SUBSCRIBE & SAVE SUBSCRIBE TODAY & SAVE UP TO 22% PLUS RECEIVE A THREE PIECE TRAVEL SET VALUED AT $129.90
The low-down on common bluebottles
Australia's best meteorite craters
The woodlands, grasslands and backyards of Canberra are teeming with birdlife.
“Canberra is known as the ‘Bush Capital’ for good reason,” says local birder and photographer Tobias Hayashi. “Many reserves within and around the city attract lots of wildlife.” The annual Garden Bird Survey, running since 1981, has collected a treasure trove of observations for more than 200 species.
For a bird watching adventure close to the CBD, Tobias recommends Mount Ainslie. “The grassy woodland around the base of Mount Ainslie, in particular Campbell Park, is probably one of the best and most easily accessible places to see a wide range of bush birds,” he says. “In spring, many species can be found busily building nests, only a few kilometres from the city centre.”
The Australian National Botanic Gardens is another great spot to hang out with the local birds. Keep an eye out for two special residents. “There is a very large resident population of superb fairy-wrens, which have been part of an ongoing study by researchers looking at the promiscuous sexual behaviours of these iconic birds,” says Tobias. “There are many satin bowerbirds around the gardens as well, and if you look closely you may find a bower,” he adds.
Further afield, keen Canberra twitchers flock to Jerrabomberra Wetlands. According to Tobias, “The wetlands support a great range of birds including many waterbirds and birds of prey. Rare birds from other states turn up at the wetlands too.”
For a ‘wilderness’ birding experience, there’s always Namadgi National Park, which makes up more than 40% of the ACT. “In the wetter forests, you may find lyrebirds, rufous fantails and even the odd wonga pigeon, which has recently returned to the area after disappearing following the 2003 bushfires,” says Tobias.
Here are 20 Canberran residents you may encounter on your birding adventures.
So what do we do with them?
A brush with royalty on the edge of a rainforest
Submit your photos for consideration for Image of the Week.
Join AG on these great trips
Submit your best short videos of Australian nature, wildlife, people and places
Watch the full 10-part documentary series
Meet Tal'ngay Dha’run— an incredibly rare leucistic bat.
Give to a project helping to save an icon of Australia – the platypus
Apply for sponsorship
Housed inside the Australian Museum and protected by long-time Mineral Department manager Ross Pogson, Albert Chapman's mineral collection has remained one of the finest in the world.
Don't believe everything you hear about giant clams. They're not the man-eating molluscs you think they are.
Known as Bungalbin in the traditional Kalamaia name, the Helena Aurora Range is an ancient banded ironstone formation of rich biodiversity and great beauty.
This year, the Royal Botanic Garden Sydney marks its 200th anniversary with the launch of Florilegium – an ambitious painted record of its living plant collections.
Read more about the Florilegium project in the latest issue of Australian Geographic (AG#134).
Australian-born photographer Anne Geddes captured the artistic beauty found in Australian seeds.
Scientists are working against the clock to discover how we can live longer, healthier lives – and how we might one day defeat the most common causes of death.
We're in danger of losing the health benefits of soils faster than they are replaced.
A project, supported by the Australian Geographic Society, is using X-rays to uncover hidden Aboriginal rock art.
A little-known fact is that Australia, a land blessed with low light pollution, has more than its fair share of great observatories.
For birds migrating to the top of the world, the warming climate could severely contract the available space they have to breed.