Native birds are attracted to native plants. It’s that simple. The flora in your garden affects the type of birds that visit.
By planting a variety of native trees, shrubs and ground-cover in your garden (front and back!) you will provide a colourful and attractive natural habitat for a range of native birds with very different feeding habits…
Remember! Keep in mind that birds live at different levels. A combination of high trees, medium-level shrubs, grasses and ground cover encourages the greatest range of birds to your garden, and there you have it… biodiversity right in your backyard!
A Place to Nest
A well-planned garden also provides good natural nesting sites 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 family.
Remember! Birds see cats and dogs as predators and might be discouraged from nesting in your garden. If you can’t develop a separate area for your pet (a yard within your yard or a cat run) then adding bells or even a bib on their collar may help the birds to hear them coming.
What About Water?
Birds love and need water, especially in summer when it can be scarce. They drink it, they bathe in it and they cool down in it. You can provide a simple bird bath or pond for them to splash around in.
Remember! Place your water feature in or near plants or trees so birds have somewhere safe to fly if they feel threatened.
Nectar, Seeds or Insects
Some birds thrive on nectar and seeds while others forage for insects and small reptiles. A garden with lots of native plants will attract more birds, insects and reptiles and turn your backyard into a bustling ecosystem. 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.
Remember! A well-planned garden will offer plenty of 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.
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, the birds may become ill. Use environmentally friendly alternatives wherever possible – your garden will thank you, too!
Beautiful Perth birds you might see in your garden:
- Honeyeaters – including New Holland (Phylidonyris novaehollandiae), White-Cheeked (Phylidonyris nigra), and 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 (ones with * also provide good shelter):
- Kangaroo Paw (Anigozanthos sp.)
- Bottlebrush (Callistemon sp.)
- Wattle (Acacia sp.) *
- Needlebush (Hakea sp.) *
- Fig (Ficus sp.) *
- Lilly Pilly (Syzygium australe) *
Plants specifically for Carnaby’s Cockatoos
Carnaby’s Cockatoo is an endangered Western Australian bird. Land clearing is a major threat to its survival. If you would like to help this native bird by planting suitable plant species, check out the Parks and Wildlife’s detailed Plants for Carnaby’s search tool. It has excellent information on what Carnaby’s Cockatoo(s) eat, what habitat they live in and the best plants to grow.
Download the Bird-friendly Garden Information Sheet (PDF).