to the Eastern Grey kangaroo. It is also called the black or black tailed wallaby due to its blacker complexion especially around the paws, feet and tail as well as a squatter nose. It is found in a number of bushy southern, western, northern and northern beaches Sydney locations. They grow up to about 76 cm in height. To see wallabies, join us on one of our Northern Beaches Tours.
The Flying Fox (aka Fruit Bat) is the largest of Sydney’s bats. There are three species of flying foxes in Sydney with the most common being the grey headed flying fox. It has a body length head to toe of up to 29 centimetres and a wingspan of up to a metre. It is easily distinguishable from other species of flying foxes by its grey fur down to its knees with a copper-rust coloured collar.
The Lace Monitor or tree goanna is a member of the monitor lizard family native to eastern Australia. A large lizard, it reaches 2 metres in total length and 14 kilograms in weight. It is commonly found in Sydney’s national parks. They are a traditional food eaten by aboriginals. Whilst not normally aggressive towards humans, the lizards have a mild venom they can inject if they bite. Previously, scientists believed that it was a bacterial infection. They are often found in Ku-ring-Gai national park in the northern beaches Sydney.
Dragons are types of lizards. Two types of dragons are common to Sydney. Namely, the Eastern Water Dragon and the Eastern Bearded Dragon. They grow to about 20 or 25cm long. They occupy different terrains and as such do not normally live in close proximity. Consequentially, the water dragons live near the water, often near the ocean whereas the bearded dragons usually live in forested areas. Moreover, they are quite prevalent in the bush and waterside areas of certain areas in Sydney’s northern beaches. We often see water dragons sunning themselves in summer on our Northern Beaches Tour.
Ring Tailed (pictured) and Brush Tailed possums are both common to Sydney. They are common throughout Sydney. The two are easily differentiated as the ring-tailed possum as it rolls its thin tail to hold onto a branch whilst the brush-tailed has a brushy fluffy tail. They are most active around September to March. They are even found in quite highly urbanised areas. Moreover, our cute possums are nothing like their sometimes ugly counterparts found in USA.
Echidnas also known as spiny anteaters are one of two mammals that actually lay eggs (the other being the platypus). There are two varieties with the short beaked echidnas found in Sydney. They protect themselves with spines on their backs and can curl into a ball when threatened. Thus, these animals are very difficult to spot but do live in Sydney in bushy areas.
Whilst not strictly a Sydney animal, wombats are found within a few hours of Sydney. This awkward looking quadruped can attain speeds of 40km/h for short sprints. The wombat, one of the world’s best digging animals, has a backward opening pouch to ensure its in pouch offspring do not get covered in dirt. It has cubed shaped pooh and when threatened will go into its burrow, blocking with its tough tendon toughened backside. The best way to see wild wombats is to join one of our walking with wild wombats tours.
Australian pelicans live throughout beach areas of NSW. They are beautiful majestic large black and white birds and although they mainly eat fish, have been known to pick up small dogs such as Chihuahuas in their large beaks. The Australian pelican grows to about 40 or 50cm long and has a wing span of about 2.5 metres. Furthermore, the pelican’s beak can hold up to 13 litres. Hence, once it catches fish, it will flush the water from its beak before digesting the food. The best way to see some of our Australian pelicans is to book one of our Kangaroos and Pelicans Tours. They are often also seen on our Northern Beaches Tour and Sydney Parrots Tours.
Kookaburras are terrestrial members of the kingfisher family and grow to 42cm in length and weigh around 300g. The name is an aboriginal word representing the sound of its call, which sounds like a laugh. Don’t worry they are not laughing at you. Instead, it is a sound to establish their territory. They live throughout Sydney, mainly in forested, arid and suburban areas with tall trees or near running water. We often see kookaburras on many of our tours. We spot Kookaburras normally on our Sydney Parrots tour.
The Sulphur Crested Cockatoo is a large white cockatoo. It raises its crest when feeling threatened or to threaten others. They prefer to live in tall trees and often feed on the ground. They can also destroy cedar fences quite quickly. We find cockatoos on many of our tours. They are abundant throughout many Sydney suburbs. The best way to see them is to join one of our Sydney Parrots tours.
Male Australian King-Parrots are the only Australian parrots with a completely red head. Females appear the same as males except for a completely green head and breast. All Australian king parrots have a red belly and a green back, with green wings and a long green tail.
The beautiful rainbow Lorikeet is common throughout Sydney and feeds mainly on nectar, pollen and fruit. It brightens up any day and can be trained over time to accept food from human beings becoming quite docile. We spot them on our Sydney Parrots tour but they are often high up in the trees.
Other common parrots in Sydney are the Corella, Rosella and Galah, the latter named after its antics. Two types of corellas live in Sydney namely the little corella and the long billed corella. Both are often seen on our Sydney Parrots tour. The crimson and eastern rosellas are prevalent in Sydney suburbs but can be more difficult to find. Moreover, normally we find galahs, known for their distinct grey and pink coats.
Whales and dolphins migrate off the coast of Sydney from mid June to July and September to mid November. Whale cruises operate during these months. Humpback whales form the vast majority of whales that migrate past Sydney. A number of Northern Beaches vantage points offering whale viewing opportunities with the aid of strong binoculars.
With such a diversity, no trip to Sydney is complete without experiencing some of the amazing Sydney wildlife with Travel Ideology’s Sydney Tours.
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