The ‘wild outer’ part of Centennial Park, outside the loop of Grand Drive, provides important habitat for native plants and animals, especially bird life.

Centennial Parklands is one of the easiest urban birdwatching vantage points in Sydney, on an average day you can easily see 50 bird species over its 360 hectares. There are plenty of big birds we’re sure you are familiar with, such as the Black Swans (9,000 g) and Australian White Ibis (2,100 g). But what about the small birds? Did you know we have species such as the Superb Fairy-wrens (10 g), Yellow Thornbills (6 g), Silvereyes (11 g), or New Holland Honeyeaters (20 g)? These are a few of the smaller birds that can be seen in the wilder areas of the Park with a little birdwatching practice.

When is the best time to go birdwatching?

Summer is one of the best times as the little ones start to leave the nest in their transition from nestling to fledgling. Visitors will have the best luck in spotting these birds in areas around Centennial Park that contain complex vegetation, especially in areas with shrubs so the ‘wild outer’ part is ideal. The habitat provides foraging opportunities (nectar, fruit, seeds, insects) and, importantly, shelter for smaller wildlife such as the Superb Fairy-wren. It is our vision to increase the habitat value of the ‘wild outer park’.


UTS installation small bird ecology in Centennial Park

New initiative with local students

Over the past two years, University of Technology Sydney (UTS) design students and Centennial Parklands have collaborated with the aim of increasing visitor awareness of the ecological biodiversity in the Park. Our newest initiative, located in the Learners Cycleway in Centennial Park, is aimed at reconnecting visitors with the smaller native birds by showcasing how remarkable they truly are!


UTS installation small bird ecology in Centennial Park

Why small birds?

The new designs play an important role in ecological education by creating a visual context through engaging signage. This helps enhance the presence of the less conspicuous creatures that are sometimes overlooked, like the small birds depicted in these installations.

Where are the installations located?

The artwork installed around the children’s cycleway was designed by Masters students at the UTS, Hanan Bou Akl and Alfredo Racilla, in consultation with their lecturer Dr Tom Lee and Centennial Park ecologist Dr John Martin. Here you will learn the sounds and characteristics of the Superb Fairy-wrens, Yellow Thornbills, Silvereyes, and New Holland Honeyeaters that visit the Park.

UTS installation small bird ecology in Centennial Park


If you’re quiet enough you’ll notice the distinctive sounds of many bird species across Centennial Park. Tell us which birds you can hear and see by tagging us on Instagram or using the hashtag #birdhabitat.

Similar Articles

  • Does your dog need a waggin’ workout?

    The holidays are a popular time to add a furry friend to the family but what happens when they won’t stop eating your shoes? Bring them along to one of our four brand new poochie programs to help introduce your bestie to the world of agility, obedience and fitness.  Musical Dog Obedience This is an […]

  • Tickled pink with Centennial Parklands’ new Brachychiton discolor

    Centennial Parklands’ new Pink Lace Bark tree planted in Centennial Park recently was the largest one trees available from a nursery and the largest in Centennial Park’s history of tree planting! Find out more about how it came to be part of the Parklands’ tree population.

  • Sydney’s kids go wild for WILD PLAY!

    The Ian Potter Children’s WILD PLAY Garden in Centennial Park is proving a hit with the kids of Sydney. Over the past week, children and their families from right across Sydney made their way to the Garden, which is designed to be an outdoor learning experience for kids of all abilities and backgrounds. It is made […]

  • Hello sunshine! Rare wattle plant found in the Parklands

    We were very excited recently to uncover two very rare little wattle plants in the Parklands. The ‘Sunshine Wattle’ or as scientifically named, ‘Acacia terminalis subsp. Terminalis’ has large, fluffy, pale yellow flowers, and is so uncommon, there are thought to be no more than around 1,000 plants in bush regeneration areas across the state! The […]