The birds of ANU campus

Written by Jonah Lafferty

Jonah Lafferty is studying a Bachelor of Environmental Studies and is the current president of the ANU Society for the Environmental Sciences. Here he shares some of the birdlife he has seen in and around ANU campus. 

You might think that you need to head bush to see Australia’s best birdlife but you can find them amidst the labs and lecture theatres on ANU campus. From parrots that measure over half a meter in length to thornbills that weigh just 7 grams, the ANU boasts some awesome bird diversity. Below I’ve shared some of my photos of these birds in hope that you’ll keep your eye out for some of these guys on campus, and if you’re feeling adventurous maybe even further out around Canberra!

  • The Striated Thornbill: this cute little fluffy fella can be spotted on and around campus so keep your eyes out! They weigh in at just 7 grams and would easily fit in your hand so you’ll have to be sharp to spot one!

     

  • The Rainbow Lorikeet: whilst most will be familiar with this colourful bird from more coastal regions in recent years these guys have made the move to Canberra! Despite them being a rare sight you can look out for them and other lorikeet species in flowering gums!

  • The Satin Bowerbird: the Satin Bowerbird can be found regularly at the botanical gardens just above ANU! If you’re lucky you might even spot a bower as well, these guys create elaborate stick formations and decorate them with blue objects to attract a mate!

     

  • The Tawny Frogmouth Owl: you’ll likely find these guys all throughout Canberra as they aren’t shy of suburban areas, however you’d likely only see these guys after a late night in the library (or Mooseheads) as this is a nocturnal species!

  • The Yellow-tailed Black Cockatoo: although a rare visitor these too can be seen at ANU! You’ll spot them in the tallest trees around campus and they’re hard to miss being the worlds largest species of Cockatoo!

  • The Gang-gang Cockatoo: these beautiful birds are endemic to south eastern Australia and we are lucky enough to get them on Campus! Pictured above is a juvenile male, when he grows up his head will be a striking bright red!

  • The Superb Fairy Wren: these little fellows are an absolute crowd favourite and one of the birds you’re most likely to run into on campus! You can spot them hopping around many of the small bushes on campus.

  • The Eastern Yellow Robin: another rare sight in the nations capital but these guys are known to visit the woodlands of Black Mountain just above ANU! Birds don’t come much cuter than these guys (especially when they’re yawning).

  • The Eastern Spinebill: this little guy is another juvenile and despite being fully grown is yet to show off their full colours! If you keep your eye out they’re another species spotted on campus.

  • The Welcome Swallow: these guys are often darting above South Oval incredibly fast to catch bugs, so you’ve got to have a sharp eye to get a good look!

  • The New Holland Honeyeater: these guys are frequent visitors to the Botanical Gardens just above campus! You can catch them feeding on a wide variety of flowering plants such as this gorgeous Banksia.

  • The Sulphur-crested Cockatoo: these striking parrots are a regular feature on the ANU campus! You’ll be sure to find them picking up the banks of Sullivan’s Creek most mornings!