Bird-friendly Garden

Carnaby's CockatooNo Place Like Home
Native birds are attracted to native plants. A variety of native trees and shrubs provides a colourful and attractive natural habitat for a number of native birds. The flora you plant affects the type of birds that visit your garden.

Birds live at different levels. A combination of high trees, ground covering grasses and medium level shrubs encourages many different birds to your garden.

A Place to Nest
A well-planned garden provides a good natural nesting site for birds. While some birds build nests in trees from twigs and other natural materials, others require a tree hollow.

No tree hollows? You can buy or even build your own nest box. There are many different ways to do this and it can be a great activity for the whole household.

It is important to remember that cats and dogs discourage birds from nesting in your garden. Developing a separate area for your pet or adding bells or even a cat bib on their collar may help combat this problem.

What About Water?
Birds love water, especially in summer when it can be scarce. You can provide a simple bird bath or pond for them to splash around in. Remember to place your water feature in or near plants or trees so birds have somewhere to fly if they feel threatened.

Nectar, Seeds or Insects
Some birds like nectar and seeds while others eat insects and small reptiles. A garden with lots of native plants will attract more birds, insects and reptiles and turn your backyard into a thriving ecosystem. A well-planned garden will offer enough food for birds so it is important not to feed them. Leaving food out may attract predators as well as making birds dependent on your handouts.

Birds have very good eyesight and are attracted to brightly coloured flowers. Generally, red, yellow and orange flowers are bird-attracting, whereas blue flowers tend to attract insects.

No Chemicals
Avoid using chemicals and non-organic fertilisers in and around your garden as they may harm birds. As birds eat insects and plants, if these are contaminated birds may become ill. Use environmentally friendly alternatives.

Beautiful birds you might see in your garden:

  • Honeyeaters, including New Holland (Phylidonyris novaehollandiae), White-Cheeked (Phylidonyris nigra), Brown (Lichmera indistincta)
  • Grey Fantail (Rhipidura fuliginosa)
  • Willie Wagtail (Rhipidura leucophrys)
  • Magpie-Lark (Grallina cyanoleuca)
  • Silvereye (Zosterops lateralis)
  • Western Rosella (Platycercus icterotis)

Food-friendly plants:


  • Eucalyptus*
  • Kangaroo Paw (Anigozanthos sp.)
  • Bottlebrush (Callistemon sp.)


  • Wattle (Acacia sp.) *
  • Needlebush (Hakea sp.) *


  • Fig (Ficus sp.) *
  • Lilly Pilly (Syzygium australe) *

*this plant also provides good shelter.

Plants for Carnaby’s Cockatoos
Carnaby’s Cockatoos are an endangered Western Australian bird. Land clearing is a major threat to its survival. If you would like to help these native birds by planting suitable plant species, check out the Department of Parks and Wildlife’s Plants for Carnaby’s search tool. It has excellent information on what Carnaby’s Cockatoos eat, what habitat they live in, and the best plants to grow.

Bird-friendly Gardens Information Sheet (pdf)

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