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Bird Watching

JS_20121018-_F6A5725-SMALLLord Howe Island is Australia’s premier bird watching destination, with 14 species of seabirds breeding here in hundreds of thousands.

From Malabar cliffs, you can watch red-tailed tropic birds performing their balletic, airborne courting rituals between September and May. Also at this time, countless shearwaters (known locally as mutton birds) return to the island at dusk each day in one of the world’s most extraordinary avian spectacles.

Walk the Little Island Track between March and November to view the spectacular aerial courtship displays by the winter breeding providence petrel. One of the world’s rarest birds, the providence petrel returns to the island to nest and can be ‘called’ out of the air, landing at your feet and even climbing into your lap!

Sooty terns can easily be seen at Ned’s Beach common and the Northern Hills from September to January.
Masked boobies can be seen nesting and gliding along the sea cliffs at Mutton Bird Point all year round – bring your binoculars.

The island also boasts more than 130 permanent and migratory bird species, among them the Lord Howe Island woodhen – a flightless endemic species saved from extinction by a local conservation effort.

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Many seabird colonies are easily accessible along walking tracks and roads – it’s often possible to approach quite close as most birds have no fear of man. Local guides can show you the best locations and provide information on different species.

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