Sydney Expat Interview Series Part 5: The Birds!

animals, Sydney Expat Interviews

After two near-misses with dive bombing magpies and a seagull snatching an entire sandwich out of my toddler’s hand last month, I thought the time was right to tackle the hard-hitting question of birds in this month’s Sydney Expat Interview Series.

We’re lucky to have such vibrant wildlife in this city, but honestly, some of the birds seem dead set against us. Some are loud, some aggressive, and some of them just cock their head and look at you funny. If you’ve ever seen The Birds, you know this is not something to take lightly. There’s even a website dedicated to tracking magpie attacks in Sydney! They’re a big part of life here, and we all have that one bird that just rubs us the wrong way (well, most of us, anyway).

This is the 5th in an 18 part interview series with expats living in Sydney. Please make sure to visit the fantastic websites of the participants here, and follow me on Facebook for much more on expat life in Sydney.Question 5


Question 5: Which Sydney bird do you find the most aggravating and why?

Name: Victoria
Country of origin: England
Lived in Sydney: 5 years
Victoria blogs at The Freedom Travellers 

Probably the magpies, they are massive and aggressive and annoyingly loud!

Name: Julia
Country of origin: UK
Lived in Sydney: 6 years

The magpies that swoop – very scary . Now that I have my daughter, I don’t want them swooping anywhere near us!! I don’t like the way they just stare at you.

Name: Nom de geurre – “Bushranger”
Country of origin: Serbia
Lived in Sydney: 6.5yrs

Magpie because it screeches like it needs WD-40.




Name: Ashley
Country of origin: United States
Lived in Sydney: 2 years (in Newcastle)
Visit Ashley on Instagram

I feel like most people will see the Magpie but I’m going to tell you a secret. IT’S NOT!!! The Magpie is only annoying a couple months out of the year and they are easily avoidable. The worst one is the Myna bird. Honestly, they are psychotic ALL months of the year! They swoop you repeatedly and flap their little wings over your head. They steal eggs from other bird’s nests and they generally are in a group of 5 or 6 which can feel like a million if you go near their nest! Anytime I’m at a playground, these silly birds are flying at my head and flapping their wings at me. Ugh! They are so annoying!!!

Name: Debbie
Country of origin: England
Lived in Sydney: 10 years

The Noisy Miner because when they all get going they are so loud you literally cannot hear conversation over them.


Name: Rachel
Country of origin: England
Lived in Sydney: 3 years, 7 months

The sulphur crested cockatoos. They were in abundance near my first apartment in Manly and remind me of monkeys. They’d wake me most mornings with their ear piercing squawking and you can guarantee, there is never a solitary cockatoo. They hunt in packs.

Sulphur Crested Cockatoo

Sulphur Crested Cockatoo

Name: Dido
Country of origin: India
Lived in Sydney: 1.5 years

Crows, as when I first heard them, I literally thought a baby was crying.

Name: Melissa
Country of origin: USA
Lived in Sydney: 7 months
Melissa blogs at Leche Love

I haven’t learned which one is the one that sounds like a kid screaming or a cat dying yet, but that one.

Crow. (Or, as some of us call them, “the screaming child” birds).

Name: Caitlin
Country of origin: England
Lived in Sydney: 10 months
Caitlin blogs at Where’s Wallis

The crazy long beaked birds that assert their authority over Hyde Park and the Botanic Gardens. They come far too close when you’re trying to have a relaxed lunch in the park and their beaks look like they could do some serious damage.

Australian Ibis

It’s called the Australian Ibis

Name: Shane
Country of origin: USA
Lived in Sydney: 1 year
Shane blogs at Sea Salt Secrets 

The Ibis. They’re like seagulls in Sydney. The Cassowary is pretty nifty however.

Name: Kirstie
Country of origin: United States
Lived in Sydney: Since September 2013
Kirstie blogs at Venga Vale Vamos

Ibis birds, all the way. I was fascinated by them at first, considering how different they are from anything we’d see regularly back home, but I now despise them. The park near my office where I often eat lunch is filled with them. They’re aggressive, always grabbing my trash from right under me, and they smell awful.

Name: Erin
Country of origin: Texas, USA
Lived in Sydney: 6 1/2 years
Erin blogs at TexErin-in-Sydneyland 

Ibis. Can a woman just have her lunch in Hyde Park in peace?!? Geesh!!!!

Name: Mollie
Country of origin: USA
Lived in Sydney: 4 years

I love them all and still get amazed by seeing them and how exotic they are.

Have you had any encounters with the birds of Sydney?

Read Part 1: Expectations vs Reality
Read Part 2: The Most Memorable Sydney Day
Read Part 3: Your First Day in Sydney
Read Part 4: Drinking Like an Aussie

3 thoughts on “Sydney Expat Interview Series Part 5: The Birds!

  1. Yvette

    I really miss my rainbow lorikeets. I fed them almost every day. They would walk on in the house like they owned the place, looking for a little sumpin, sumpin. 🙂

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