As of 2014 Australia and its offshore islands and territories have 898 recorded bird species. Of the recorded birds, 165 are considered vagrant or accidental visitors, of the remainder over 45% are classified as Australian endemics: found nowhere else on earth. That’s a lot of bird! We live in a blessed country when it comes to birds. Many thousands of Australians capitalise on these blessings, especially those Australians with verandahs and bush gardens who are able to enjoy their bird fauna on a daily basis. What has provided such a unique assemblage is the unique nature of Australia’s eucalypt and paperbark forests which has shaped bird evolution. Gum blossoms, for example, produced a resource for significant numbers of nectarfeeding honeyeaters. As Tim Low, in his classic book ‘Where Song Began: Australia’s Birds and How They Changed The World’, points out, the presence of much nectar as a jealously guarded resource may be why so many Australian birds are raucously noisy – species such noisy miners, rainbow lorikeets and various wattlebirds to name a few. And, of course, what would life be like without the raucous kookaburra announcing its presence mornings and afternoons!