Australian National Botanic Gardens

The Australian National Botanic Gardens is open and welcomes visitors from 8.30 am to 5 pm every day of the year (except 25 December).

Visitors will need to comply with the COVID-19 safety measures that remain in place across the ACT. Read more.

The Gardens’ varied habitats are a haven for around 100 different bird species. Many birds are permanent residents, while others only visit at certain times of the year.

One of our most common birds is the red wattlebird. A large and raucous honeyeater, it can often be seen eating the nectar of Proteaceae such as banksias, waratahs and grevilleas.

Red wattlebird (Anthochaera carunculata) Red wattlebird (Anthochaera carunculata). Photo: Lindell Emerton

King parrots and gang-gangs feed high up in the trees, while brightly coloured crimson rosellas can be spotted eating native fruits as well as the spore capsules of tree ferns in the Rainforest Gully.

Crimson rosella (Platycercus elegans) Crimson rosella (Platycercus elegans). Photo: Lindell Emerton

Some of the Gardens’ prettiest birds are also our smallest. Eastern spinebills are commonly seen extracting nectar from flowers with their long beaks, and superb fairy-wrens dart among shrubs and low bushes to catch small insects.

Male superb fairy-wren (Malurus cyaneus) Male superb fairy-wren (Malurus cyaneus). Photo: Lindell Emerton

The Gardens also play host to Australia’s most famous bird, the laughing kookaburra. Several kookaburras call the Gardens home, swooping down from their perches to feed on insects, lizards, fish and even small snakes. You can often see these large birds perching on exposed tree branches around the Eucalypt Lawn.

Laughing kookaburra (Dacelo novaeguineae) Laughing kookaburra (Dacelo novaeguineae)

Enjoy the Gardens’ incredible birdlife, but please do not feed any of our birds as it will disturb their natural diet.

The Friends of the Gardens have produced a brochure on the Gardens’ many birds. You can pick up a copy at the Visitor Centre for a small donation.