3 Expert Tips To Attract Native Birds To Your Garden

Oct 15, 2021by Olivia - F&F

Love seeing beautiful birds in your garden? In the lead up to the Aussie Backyard Bird Count — taking place on 18-24 October — BirdLife Australia has shared some expert tips on how you can attract native birds to your garden!

Aussie Backyard Bird CountAussie Backyard Bird Count

What Is The Aussie Backyard Bird Count?

If you love spotting native birds in your backyard, or spending time in your local park, beach or town centre — you’ll love the Aussie Backyard Bird Count. The event, held from 18-24 October, is a nationwide bird survey, of sorts! 

Basically, it involves standing outside for 20 minutes observing and counting the birds that live near you. For BirdLife Australia (the organisers of the event) the information gathered is crucial to develop an understanding of native bird populations around Australia, as well as potential conservation measures.  

If you’re not an avid bird-watcher (often called ‘twitchers’!), we highly recommend downloading the Aussie Bird Count app. You can look up birds that you don’t know the name of, see live statistics of people recording birds all across Australia and even submit your findings through the free app.

Rainbow Lorikeet Gum TreeRainbow Lorikeet Gum Tree

Tip #1: Plant A Variety Of Bird-Friendly Plants

First, it’s all about creating an attractive, liveable space for the native birds. This starts with your vegetation — the more variety, the better! 

“It’s important to grow a bird-friendly garden if you want to attract native birds, with lots of food and places to hide,” said BirdLife Australia’s bird expert, Sean Dooley. Banksia, Bird of Paradise, Kangaroo Paw, Spider Flower and Bottlebrush plants are all great options to attract and feed native birds. Sean also says to, “plant a variety of local native vegetation and try to include 3 layers; tall trees, shrubs and groundcover. The more plant species, the more likely your garden is to have a variety of birds. Smaller birds need a dense shrub layer to hide in. Plants with smaller flowers will deter large and aggressive honeyeaters.” 

Rosella Birds In Bird BathRosella Birds In Bird Bath

Tip #2: Provide A Source Of Water For Native Birds

So, we’ve worked out how to attract birds to your garden, but here’s the key to making them stay: a source of freshwater! Providing a safe, clean and cool source of water for your backyard birds will help them to survive, especially during summer’s extreme heat. 

“You can do this by installing a birdbath somewhere that is relatively exposed, so birds can survey their surroundings,” said Sean. It doesn’t even need to be a beautiful birdbath, it can actually just be a plate or shallow bowl full of water. 

“It’s also important to replace the water daily and ensure the water isn’t too deep, so the birds can safely get out or put in pebbles for them to stand on,” said Sean. Also, change the water every few days to get rid of bugs, bird feces and algae.

Cat Preying On BirdsCat Preying On Birds

Tip #3: Remove Potential Threats To Native Birds 

Now that your backyard birds are thriving with food, water and shelter, it’s important to keep them safe (to the best of our ability) by removing possible threats! 

Unfortunately, one of the biggest threats could be sitting on your lap right now. That’s right, it’s your cat! Even though we believe they’re little fluffy angels, it’s estimated that 61 million birds are killed annually by pet cats — feral cats also kill around 44 million birds. Overall, pet cats kill around 230 million native Australian animals each year — this is why wildlife experts are asking cat owners to keep them indoors

Another important thing to consider is if you have any poisonous rodent killer in your garden. Some rodenticides can remain in the tissue of rodents after they die, which can kill birds if they ingest them.

Soon enough, your backyard will be like a beautiful native bird aviary! Remember, if you’d like to take part in the Aussie Backyard Bird Count (18-24 October) all you need to do is spend 20 minutes in your favourite outdoor space and record the birds that you see during that period. You can submit your results using the Aussie Bird Count app or the web form. Every count helps!

Check out the blogs below for more tips on how to care for native wildlife.

Caring For Wildlife In Spring

World Wildlife Day

Victorian Man Discovers 1,200+ Species In His Backyard

More Articles