If you are one of the lucky people to have a backyard, you might want to incorporate some kind of landscape design that will encourage native birds to your area. In this way you’ll be doing your bit for the environment, since birds are a part of that. And as more land is cleared our feathered friends tend to lose their homes and have less natural environment from which to gather food.
Here are some tips to help you get native birds to your garden.
- Find out what birds are native to your area and which ones you’d like to have for visitors. Then provide the kind of food they like. They’ll soon find it.
- Install a bird bath. All birds need water to drink and to bathe in to restore their hydration and make their feathers clean. Birds in the centre of town can’t access water on a hot, dry day, but if they know there is some in the suburbs, that is where they’ll go.
- Grow plenty of dense foliage plants. You may want to avoid plants with thorns, but these are ideal for protecting blue wrens and other smaller bird species from the larger birds that drive them away. But any dense foliage plant will do, it doesn’t have to have thorns. Trees are good for larger birds and help them to avoid their enemies; cats.
- Hang up a bird feeder. These contain various seeds and grains that many birds such as our colourful parrots enjoy.
- Grow indigenous plants that flower to encourage native birds.
- Make a nesting box. Some birds like to use nesting boxes, especially in areas where trees are scarce. If you put one in your tree, it’s a good idea to place a sheet of flat iron around the base of it to prevent cats from climbing up and dining on baby birds.
- Grow plants with nectar producing flowers to encourage native honey-eaters to your area. These shy birds will make their presence known by their sweet whistle and a sudden flurry of wings if they’re disturbed.
- Leave some of your lawn unmown so the grasses can go to seed. Parrots love picking seeds off the long stalks.
- Don’t allow your dog or cat to chase birds. Birds won’t come to a garden where a dog is constantly yapping. If you really need a dog, go for a quiet one. The neighbours will love you too.
- Don’t wash your windows too often. Sparkling windows reflect the sky and birds tend to dive straight into them. This often results in injury or death for the bird. Other ways to discourage this is to grow a tall shrub in front of the window or install an adjustable cover over the top.