an old paperbark tree next door

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kerry's picture
an old paperbark tree next door

next door there is an old paperbark tree, nothing spectucular to look at, but when the flowers start to bloom the birds flocked to it, the rainbow lorrikeets filling up the branches hanging upside and having a good time.

on dawn the tree can be a place for the kookaburra to greet the morning have seen two singing a song. They are the boss of that tree if they want a branch and a bird is on it they make sure they make them move.

Butcherbirds frequent the tree, trying to get a photo of them is hard they like the higher branches not really visible but i can hear them sing.

cockatoos fill up the tree on occasions , a man across the road on the other side of the tree feeds the cockatoos and we can hear the screech of them before you see them flashing there yellow underwings across the sky.

the new arrivals the white necked herons visit that tree now i have seen them resting in there early morning afternoons if they arent jumping on our roof making a lot of noise.

my son asks what is that noise i say its birds he goes no way its rocks.  They sure make a racket.

the noisey mynas love the tree as well.

we have a tropical style garden but i am going to start planting natives, i am doing some study to see the local species if i can .

planting different plants of different varieties, and smaller ones to see if the little birds will come and visit.

i love watching that scraggly old paperbark tree that the birds love, hearing the sounds they make.

Just thought i would share this story


Woko's picture

Great story, kerry. Just one tree can provide habitat for a variety of creatures, especially birds. Do you know which species of paperbark it is? Presumably it's a Melaleuca but photos of the tree & its flowers would help identify it.

When you say that you have a "tropical style garden " does this mean you live in a non-tropical area but have planted tropical species in it? 

Your idea of planting natives local to your area should eventually see a wide variety of bird species attracted to the relatively natural conditions you will have created. And there's little doubt that planting shrubs as well as trees will be an advantage to the smaller birds.

The more variety in the height of your plants then the more variety in the wildlife you'll attract. If you have natural bushland nearby could I suggest you have a close look at its structure & then try to replicate that structure in your own garden as far as you can. I don't know how large your garden is but keep in mind that open spaces between groups of plants are important for a number of bird species such as fairy-wrens, magpies & some thornbill species. And don't forget native grasses. They provide seed for birds such as finches & nesting material for a variety of birds. They also attract butterflies & their caterpillars which make good tucker for birds such as cuckoos.

Good luck with your project. It sounds exciting.  

kerry's picture


thanks Woko the tree is a Melaleuca it has creamy/white flowers and the birds love it.

our garden is tropical, palms, foliage plants, like corydlines, crotons and flowering plants hibsicus and frangapnis,.

The birds love the palms and we have a tree not sure what it is called have enclosed a pic of its flowers and it is flocked to when it is in flower, from rainbow lorrikeets, blue faced honeyeater and a lot of other birds that visit it.

i am studying our local area to see what grows and replace some plants in our garden to balance it up.

our new visitors the white faced herons come everyday now morning n night on the roof  never seen them on the ground i watch them and they pick of insects of the roof they see me but i stand really quiet and they dont seem to mind me being there.

i love watching the baby the squaws it makes .


timmo's picture

Great story, Kerry!

That plant  in your pic is a Golden Penda (Xanthostemon chrysanthus). They've been in flower around Brissie in late March and early April, but have mostly finished now. They are often used as a street tree around Brissie and the nectar eating birds love them.

What area of the country are you in Kerry?


kerry's picture

i live in hervey bay queensland


darinnightowl's picture

good to hear Kerry that you are making most of it. Melaleuca quinquenervia - board leaf paperbark could be your tree, they like wet feet and are found up the coast of eastern Australia.Early in the morning when in flower they smell like, mums mash- potatoes. Well I think they do. Anyway Nan & Hugh Nicholson, Australian rainforest plants, the  books and cheap, under $20; each they have helped me so much to transform my back yard into a play ground for nature.

See it!  Hear it!

Mid-North Coast NSW

ihewman's picture

Hi Kerry,

Do you go along to the fortnightly outings with the Harvey Bay Birdwatchers? Just wondering because I live in Bundy and perhaps you might like to come along to one of the Birdlife Bundaberg's outings...

Brandon (aka ihewman)

iamclark2012's picture

Wow, it looks like I am dancing with the right music, my life seems to be blending with you story.. I like it. Thanks for this wonderful tips. Anyway, I am planning to have pet like this, How wide do I need for a cage of a pair parakeet? I am also thinking to have glass door in it.


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