Broome Bird Observatory
The BBO is a veritable twitcher’s paradise on beautiful Roebuck Bay, where up to 120,000 shorebirds gather every year. Once you have arrived, the first port of call is the Clive Minton Discovery Centre - recently opened, the interpretation centre encourages exploration of Roebuck Bay and its amazing birdlife. Experience immersive soundscapes, beautiful footage, up to date science and even a migration challenge! The next stop would be the Shadehouse - a fly-wired enclosure opposite a birds’ water park. As in Graeme Base’s The Waterhole, it is where the locals gather – bush birds, goannas and kangaroos. Here avid bird watchers sit and watch the birds, discussing those that they have seen or want to add to their list. Opened in 1988 to protect and study the birds of Roebuck Bay, and declared an internationally significant wetland under the Ramsar Convention, the BBO now offers a Discovery Centre, accommodation, tours, courses and research facilities for those who want to see and know more about the 330+ species of birds that have been recorded in the area. The BBO’s primary focus is on the thousands of migratory shorebirds of the East Asian - Australasian Flyway. Thirty-five species of these birds, some weighing as little as a Timtam(!), fly every year between the rich feeding grounds of Roebuck Bay and surrounding plains, and their breeding grounds in the northern hemisphere. Godwits and dowitchers; greenshanks and redshanks; sandpipers, tattlers and pratincoles; barn swallows, swifts and wagtails, are among the international travellers. Chats, bustards, whistlers, honeyeaters and gerygones, sea-eagles, osprey, oystercatchers and pelicans are among the many local residents.