Teach your little ones about the birds in our backyard with these trivia tidbits from Helen Milroy, author of Backyard Birds

Expand your knowledge with kids and grandkids by learning some fun facts about Australia’s native birds. 


The galah

Did you know that as young birds, galahs do not have all their pink feathers? Juveniles are often quite grey and develop most of their pink feathers later on. You can tell the difference between the adult males and female birds by their eyes. The female has a brownish-red iris while the male has an almost black iris.


The magpie

The magpie is best known for the beautiful warbling call they sing. But did you know they can also mimic many other sounds as well, including sirens and other birds, and can even mimic human speech? The males have a striking display of white feathers on their backs while the females have more grey feathers.



The zebra finch

Did you know it is the male finches who are the best singers? The young birds learn from other birds, and practise the notes many times to get it right. Finches also love to drink water and then take a bath before preening their feathers.


The willy wagtail

The willy wagtail builds a small, round nest, often near mudlarks for protection. They use all sorts of things for the nest, including leaves, twigs, grass and bark, and have been known to use hair from pets. One willy wagtail in my backyard used the fur left in the garden from my little Pomeranian dog. We found the fur in the nest! They bind the nest together with spider’s web, which acts like a glue.


Want to see more of Helen Milroy’s beautiful birds?

Buy the book.

Photo of Backyard Birds

Read a sample chapter or download a free colouring activity sheet.


Backyard Birds activity sheet


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