New start

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Hedgewitch
Hedgewitch's picture
New start

Hi fellow bird lovers. After spending 7 years living in lush, wildlife filled country UK, I'm back home again to Far West NSW and what a dismal sight it is with the drought. Naturally I've taken pity on the birds and am putting out water & seed etc for our feathered friends. I've also been lucky enough to be adopted by 2 maggies, Mags & Collingwood (of course). We have white plumed honeyeaters as well when the maggies aren't around. I'm trying to get a garden going again to bring back some life but with the crappy water and restrictions I try to use bottled or rain water so its tough going. Can anyone suggest a tough tree that will attract birds? Thanks, Jules

Woko
Woko's picture

In my opinion you can’t go past local species because they’re adapted to local conditions so their survivability is higher than anything brought in from outside. As well, local birds are more likely to use the tree(s) because they’re adapted to them.

I’d be inclined to collect whatever seed you can from local vegetation & broadcast it on to a barren area, lightly cover it with soil & await the breaking of the drought. That may take who knows how long but that may be a consequence of we humans’ interference with the natural order of things. 

Belah Casuarina cristata is native to western NSW & Casuarinas regenerate easily after rain so I’d look for some mature fruit which haven’t opened yet. Place them in a paper bag in a dry(!) place & wait for them to shed their seed. If the drought has discouraged fruiting of the trees then you might be in strife but usually there are a few fruit available even in drought (another advantage of using local species).  

White Cypress-pine Callitris columellaris also grows over much but not all of western NSW. If you’re within its range you could try the same strategy as with the Belah. The same applies to Coolibah Eucalyptus intertexta.

Hedgewitch
Hedgewitch's picture

Thanks Woko. That would be the wisest thing to do but our surrounding bushland is saltbush and gum trees. Although I love my native land I'm not about to go busting our sewer pipes lol. Plus the bird life has come from far and wide after water. There's birds I've never seen here before. Desperation has driven them to towns to find water. Its common to see emus wandering into front yards for assistance. The good people here put buckets of water out for them. I guess we'll have to put honeyed water and bird seed out for longer while the native frangipani grows. I'm planting a few jacarandas too. I've had time to research more to come to a compromise between landscaping and helping our feathery brethren.   :-D 

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