Saturday, 20 June 2015

Establishing Native Bird Habitat in Your Garden

Amazingly our domestic gardens constitute a huge percentage of remaining vegetation that can be used as potential habitat refuges for native birds and other wildlife. 

Over recent times there has been a shift in the species make-up and types of birds found in urbanised environments. 
Some of the small native birds (Red-browed Finch and Fairy-wren) are becoming less and less evident and being replaced by more dominant and aggressive species such as the Noisy Miner, Pied Currawong and the Rainbow Lorikeet. 

This has to indicate that we, as gardeners are not planning and growing bird-friendly environments that offer protection and food resources for native birds.

There are some very simple guidelines for establishing a bird-friendly garden:

  • Provide a bird bath.
  • Reduce open areas by reducing lawn area.
  • Develop structural diversity in your garden. This can be achieved by planting small dense natives, even some of the 'prickly' varieties enabling small bird protection.
  • Use indigenous species in plant selection.
  • If you can, establish a nesting box - although sometimes possums take advantage of these!
  • Do not feed birds, it is more beneficial to establish a garden with a diverse range of native plants which can provide natural food resources for an array of native birdlife.
  • Select non hybridised native plants as the many large-flowered hybrid varieties of Grevilleas encourage large and aggressive honeyeaters. By selecting non-hybrid species (which produce smaller flowers) will attract less common nectar feeders to your garden.
  • Avoid feeding animals outdoors as this is a very attractive food source for birds such as the Indian Myna bird.
Understanding the resource requirements of native birds will help us gardeners to develop suitable habitats for birds in our gardens.

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