Growth of urban centres world-wide has been so dramatic over the past 100–200 years that many natural habitats have been much altered around large cities. A threatened coastal plant community, Moonah Melaleuca lanceolata woodlands, has been largely destroyed and degraded over a long period by the growth of suburbs into the desirable coastal areas on the fringes of the two main cities of Vic., Australia (Melbourne and Geelong). Here, we describe the avifaunas of 19 remnants of coastal Moonah woodland. The largest remnant is about 50 ha and this was used as a site for positioning ‘virtual’ remnants against which we could compare the avifaunas of the more common size-range of real remnants (≤10 ha). Although remnant habitat structure differed consistently between virtual and real remnants, these differences were not sufficient to alter the native avifaunas in constitution or bird densities. However, species richness was higher in 10 ha and in 2 ha remnants than in 1 ha remnants. Of seven landscape-context variables, only one influenced the avifauna: species richness declined as the degree of urbanization increased (measured by roof-counts). Exotic bird species have not colonized the remnants to a great degree (four species [of 38 in total], 8% of total records).