four brightly colored birds on a wire
Rainbow Lorikeets a species of parrot found in Australia © Kent Morris

Cities Stories

Melbourne’s Urban Wildlife

Life in one of the world’s most liveable cities.

Melbourne regularly ranks as one of the world’s most liveable cities but it’s not just hipsters and other humans who find the temperate climate of Melbourne so habitable. Despite the industrial, commercial and residential development that comes with being in a big city, Melbourne is still home to many species of Australian native animals. Some, like the Rainbow Lorikeets pictured above, do very well, even at the expense of others. Some struggle. That’s just one reason why retention and growth of bushland and other green areas in Melbourne is so important, along with trees’ ability to provide cooling summer shade and healthy, breathable air.

Our partnership with Resilient Melbourne includes developing the Melbourne Metropolitan Urban Forest Strategy to help plan for a greener Melbourne.

closeup of a bright red bird
Crimson Rosella can be found in Melbourne © Meghan Lindsay

Crimson Rosella

What’s crimson, once was green. That’s right, as young Crimson Rosellas emerge from the nest, they are blue and green. As they mature, their juvenile green feathers are slowly replaced by bright crimson red ones. Like nearly all parrots, they nest in hollows in the limbs or trunks of mature trees.

a yellow and black bird on a branch
Eastern Yellow Robin in Merimbula, NSW © Donald Hobern

Eastern Yellow Robin

These delightful little birds occur in a wide variety of habitats in eastern Australia from wet rainforests to dry woodlands. Their adaptability means they survive quiet well in urban parks and gardens like those in Melbourne.

possums curled up in a small wooden space
Common Ringtail Possum living in Melbourne © Clint Dymond

Common Ringtail Possum

One of two species of possum found in Melbourne, ringtails cause less problems for their human neighbours than their noisier relatives, the Common Brushtail Possum. As their name suggests, ringtails possess a prehensile or grasping tail that helps secure their movements through the tree canopy. They rest during the day in a drey or spherical nest they build from leaves and bark.

a white bird in a green-leafed tree
Sulphur-crested Cockatoo feeding in the trees © Renata Apanaviciene

Cockatoo facts

Learn more

Sulphur-crested Cockatoo

While many Melbournians might have become indifferent to the presence of these large and raucous birds, visitors marvel at the good fortune of being able to see such a beautiful bird in a highly urban environment. Sulphur-crested Cockatoos are very long lived. Some individuals have been known to live for more than 100 years! Learn more about these charismatic cockatoos.

partially submerged, southeastern Australia
Pobblebonk Frog (Limnodynastes dumerili) partially submerged, southeastern Australia © Esther Beaton

Eastern Banjo Frog

Easy to hear if not find, male Pobblebonks (as they are also known as), make a distinctive, explosive ‘bonk’ call while hidden in the floating vegetation of their swampy homes. They have a long breeding season from August to April. When not in the water, they spend their time inside their burrows near the water’s edge.