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Attracting Birds to Your Garden

May 1, 2019 | Attracting Birds

How Can I Attract Birds to My Garden?

An Urban Garden with Native Plants for attracting birds

These native Grevilleas and Callistemons are a great bird attracting plants and provide a source of food and shelter for honeyeaters and fairywrens

This is one of the most often asked questions I get, and the answer can vary depending on your location. But the below outlines a few key factors you should consider.

Attracting birds to your garden is a relatively simple task, providing you are in an area that supports a range of birds. But do not despair if you are in a built up area, with little native birdlife around. All gardens have the potential to attract birds. While there are a variety of supplements that can assist you in the short term, the long term goal is to have a garden that abounds in native bird-attracting plants. Honeyeaters and lorikeets feed on plants that provide a multitude of nectar-rich flowers. Silvereyes, fantails and robins feed on insects, many of which are gleaned from the foliage of trees and shrubs or captured in mid air when the bird spies it’s meal from a suitable perch. Providing plants that offer these birds a food source will attract some of them at least. There are also plants that provide food for seed-eating bird species.

In addition to the food sources that a range of plant types and species provide, you should try and provide ones that offer a range of other benefits, such as nesting sites, shelter from weather events and protection from predators. With that in mind, low spiky shrubs can help protect ground-dwelling birds from larger predators, dense shrubs and trees offer birds that feed higher up a similar refuge, and larger trees protect birds from ground-dwelling predators, such as cats and foxes.

A Cheese Tree with a Bird Bath and Nestbox for attracting birds

A hanging bird bath (front) and a pardalote nestbox (rear) help to attract birds

Other factors to consider, are nesting boxes and the supply of water for drinking and bathing. Food supplements are always beneficial in attracting birds while the native plants are growing, or if you do not have a garden that will support a range of native plants. Nectar feeders, seed trays, puddings, low fat cheese and lean meat scraps, will help attract some birds.  These supplements are readily available from pet suppliers, but can prove costly in the long term. Try and make sure that foods you supply are not likely to introduce potential disease and are nutritious; processed foods, such as bread, is junk food for birds and provides very little nutrition.

To further reduce the risk of cat attack, bird baths, drinking bottles and feeding trays should be placed a little over a meter from the ground and a suitable distance from low bushes.

It is also wise to ensure that your garden does not provide a potential bird hazard. Large windows have often been the cause of  a bird’s untimely demise.  There are several publications available to assist you with landscaping your garden, and showing which plants will attract which types of birds.