One of life’s joys is hearing native birdsong and watching birds happily exploring your garden, but if you are currently devoid of birds other than the odd Wood Pigeon or Magpie perching on your Hills Hoist, there are steps you can take to soon have your garden filled with Brisbane birds.
The first step is installing some form of water for the birds. Bird baths on pedestals are a great choice as they allow the birds the chance to drink or bathe in safety, while being able to see approaching neighbourhood cats or snakes intent on a feathery meal.
Bird baths need to be regularly filled and cleaned to remove droppings, feathers and even the odd chop bone that the Crows may drop into the water. In periods of particularly hot days, you may need to top up the water daily to ensure a reliable supply for the neighbourhood birds. Place your bird bath near a thick bush or a tree, to allow your birds somewhere to perch and hide if needed, and a safe place to dry off after a particularly good wash.
The next step in creating a bird attracting garden, is to ensure you have a range of suitable native plants. Nectar loving birds love yellow and red flowering nectar plants such as Grevilleas, Bottlebrushes or Callistemons and Calliandras, Seed loving birds enjoy plants such as Banksias, some seed bearing forms of Grevilleas and Lillypillies. Carnivores such as Butcher Birds, Kookaburras and Magpies love frogs, worms and lizards – so ensure you have rich soils (sugar cane or Lucerne mulch is brilliant for worms), and ensure you have nooks and crannies for lizards to hide.
It’s tempting to put out seed and other feed to attract birds to your home. Most bird behaviourists don’t recommend this approach as it tends to encourage aggressive bird species that then lay claim to your garden, and it can also make the birds dependant on you which can become a problem if you move or take a holiday. It can also disrupt the natural ecological balance of your area.
Finally, birds need somewhere safe to lay their eggs and raise their young. Unfortunately with urbanisation, trees are at a premium with many bird and mammal species competing for the limited tree space available.
To help this problem, you can install bird nesting boxes in the trees around your home. You can buy nesting boxes from sites such as Hollow Log Homes hollowlog.com.au, with designs suitable from the smallest Rosella to the largest Black Cockatoo.