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

  • Have you seen a turtle in Centennial Parklands?

    There are about 23 native species of freshwater turtles across Australian and seven species of native freshwater turtle can be found in NSW. Centennial Park is lucky to have two native species of freshwater turtles in our ponds and waterways. The Sydney basin turtle (Emydura macquarii) and the snake-necked turtle (Chelodina longicollis) can sometimes be […]

  • 5 reasons to get your kids outside for Nature Play Week

    Nature play is not just outdoor play. It’s child-directed play that happens in a natural space, such as a park or garden. Whilst going to a playground can be fun, it doesn’t put them into contact with nature and offers a different set of benefits. Here are 5 reasons why you should get your kids outside during the school holidays!

  • The circle of (a tree) life

    We receive many questions about trees that are felled or removed despite ‘appearing healthy’ on the outside. But what many people do not know is that trees, like humans, are susceptible to a large and diverse range of health issues and structural defects. Eventually a tree may need to be removed once other tree management strategies become insufficient for public safety or sustaining the health of a tree.