Birdwatching at Penang Botanical Gardens

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Penang Birdwatching

In March 2024, I went birdwatching at Penang Botanical Gardens, probably one of the best places on the island for beginners and photographers. The beauty of this place is that you do not need to walk the entire garden to birdwatch.

When I arrived here on a weekday morning, there was already a steady flow of visitors, ranging from those doing exercise to several other birders armed with cameras. And guess where most of the birding took place? Read on to find out more.

Birdwatching at Penang Botanical Gardens

Birding in Penang
A bird photographer was seen walking outside the park area.

As I tried to engage a birdwatching guide in Penang, I was unlucky because the person I knew was pre-booked for weeks ahead, and no one else was available. Therefore, it was purely a solo seld-discovering birding trip to Penang. One of the recommended places is the Penang Botanical Garden.

I assumed it would require some serious walking around the gardens, but when I arrived and parked outside the main road, I was surprised to see a birder walking by the side of the road with his tripod and camera. Curiosity killed my cat, and I followed him to see where he was headed. It was not far, just 20 metres, and he parked his tripod facing one of the medium-sized trees.

Botanical Garden Penang
This is the main road to the botanical garden where birding can be done.

This location was outside the Penang Botanical Gardens and the old Malaysian Nature Society (MNS) building. I thought maybe it was just one of the random places until I spent about two hours walking around here.

Surprisingly, the bird life in the many small to large trees was relatively healthy. It mainly consisted of smaller birds like spiderhunters, sunbirds, and tailorbirds, and even medium-sized birds like mynas, pigeons, and kingfishers.

Bird Watching in Penang
The small river outside the botanical gardens where I did my birdwatching.

Many will ask if it is worth visiting the botanical gardens to bird watch. Well, if this is your first time in this part of the world and you’re looking for some quick birding in between a business or family trip, then yes, it is.

Also, if you are an avid birder or bird photographer and want to visit Penang, this is a recommended place to spend the morning. You can start as early as 7 AM and be done by 11 AM to have some excellent Penang local food, then come back again in the evening if you like.

Penang Crimson Sunbird
A Crimson Sunbird was seen at one of the medium-sized trees.

What Birds Can Be Seen at Penang Botanical Gardens?

Another common question that is asked, and from my two trips here in 2024, I managed to see several birds which are;

  • Rock Pigeon (Feral Pigeon)
  • Spotted Dove
  • Pink-necked Green-Pigeon
  • White-breasted Waterhen
  • Medium Egret
  • Straited Heron
  • House Crow
  • Common Kingfisher
  • Stork-billed Kingfisher
  • Blue-tailed Bee-eater
  • Coppersmith Barbet
  • Black-naped Oriole
  • Common Iora
  • Pacific Swallow
  • Yellow-vented Bulbul
  • White-breasted Waterhen
  • Asian Glossy Starling
  • Common Myna
  • Javan Myna
  • Crested Myna
  • Asian Koel
  • Asian Brown Flycatcher
  • Oriental Magipie Robin
  • Orange-bellied Flowerpecker
  • Scarlet-backed Flowerpecker
  • Crimson Sunbird
  • Brown-throated Sunbird
  • Van Hasselt’s Sunbird
  • Ornate Sunbird

Birds of Penang Botanical Gardens

Below are some random photos of birds at the botanical gardens during my exploration trip here.

Myna's of Malaysia
The crest is very obvious on the Crested Myna at the gardens.
Birds of Penang Botanical Gardens
A Medium Egret was spotted at the small river.
Penang Botanical Gardens Pigeons
Rock Pigeons are also commonly sighted here.
Penang Botanical Gardens Spotted Dove
Spotted Doves are also commonly seen.
Penang White Breasted Waterhen
A White Breasted Waterhen can be seen across the small river.
Penang Botanical Gardens Crested Myna
A Crested Myna perched on a branch.
Bird Watching at Penang Botanical Gardens
Birdwatching here can be relatively easy if you walk around.
Crested Myna Penang
Crested Myna’s are commonly seen around the gardens.
Penang Botanical Gardens Monkeys
And if you are lucky, you may even see the unique Dusky Leaf Langur.

Location of Penang Botanical Garden

Penang Botanical Garden Information
  • Address: Jalan Kebun Bunga, 10350 George Town, Pulau Pinang
  • Open: 6.30 to 7.00 PM
  • Entrance: Free
  • Telephone: 04 2264401
  • Website: Taman Botani Pulau Pinang


During my stay here, I explored some of Gerogetown’s beautiful UNESCO heritage sites and stayed at a recommended heritage hotel called 23 Love Lane, which is within walking distance of many attractions. I have previously stayed at general hotels, but this time, I wanted to try something different for my birding trip.

Overall, I would recommend birdwatching at Penang Botanical Gardens as it is possibly one of the best places on the island without having to travel far or go through rugged terrain. The gardens are located near Gurney Drive, and from the main Georgetown, it takes around 10 to 15 minutes to drive here.

About Bird Watching Asia

Bird Watching Asia is a self-funded project to promote bird watching in Malaysia and around Asia.

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