Attracting Native Birds Into Your Garden
One of the great pleasures in any garden is to see beautiful Australian native birds attracted to have a feed, sing their songs or even build a nest. They can also play a role in reducing pests such as insects, slugs and snails! The types of birds that I love to see and hear in my garden include wrens, finches, honeyeaters, parrots, kookaburras and magpies. So, what attracts birds to your garden?
Some people take great pleasure in putting out seeds or bits of bread or fruit on bird feeders hung from trees or on their verandah. I don’t use this approach as I would rather see the birds attracted to seeds or fruit or nectar that are provided naturally on the plants growing in the garden. Protection from predators is another important factor, particularly for small birds such as finches, wrens and honeyeaters. These birds love gardens where they can hide in thick or thorny shrubs and small trees-which also provide great nesting habitat for these guys! On the matter of predators, cats are a major problem for these small birds too so if you want the birds, the pussy may have to go.
Access to water for a drink or a bath is another attractant for birds- so a small pond or bird bath will help the birds as well as providing a “feature” in the garden. Not surprisingly, the plants and trees that seem to provide most attraction for Australian native birds in the garden are predominantly Australian native plants! These include grevilleas, banksias, wattles (acacias), bottlebrushes (callistemons), leptospermums and melaleucas. There are many cultivars of these that flower beautifully, add colour to the garden, are hardy and attract birds. Casuarinas and some of the flowering gums (eucalypts) also attract birds and provide great nesting habitat.
Millthorpe Garden Nursery