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About the Website

This website aims to provide a current species list of the birds, butterflies and plants of Bribie Island and its marine environs. As a forum, we hope it will promote an educational and cultural space where useful information can be added.  Bribie Island is exceptional in the number of species recorded, partly due to its wide range of habitats, ranging from marine beaches and mangroves, littoral rain forests and wallum heathland.  Photographs of many of the species can be found in the texts mentioned.

New bird species are referred to a committee that evaluates the sighting before it is added to the checklist.  The bird list was originally from a document that helped save Buckley’s Hole from development and later metamorphosed into Birds of Bribie Island, Pumicestone Passage and Environs (Durrant & MacRae 1994).  The next book Bribie Birds (2011) was authored by Trevor Ford and a small committee including Chris Bell and Michael Strong, using much of the information in the previous work.  Finally, a 2nd edition of Ford’s book was published by Bribie Island Environmental Protection Association (BIEPA) in 2019. We owe a substantial debt to some of the ornithologists who have pioneered bird study on Bribie Island, especially Bev Durrant and Trevor Ford.  The Queensland Wader Study Group with Linda Cross as coordinator also does major work in researching and protecting shorebirds on this beautiful island.


Butterflies (and some moths) are less documented and this website draws heavily on Trevor Ford’s pioneering booklet, Butterflies of Coastal SEQ: An Identification Guide (2012). Michael Strong and Edith Cuffe maintain an unpublished species list for Sandstone Point.   As more records and sightings become available, the list can be refined to ensure only butterflies and moths of Bribie are included.


The flowers of Bribie are famous.  Each spring, the heathlands explode into colour as the native peas, wattles, and bush flowers carpet the wallum with blossom, attracting hundreds of birds and butterflies to its honey tide. Much of the heathlands on southern Bribie have disappeared under urban suburbs and bushland in the central part of the island was converted to unprofitable exotic pine plantations in the 1960s. The late John Ward was greatly esteemed for his love of Bribie’s plants and the wildflower walks he conducted through BIEPA each spring.  Ian MacCrae produced Wildflowers of Bribie Island in 1996 for BIEPA.  A more recent publication is Allan Carr’s lovely book A Field Guide to Native Plants of Bribie Island and nearby coastal South east Queensland.  This website uses a checklist provided by Allan Carr. Another book, Mangroves to Mountains: A Field Guide to the Native Plants of South-East Queensland is highly recommended.  Paul Donatiu (while at Healthy Land and Water) has also produced a guide to plant species of the cypress forests and several plant lists from the national park.


To build and compile a website like this is not just the work of one person but requires input from several dedicated and generous people.  I should like to acknowledge Nadia Arrighi, who designed and built the website; Allan Carr, who provided the major plant list and many of the photographs; Paul Donatiu for plant lists of various parts of Bribie; Terry Burgess for researching and assisting with the bird list; Linda Cross (QWSG) and Greg Czechura for advice; Jean Tilly, Beverly Durrant, Chris Bell, Margaret Baker; the members of the Kakadu Beach bird roost group, and photographers, May Britten, David Simpson, Paul Cuddihy and Greg Harrison, for use of their images.  

Also the late Trevor Ford for his rigorous bird lists and publications on Bribie's birds and butterflies; and the late John Ward who contributed so much public awareness about the beauty of Bribie's wildflowers through the annual walks for Bribie Island Environmental Protection Association.

John Ward (1940-2018)

Michael has been fascinated by birds, flowers and butterflies since old enough to read. He wrote his first unpublished book on birds when he was ten. He is a member of the Royal Australian Ornithological Union - later Birdlife Australia - and has contributed several short articles to various bird publications. He was also a member of the Australian Bird Banders for many years.  With Jean Tilly, he assisted in preserving Buckleys Hole from development and was a co-author of the successful publication Bribie Birds. In 1994 he was the volunteer coordinator for the NatureSearch public program, looking after some 3000 volunteers. He has been a recorder for Queensland Wader Study Group from its first beginnings for Kakadu Beach.


Michael was the first director of the Abbey Museum of Art and Archaeology (1982-2012) , which he helped create, and also the instigator of the famous Abbey Medieval Festival. In 2000 Michael achieved an M.A. in Archaeology and Heritage from the University of Leicester, UK. He founded his own archaeological consultancy, appropriately named Turnstone Archaeology, in 2006, and has undertaken over 400 projects. The Royal Historical Society of Queensland awarded Michael the prestigious Clem Lack Oration in 2015 for his studies on Aboriginal bora grounds published in 2016. In 2020 the RHSQ awarded Michael its Centenary Medal. In 2020 his major work on the Abbey Museum’s stained glass collection was published internationally.

Michael Strong

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Strong, Michael K. (1989) ‘Fargling by Red-backed Fairy Wrens’.


Strong, Michael K., Trevor Ford and Chris Bell (2011)  Bribie Birds BIEPA. Ist Edition. Bribie Island Environmental Protection Association.


Thurstan, R., Diggles, B.K.,Gillies, C., Strong, M.K., Kerkhove, R.,  Buckley, S., King, R., Smythe, V.,  Heller-Wagner, G., Weeks, R., Palin, F. & I. McLeod.  (2020). ‘Charting two centuries of transformation in a coastal social-ecological system: A mixed methods approach.’ Global Environmental Change 61: 1-11.


Strong, Michael K. and Richard A. Noske (2023) ‘Little Corellas Cacatua sanguinea feeding on fruits of the Grey Mangrove Avicennia marina’. Sunbird Vol 50. pp 1-4.

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