Aggressive Wattlebirds

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Janie08's picture
Aggressive Wattlebirds

We live on an acre of bush just outside Melbourne and have a wonderful garden full of small native birds: supurb fairy wrens, pardelotes, thornbills, silver-eyes, white-naped honeyeaters, eastern spinebills, mistletoe birds, new holland honeyeaters, treecreepers and fantails. Recently some Yellow Wattlebirds have taken up residence and I have noticed that there are fewer of our little birds about. The Fairy Wrens are perennial and seem to have gone quiet, the thornbills are no longer flitting around the treetops, snapping at insects ... I'll be devastated if I've lost my beautiful small birds ... any thoughts on how I might discourage the wattlebirds???

DenisWilson's picture

Hi Janie08
Firstly, as you are outside Melbourne, you probably have "Red Wattlebirds" not "Yellow Wattlebirds". IT is one of the worst named birds we have. They have pink not red "wattles" (lobes) near their ears. They have a yellow patch on the belly. Yellow Wattlebirds are restricted to Tasmania.
As to your more general problem, there is no easy answer.
Generally, growing dense shrubs for "cover" for the little birds helps. If you already have a problem with Honeyeaters, grow less nectar-producing plants (e.g., avoid Grevilleas, Banksias). Dense twiggy (spined) plants such as Bursaria might suit your area. They are very popular with butterflies, which is a bonus.
It is unusual for Wattlebirds to totally dominate all other birds, however, they do give other large nectar feeders (including Lorikeets and Swift Parrots) a hard time. Noisy Miners and Bell Birds (both of which are related Honeyeaters) definitely do dominate entire areas.
Best of luck.

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