Canberra the Bush Capital, bird song in summer…

In the summer time, most Canberrans living in the suburbs, wake up to birdsong.
Australia is well known for its big noisy birds, but in summer, the blackbird, tiny in comparison, has a melodious song that can be heard all through the garden, and beyond..

His sweet song, is only heard when the bigger birds are not around.

The blackbird usually sings in the morning and evening, but today he is singing right through the midday heat….. maybe he knows the summer holidays are on their way.

Another beautiful little bird takes advantage of big bird free days in the garden…the male Fairy Wren.

The male Fairy Wren

He and his family fly around the garden, tweeting softly, ducking into their birdbath, and hopping from bush to tree.

I have read that Fairy Wrens never move far from their original home, and our Fairy Wren family have been a welcome sight every year in a leafy part of the back garden.

The striking Crimson Rosellas are part of the Australian parrot families.

The Crimson Rosellas socialising on the netball hoop

They are quite nervous and shy, and fly away easily. However, when they are in the plum tree near our deck they make gentle twittering sounds to each other…and seem very sociable.

I have used this cute baby Magpie photo in one or two of my previous posts, but he deserves his publicity.

A baby magpie warbling in a Dogwood tree in one of the Parliamentary courtyards

He was warbling away oblivious of crowds of tourists and media in one of the courtyards of Parliament House. He may be warbling to try and chase the crowds away, but magpies generally look on people as friends, so he could be warbling out of the sheer joy of living.

Magpies have a very melodious song, and it is perhaps the most well-known Australia bird call, except for the Kookaburra with his more raucous cackle.

 Magpies also make a lower warbling sound. This seems to be more like talking. 

Magpies warbling at each other about who is going to get the rapidly melting strawberry ice-cream.
This summer a couple of magpies have nested not far from our bedroom. They begin warbling to each other about a half and hour before dawn every morning,

…..lovely really, but a bit later would also be fine.

Galahs feeding together near the lake


When I first arrived in Australia, and visited a farm in the Central West of NSW, I remember seeing flocks of Galahs rising slowly from the paddocks and flying across the endless blue skies. A lasting memory of an endearing small parrot. (but, of course, not at all endearing to the farmer watching them eating the crop!)

Galahs, like some of the other parrots in Australia, make tweeting noises to each other, and remain in groups where ever possible.

Crested pigeons, enjoying the sun together, not a care in the world..

Crested Pigeons are one of the most common birds in Canberra. I have included them despite their lack of a distinctive song, although they do coo away happily when they are nesting. They live happily in any garden, and have absolutely no common sense, or sense of danger. When they do get scared off, their wings make a kind of whistling sound as they fly away.

…remind me again of why I can’t get through the window?

I thought of writing this post today, as I walked down our leafy paths to meet some friends for coffee. The wonderful blackbird’s song followed me all the way down to the café.

It was also a reminder that in a city with some big personalities, like the Cockatoos and the Currawongs, it is easy to over look the smaller birds.


I hope you are keeping cool or warm where ever you are in the world, and perhaps enjoying some bird songs too…

Do you have a favourite bird, or bird song?

Best wishes for Christmas and the New Year. I’ve enjoyed another year of blogging, and being part of a blogging community. Many thanks to all  those who read and comment , and to those who just like to drop in and read occasionally. All welcome and much appreciated.

Copyright Geraldine Mackey: All Rights Reserved.


18 Replies to “Canberra the Bush Capital, bird song in summer…”

  1. You are fortunate to see and hear so many birds, here in inner London we are not so lucky so it has been a great pleasure to read this post with excellent photographs and interesting text.

    1. Thank you Susan, and I, in turn really enjoy the interesting trips you do around London. I do hope you write a small guide book for us all one day! Those of us who would never know where to find the interesting museums and galleries etc. that you visit through your blog.

  2. I am finding it totally surreal hearing blackbirds. They are just so English to me they seem incongruous here. They are one of my favourite birds at home so it’s wonderful that I’m getting this surprise extra season of their song. And the galahs! Fabulous. But I can quite understand how the blackbirds might get drowned out..

  3. I always enjoy your posts about your amazing birds. Their colors are something that just aren’t seen here. I’m sure being woken up by them is not thrilling, but I cannot even imagine being able to enjoy the outdoors gardening as well as enjoying their presence. My favorite here is the Cardinal, but we only see them infrequently in the warmer months. Happy holidays to you and yours.

  4. Oh. My. Gosh! What a post. I was positively agog as I looked at the pictures of the various birds. All wonderful to look at, but my absolute favorite was the fairy wren. Love the name, love the coloring. Finally, so nice that you can walk to a cafe from where you live. Happy holidays to you and yours!

    1. Yes, the Galahs and Crimson Rosellas don’t get much attention because they are shy birds, so nice for them to have their own post!

    1. Our Fairy Wren has a big family here in our garden, so that is a good question. There are plenty of bushy places in that part of the garden for them to begin their own families…perhaps they already have.

  5. Beautiful photos of your colourful birds, Gerrie. How lovely that backbird’s song must have sounded. We have white Christmas here in Tahoe with lots of family. Quite a change from Florida. Merry Christmas to you all. ❄️☃️

    1. Thanks Sylvia, and how lovely to be surrounded by family, and having a white Christmas too. I hope you have a lovely Christmas with everyone, and are able to see your sister from Umshlanga too, at some stage.

  6. Goodness, what a treat this post was, how I enjoyed it! I loved all the birds, especially the rosellas and galahs….but oh my…that fairy wren totally stole the show, utterly

  7. Belated Christmas wishes to you and your family. Lovely picture of the Crimson Rosellas . We awoke on Christmas morning to the sound of birdsong, it has beenmild here but very wet I think the birds think it is Spring already! Sarah x

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