Attracting Birds to Your Garden
Birds are a wonder of nature for your garden – they assist in pollination and seed dispersion, keep pests under control, and bring moments of delight with their mellifluous voice and beautiful flocks. Australia is endowed with a wide variety of native wildlife birds, but attracting them to your garden is not so simple. Here are a few tips to encourage a visit from your feathered friends…
Do Some Research
Different birds have different needs. Before preparing the habitat for bird visits, it is a good idea to know the kinds of birds to expect in your area. Do a quick lookup of your suburb on the Internet or reach out to your local birdwatching group to find out the common species of birds to look out for.
Once you know and decide which birds you want to attract, it’s time to set your garden. Tall trees are perfect to encourage high flyers like kookaburras and parrots to perch, while low-lying shrubs and grasses will be suitable for the low lying such as finches and wrens. Nectar-feeding birds will love flowers, especially the red and yellow ones, while insect-feeding and carnivore birds will enjoy pesticide-free gardens that let preys roam free. If you’re looking to attract multiple types of birds, the following plants could help serve all their needs: acacia, banksia, eucalypts and and melaleuca.
Water over Food
Water allows birds to drink, swim and clean their feathers – under a few conditions. Make sure your bird bath is shallow enough to let birds stand and elevated enough to protect birds from predators. Keep the water supply consistently filled throughout the year, as birds remember water sources and rely on them.
Providing bird food in your garden is a more controversial subject. Store-bought and/or artificial food might make native birds unwell, and dependence on feeding stations might make them more vulnerable to attacks by predators such as other birds, cats and foxes.
Good luck and have fun birdwatching in your own backyard!