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Meet the Birds at Neil Hawkins Park

Home > Perth > Outdoor | Fun Things To Do | Picnic Spots | Parks | Nature
by Rachel Edmondson (subscribe)
A freelance writer living in Perth, and always on the search for something new, different and exciting.
Published March 21st 2012
Forget the bird documentaries - treat yourself to the real-life feathered experience at Neil Hawkins Park in the City of Joondalup.

First things first, put on a thick long-sleeved shirt - you'll realize the importance of this soon enough. Next, head to your nearest pet centre or supermarket for a big of bird seed (sunflower seeds are the most preferred).

Now set your GPS to Neil Hawkins Park, at the end of Boas Avenue in Joondalup. This unique park is nestled on the banks of the Lake Joondalup Wetlands, which covers an area between Burns Beach Road to the north, and Ocean Reef Road to the south.

Here's the unique part. As well as being beautiful, luscious and green, Neil Hawkins Park is also home to many wild parrots - including the Australian Ringneck Parrot, cockatoos and kangaroos, which you can meet up close and personal.

So armed with your bag of seed, find a nice area to set yourself up. (It will be difficult to move once you reveal your bounty). Now pour some seed into each hand, and turn yourself into a scarecrow. In less than two minutes you'll be covered in hungry parrots and cockatoos.

Birds love this scarecrow
My husband covered in cockatoos. The one on his chest was scratching his head on his goatee.

Their claws and beaks may be big, but these birds are used to human contact and are usually very gentle. (You may end up with a few light scratches here and there when they land on you, but if you're wearing a long sleeve shirt you should be fine). There are also pigeons that like to get in on the action, milling around your feet to catch anything that drops.

Birds love this scarecrow

A couple of tips: If your seed is in a clear bag, hide it. These birds are smarter than they look, and given half a chance will tear into it while you're not looking. Also, once you're out of seed, fold your arms into your chest so they know you have nothing left, otherwise you may find it hard to shake off your new feathered friends. I also recommend finishing the day with a delicious soft serve ice-cream from the Veddies ice-cream van.

As well as being home to friendly wildlife, Neil Hawkins Park is a great place to bring the family for a picnic, or just a great excuse to get out of the house for the afternoon. Check it out his weekend.

My mum made some new feathered friends
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Why? For a face to feather experience
When: Anytime the mood grabs you
Where: Neil Hawkins Park, Boas Ave, Joondalup WA
Cost: Just a bag of seed
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