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Developments at Botanic Garden Aviary

This article was first published on 06 Sep 2019.



Photo by the Otago Daily Times

The aviary has been a part of Dunedin Botanic Garden for a very long time but its role continues to evolve.

The aviary can an odd thing for the visitor to come upon, tucked away in the upper botanic garden’s Australian border.  But many of the 150 birds in the collection are Australian so the location is apt.

From the carpark the route towards the aviary passes beautiful Eucalyptus and Banksia trees.  Often visitors can enjoy the whizzing flight of wild tui and korimako/bellbird frantically feeding on the nectar-rich flowers that sustain them through winter. Then comes the raucous noise of the macaw, cockatoo, corella and eclectus parrots which, if heard all together, can be an attack on the ears.

The aviary houses examples of species from all over the world including from Aotearoa.  South Island kaka are bred for release back into the wild and most of the founding population of kaka flying in and around Orokonui ecosanctuary today were bred at Dunedin Botanic Garden.

In recent time a strong link has been developed with the Dunedin Wildlife Hospital.  The aviary supports the hospital by housing birds needing to recuperate from surgery, an injury or trauma.  Newly converted rehabilitation aviaries have been generously modified free of charge by local Dunedin businesses, Action Engineering and Thrive Homes Otago.