When asked what wildlife we want to attract most people say more birds. They add so much interest, colour and movement to a garden.  Do you know that some of our small birds are disappearing? 

We are losing the places they feel safe and can thrive in.  The birds that really need our help are the ones like Superb Blue Wrens, Eastern Spine-bills, Eastern Yellow Robins, Thornbills, Red-browed Finches and small honeyeaters.

If we lose them then we lose the  benefits of having them in our gardens such as spreading seeds, pollinating plants and eating thousands of insects like aphids, scale, mealybugs  and lerps. 

What do they need?  - food (insects, pollen, nectar, seeds and berries), water, shelter and a safe place to nest and hide. If we want small birds we need to also plant some smaller plants including native grasses and tufted plants like lomandra.


If our gardens are too much like some local parks where there are just a few trees and lots of lawn, then the aggressive noisy miners move in and take over and join other bigger common birds such as magpies and currawongs. 

Here are some handy links to assist in making more bird habitat.


Creating Bird Habitat    

Birds in backyards

Bird Watching equipment  - once you make a garden more bird friendly then getting a pair of binoculars really helps to see the distinguishing features.

New Holland Honeyeater

Musk Lorikeet

Male Superb Blue Wren

Eastern Spinebill

What do small birds need?


          *these hints are from a talk at Pomonal, by A.B. Bishop the author of Habitat: A practical guide to creating a wildlife-friendly Australian garden

Crimson Rosella

Grey Fan-tail

Eastern Yellow Robin

Red-browed Finches


Like us birds and other fauna need water to survive.  Once you put in a water bowl they need be kept full of water and cleaned regularly to prevent disease spread. Include a range of containers of different depths if you have the room. Placing the bird baths close to a tap means you are more likely to keep them topped up. If cats are a problem try hanging some containers  in a tree or surrounding the  ones on the ground with prickly plants.  Don't put bird baths in the full sun as the water heats up in summer and for the same reason avoid metal containers.       Bird baths ideas

Un-glazed terracotta saucers are a good choice

Shallow saucers for smaller birds

A hanging saucer is better if there are cats in the area

Some deeper bowls suit larger birds

What else can we do in the garden for birds?

Keeping cats in at night makes a big difference. They eat up to 30 critters a night as they are active hunters and do it for enjoyment as well as food. It is much safer for cats to be kept in a safe place and not be out roaming about where they may be attacked by other cats or dogs or run over.

Chemicals in the garden will kill unintended species . Before you spray a caterpillar, find out what that caterpillar will develop into, study the life cycle and look for a non-toxic way if control really is necessary. Caterpillars are bird food and many turn into butterflies which are also bird food. A fungicide sprayed on a fruit tree will also kill soil fungus so if you have to use it put something over the soil. We rely on the soil and all the soil microbes to support the garden. 

Before you rake up leaves and twigs ask yourself is tidying up removing nesting material or habitat for something? Rather than throwing leaves into the rubbish add them as a layer on the garden or into your compost heap.

Some plants are weedy so know your plants and the impact they may have on the garden or local bushland. Focus on plants that provide something for the wildlife you want in your garden. We all have plants that we just love or remind us of someone but the aim is to plant more of what the wildlife will love too but not damage the local bushland.

Should I be feeding birds?