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"Attracting Wildlife to your Garden"

Watching birds and other wildlife going about their daily routine is a delight that can be shared by home gardeners.  By providing natural food and shelter for local birds and small animals you can also have the economical advantage of not needing the regular use of pesticides.

A large outbreak of pests is rarely seen in the bush because occasional explosions of a pest species are brought under control by the natural predators of that species. By attracting wildlife to your garden,   especially birds, it can gradually be returned to the process of natural management of these pests.

Planning your wildlife garden

Your garden should include a range of plants to provide for a variety of visitors. Understanding the birds and their diets will help you plan a successful garden. The shape of a bird's beak is a good indication of the of food it eats.

  • Carnivores have very large strong beaks usually with a hooked tip. Kookaburras, Butcherbirds, Currawongs, Magpies and birds of prey. Food: Small animals, reptiles, small birds, frogs, large insects and snails.

  • Insectivores have pointed beaks. Whipbirds, Cuckoo-shrikes, Robins, Wrens, Flycatchers and Fantails. Food; Mosquitoes, flies, moths, beetles, ants, termites, spiders, caterpillars and insect larvae.

  • Nectivores have long slender beaks or brush-tipped tongues. Honeyeaters, Spinebills, Wattlebirds, Friarbirds, Noisy Miners and lorikeets. Food: Pollen, nectar, soft fruit, berries, wattle sap, lerps and insects.

  • Granivores have short, stout beaks. Finches, Firetails, Doves, Pigeons, Rosellas, Corellas, Galahs and Cockatoos. Food: Seeds of native trees, shrubs and grasses. Fruit and berries.

  • Frugivores have solid deep beaks. Bowerbirds, Catbirds, Orioles, Figbirds and Fruit-doves.         FOOD; Native fruit and berries, insects.

Helpful hints

  • A graded garden of trees, large shrubs then low shrubs in a sunny position works well to produce masses of flowers.

  • Include shrubs which have continuous foliage reaching the ground to provide shelter for birds that forage in the undergrowth, e.g. Wonga pigeons, Bowerbirds.

  • It is important that the garden contains a balance of plants providing foods for all species of birds. An excessive quantity of nectar-rich plants in a suburb can lead to an increase of the more aggressive honeyeaters which discourages the smaller birds.

  • Prickly shrubs provide good shelter and nesting sites, safe from predators.

  • A supply of cool, fresh water placed off the ground and close to shrubs or trees is essential.

  • Native grasses, which will provide seed for Parrots, Pigeons and small birds, are an attractive addition to the garden and can be an alternative to lawn.

  • Nesting boxes can be placed in existing trees. Old trees with hollows should be retained as these are natural homes for birds and possums.

  • A pond stocked with native frog-friendly fish can also be home to local frogs. NEVER release any fish into dams or waterways, especially Gambusia. They are a fierce predator of many aquatic animals.

  • Birds, animals and insects are the natural pollinators of many plants.

  • Lizards and frogs help to control insects and mosquitoes.

Do NOT feed the birds directly, tempting though this may be.

Feeding can cause;

  • rotting beaks  - too much sugar.

  • over breeding - can create an imbalance of a particular species,

  • nests to become disease carriers - from too many birds,

  • dependence of birds on human feeders and lack of variety in their diet,

  • destruction of house timbers - Cockatoos can do a lot of damage in a short time.

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Fact Sheet 3 "Attracting Wildlife to your Garden" has four more pages containing a wealth of
                       information in chart form.

          Click on the Chart of your choice below.

  • Chart A  Plants for Seed Eaters & Fruit Eaters

  • Chart B  Plants for Seed Eaters & Fruit Eaters (Continued)

  • Chart C  Nectar & Pollen Eaters

  • Chart D  Nectar & Pollen Eaters (Continued)