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The most common animals in australian cities

Australian animals are emblematic of a unique biodiversity in the world. They embody much of the country’s wealth. Their presence, although traditionally associated with rural or remote areas, extends far beyond those boundaries. Indeed, beyond the iconic kangaroos and koalas, Australian wildlife also holds surprises in the bustling streets of its cities.

In this article, let’s delve into the heart of Australian metropolises with Manon. This young Frenchwoman explored parts of the country during a year on a Working Holiday Visa. From Brisbane to Melbourne, she unveils the unusual encounters she had with urban wildlife.

The 5 unmissable australian animals in the city

The ibis or bin chicken

At the beginning of my Working Holiday Visa, my first encounter with local wildlife occurred on the streets of Brisbane. That’s where I was surprised to come across ibises! These birds are recognizable by their white plumage and long curved beak. Captivated by their presence, I pulled out my phone to capture this encounter… Only later realizing they were somewhat considered like pigeons in France (ahem, the tourist cliché).

Indeed, ibises are known for their opportunistic habit of rummaging through garbage bins and dumps in search of food. Despite this reputation, they also hold deep cultural significance for many Australian Indigenous communities.

The australian water dragon

Also in Brisbane, I was able to spot Australian water dragons. They are often found around South Bank, near water bodies.

These semi-aquatic lizards are recognizable by their broad jaws and rough skin adorned with stripes and spots of color. They can reach up to a meter in length! Equipped with a prehensile tail and webbed feet, they are well adapted to their aquatic environment. However, they are commonly seen basking in the sun on the banks.

The australian possum

In urban areas of Australia, possums are an integral part of the nocturnal landscape. Among the most common species, we find the Brush-tailed Possum or locally known as possum. It is recognizable by its characteristic silhouette marked by large black eyes and a distinctive tail.

These adorable creatures are often seen in parks and gardens, where they skillfully sneak around at nightfall. They are also heard on the roofs of houses (causing some scares on the first nights). During my wanderings in Brisbane and Sydney, I caught sight of their glowing eyes piercing the darkness.

The giant bat

Forget about the modest French bats! Because in terms of size and wingspan, those you can encounter in Australia are of a completely different scale.

These nocturnal giants are usually large fruit bats, commonly called megabats. Among them, one of the most remarkable species is the grey-headed flying fox, which is among the largest bats in the world.

It was in Sydney that I was truly dazzled (and slightly frightened) by their flight at dusk. The first few times, you instinctively step back when they fly just above your head.

The bush turkey (small towns and villages)

Bush turkeys, or wild turkeys, live in wooded areas and semi-urban zones. I often encountered these curious birds, recognizable by their stocky appearance and dark plumage.

Unlike many other birds, bush turkeys are mainly known for their unique nesting behavior. Males build immense piles of leaves, branches, and soil to serve as nests, often several meters in diameter and height.

Under the tropical sun : Birds

The Rainbow lorikeets and its early morning awakenings

Rainbow lorikeets are known for their splendid palette of bright colors, which earns them their name. With their brilliant plumage, combining vibrant green, vivid red, electric blue, and bright yellow, rainbow lorikeets are a true flying work of art. These colorful birds are often seen in groups, fluttering about in search of nectar and fruits.

The lively and dynamic echoes of their calls create an exotic atmosphere in the midst of urbanity. Yet, our relationship hasn’t always been harmonious. A 5 a.m. wake-up call every day can be quite unpleasant! Especially when their vocalizations persist for a long time. Fortunately, you get used to it over time, and sleep quickly regains its rights…

The Sulphur-crested cockatoo

Sulphur-crested cockatoos are recognizable by their large size. Their predominantly white plumage contrasts beautifully with their yellow crest. It unfolds when they are alert or excited.

As social birds, they are often seen in family groups. Their large gatherings in trees can be an impressive sight. Indeed, their presence is both charming and a little intimidating for those who are not accustomed to their powerful vocalizations.

The kookaburra and its distinctive laugh

Kookaburras, or laughing kookaburras, are an iconic symbol of Australia. They have a distinctive brown and white plumage and a powerful beak. They can be found in the city, especially in urban areas near parks, nature reserves, or waterways.

These members of the kingfisher family are famous for their unique vocalizations. If you hear a contagious laugh or a monkey-like cry, there’s no doubt, it’s a kookaburra!

When I lived in Byron Bay, their song echoed every morning at dawn and every evening around 8 p.m. If you’re lucky, you can spot them on house fences. And they’re just too cute!

The creepy critters in my daily life!

One of the australian animals that scares me the most : the Magpie

Magpies are common birds in Australia. They have black and white plumage, red eyes, and a powerful pointed beak. But their reputation far exceeds their appearance similar to French magpies.

Indeed, these birds are famous for their heightened territoriality. And sometimes, their aggression during the breeding season. Their behavior may include surprising attacks on passersby too close to their nest.

I discovered “Magpie swooping” videos once in Australia. They terrified me so much that every time I saw a magpie on the street, I changed sidewalks – I’m quite cowardly.

A Huntsman in my room in Brisbane

One evening, as I was coming home from work, I found myself facing an unexpected and impressive encounter: a Huntsman spider. These arachnids, famous for their size and agility, are generally shy and prefer to avoid contact with humans. But sometimes they enter houses in search of prey or shelter. And there, it turned out it was in my room.

Even though I’m not easily frightened by creatures with eight legs, its size and thickness still made me grimace. For two long hours, I waited for my landlord to return. Armed with a simple plastic container, he eventually took the initiative to capture the creature and release it outside. Even for a seasoned Australian, this encounter didn’t fail to make him recoil slightly in the face of the spider’s agility.

However, it’s important to remember that Huntsman spiders are not aggressive towards humans and are more likely to flee than engage in a confrontation. Although they are not considered dangerous, they can still cause a painful bite if they feel threatened.

Encountering a python at work

One day, in the hotel where I worked, one of our managers came to interrupt us and said, “Ladies, don’t venture into the clients’ parking lot, a two-meter python has settled there. We’re waiting for a wildlife officer to move it.” Intrigued by this announcement, I discreetly slipped with a friend to the parking lot, and there, the observation was striking: the gigantic snake slithered to a client’s car.

Pythons evoke both fascination and apprehension among the inhabitants and visitors of the country. Among the various species of pythons that inhabit the continent, the Carpet Python and the Diamond Python are among the most famous for their imposing stature and characteristic patterns.

Despite their reputation as formidable predators due to their impressive size, pythons are generally harmless to humans. Unlike venomous snakes, they incapacitate their prey by suffocating them with their powerful bodies. Before swallowing them whole. Yum!

Article written by Manon from