What birdlife do you have in your backyard? You can make a safe haven for birds in your yard to encourage more birdlife. Birds need food, water, shelter and a safe place to nest. Your garden may be able to provide some or all of these things for the birds visiting your garden.
Before you put in a garden for birds, knowing a little about the birds you want to visit can help you know what and where to plant.
Shelter for birds includes dense shrubby thickets and trees for safe nesting and protection from the heat or cold. Sheltering plants also improve safety by providing safe territory for smaller birds to escape larger birds especially in and around birdbaths and ponds. Safety also means a garden free of predators, particularly cats. With a sheltering and safe habitat in place, food plants come to the fore.
Birds have varied diets. Some are nectar feeders while others eat seeds or insects. Some nectar eaters and seed eaters also need insects to feed their young.
Our feathered friends eat all year round. Gardens may be rich in spring and summer food sources but for a truly bird-friendly garden, plant to provide food in the leaner times through autumn and winter.
Banksia, grevilleas, bottlebrush and hakeas are top bird-attracting plants. They provide shelter, safety and, by selecting a range of varieties, flowers year round. Other top natives for birds are tall-growing kangaroo paws and grass trees.
When you are buying your plants from the nursery, many plants carry labels that flag their bird-friendly status. Adding insect-friendly and pollinator plants (also highlighted on plant labels) increases the bird appeal of a garden.
Have you heard of the Birds in Backyards survey? Birds in Backyards is a research, education and conservation program. You can get involved in the seasonal surveys which run all year round. Getting started is easy, you can register for a Birdata account at http://www.birdsinbackyards.net/ They also have a great bird identifying tool you can use! There are also lots of great resources online at birdlife.org.au
Avalon Nursery in Haddon will be able to help you out with great choices for a bird friendly garden, you can visit David, Joanna and their team at 41 Kopkes Road Haddon Open 7 days a week .