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Golden Morph

White-tailed Tropicbird (Golden morph)

White Eye

Christmas Island White-eye

Cocos Saunder's Tern

Cocos Saunders's Tern

Christmas Island Frigatebird

Christmas Island Frigatebird

Blue Rock Thrush

Blue Rock Thrush

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Christmas Island & Cocos-keeling Islands

Australia's remote Indian Ocean territories are as unique as they are spectacular. Birding Tours Australia are the experts in both of these locations, having discovered more rare vagrant species on these islands than anyone else.

View Tour Dates and Costs    Download 2015-16 Trip Report    Download 2016-17 Trip Report

Download 2017-18 Trip Report   Download 2018-19 Trip Report   Download 2019-20 Trip Report

Christmas Island & Cocos-Keeling Islands

Our groups have seen all of the island endemics easily, leaving plenty of time to search the territory's hotspots looking for rare Asian vagrant species.

To date we have recorded:

  • Eurasian Hobby
  • Savannah Nightjar
  • Asian House Martin
  • White Wagtail
  • Watercock
  • Oriental Honey Buzzard
  • Common Kingfisher
  • White-breasted Waterhen
  • Malayan Night Heron
  • Cinnamon Bittern
  • Chinese Pond Heron
  • Silver-backed Needletail
  • Grey Wagtail
  • Eastern Yellow Wagtail
  • Red-collared Dove
  • Mossy-nest Swiftlet
  • Japanese Sparrowhawk
  • Schrenck's Bittern
  • Edible-nest Swiftlet
  • House Swift
  • Grey Nightjar
  • Himalayan Swiftlet
  • Saunders's Tern
  • Western Reef Egret
  • Eastern Yellow Wagtail (macronyx)
  • Blue & White Flycatcher
  • Pin-tailed Snipe
  • Lesser Noddy
  • Blue Rock Thrush
  • Asian Koel
  • Green Junglefowl
  • Matsudaira’s Storm Petrel
  • Bulwer’s Petrel
  • Common Moorhen
  • Javan Pond Heron
  • Narcissus Flycatcher
  • Jouanin's Petrel
  • Large Hawk Cuckoo
  • Hodgson's Hawk Cuckoo
  • Chinese Sparrowhawk
  • Eurasian Teal
  • Yellow Bittern
  • Purple-backed Starling
  • Tiger Shrike
  • Mugimaki Flycatcher
  • Crow-billed Drongo

Touring the island, we also often encounter:

  • White-tailed Tropicbird (Golden morph)
  • Greater Frigatebird
  • Lesser Frigatebird
  • Brown Booby
  • Javan Finch
  • Eurasian Tree Sparrow
  • Common Emerald Dove
  • Common Noddy
  • Oriental Pratincole
  • Barn Swallow
  • White Tern
  • Red-footed Booby
  • Masked Booby
  • Buff-banded Rail (North Keeling ssp)
  • Oriental Pratincole
  • Red-tailed Tropicbird
  • White-tailed Tropicbird
  • Grey Plover
  • Lesser Sand Plover
  • Greater Sand Plover
  • Little Curlew
  • Sanderling
  • White-winged Black Tern
  • Oriental Cuckoo
  • Dollarbird
  • Common Redshank


Christmas Island 

Christmas Island and the Cocos Keeling Islands are two of Australia's Indian Ocean Territories situated in the northern Indian Ocean. Birding Tours Australia has been to both islands over thirty times, guiding around 400 individual birders in search of the island's endemics, specialties and vagrants. Our tours are designed to accommodate birders and their partners, twitchers, photographers or those just wanting to enjoy the island's natural history. Fifty percent of most tours are made up of repeat customers with several birders having done this tour 5-8 times, an indication of just how popular this tour is.

Our tour dates are chosen to maximise our chance of finding the islands breeding specialties as well as rarities on both islands.

Christmas Island is home to a number of resident species of birds including:

  • Christmas Island Frigatebird (The world's rarest frigatebird)
  • Christmas Island Thrush
  • Glossy Swiftlet
  • Brown (Variable) Goshawk
  • Christmas Island Hawk Owl
  • Christmas Island White-eye
  • Christmas Island Imperial Pigeon
  • Abbotts Booby (The world's largest and rarest booby)
  • Common Emerald Dove
  • Cocos specialties include:
  • Saunders's Tern
  • Western Reef Egret
  • White Tern
  • Pin-tailed Snipe
  • Green Junglefowl
  • White-breasted Waterhen
  • Oriental Cuckoo
  • Common (Eurasian) Teal

In addition to these we've recorded over 100 further species, many being the vagrants that the islands are so well known for.

cocos island

Tour Includes

  • Three airfares ex Perth, Introductory BBQ, 4X4 hire cars and fuel
  • Australia's most experienced Christmas and Cocos birding guide
  • Nesting Abbott's Booby & Golden Morph White-tailed Tropicbirds
  • Ocean front Accommodation on Cocos
  • Countless photographic opportunities
  • Motorised outrigger trip to South Island to see Saunders's Tern
  • Australia's only Java Sparrows, Island Thrush and Green Junglefowl
  • Ferry trips to Home Island
  • CI Imperial Pigeon, Tree Sparrow and CI White-eye, Common Emerald Dove
  • Pin-tailed Snipe, and White Tern, Red-tailed & White-tailed Tropicbirds
  • Complimentary lunch or breakfast on uninhabited Cocos tropical island
  • Outdoor oceanfront dining on Cocos & Clunies-Ross Mansion and grounds
  • Close views of Christmas Island and Greater Frigatebirds.
  • Western Reef Egret, White-breasted Waterhen & 1000+ Red-footed Boobies.
  • Spot lighting trips for CI Hawk-Owl and Nightjars
  • Brown(Christmas Island) Goshawk and Glossy Swiftlet.
  • Tour to The Dales waterfall, Margaret Knoll and The Blowholes on Christmas Island.
  • Not Included… Most meals and alcohol.

Tour dates are chosen to maximise our chance of finding rarities on both islands.