Northern Rivers Area

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Inyoni's picture
Northern Rivers Area


I am a new member with the desire to encourage smaller birds like fairy wrens, firetails etc into the garden.

To fill you in more I will describe what I see in front of me - our property, of many acres consists of open paddock with a band of rainforest and a small creek, on our northern boundary looking down over a green landscape of just rainforest (no housing in the near distance)towards the Richmond River (10 kms away) and sea beyond. We are lucky to have an abundance of bird life - amongst others are Kookaburra, Eastern Rosella, Scaly breasted Lorikeet, King Parrot, Galahs, Topknot Pigeon, Bar shouldered Dove,Wonga Pigeon, White-headed Pigeon, Crested Pigeon, Emerald Dove, Butcherbirds, Magpies, Blue-Eyed Honeyeater, Fig Birds, Cat Bird, Drongo and Noisy Miners --- hang when I list the above it makes me feel pretty lucky!!!!! BUT I'm selfish and also want the smaller birds to adopt this as "home". For 2 months now I have had a feeder with specially formulated birdseed (got the recipe from the web and designed for smaller birds) but so far they haven't adopted the free feed. We have at least one family of wagtails on the fringe of the rainforest but I am desparately trying to encourage the smaller birds and would like to plant anything suitable on the fringes of the rainforest but, to maintain the native integrity. Oh, I should add that we have low garden beds incorporated into which is another feeder and large shallow birdbath on the edges of the lawn 30 metres beyond which is the rainforest.
In walking I have yet to see resident wrens etc in the rainforest but thats not to say that they are not there.

Summing up I am looking for some guidance in "what to plant" and look forward to any assistance.

Pamela's picture

Hi Richard,
Welcome to the forum...There is an excellent post by poephila in the Bird friendly gardening titled - Well then, any suggestions about plants? posted on 8/12/08. You should find it very helpful.I did. Happy planting.


Central Coast NSW

DenisWilson's picture

Hi Richard
If I can add to Pamela's answer - SHELTER is the most important thing for small birds.
It almost does not matter what (except weeds of course). But natives are preferable. Peophila's list was very inclusive. You do not need to plant "bird attracting Grevilleas" etc (as Nurseries will advise you), as you may favour Noisy Miners and Lorikeets which love the nectar, and they chase other species away.
Water is another important factor, but there are maintenance issues, and small bird safety to consider there (cats and large birds). Advice elsewhere on this forum seems to favour placing bird baths close to shelter.
In general, most native plants do better when planted as small, inexpensive tube stock, and let them grow. Within 2 years they will outstrip most larger and more costly advanced plants.
Best of luck with it.

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