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Silvereye bird

Birds

Birds bring colour and song to a wildlife garden, and serve a vital role in pollinating and dispersing the seeds of many plants.

There are many varieties of birds found in Knox, all with different food and habitat requirements, such as owls, parrots, robins, wrens, kingfishers, thornbills, pardelotes, Currawongs, Magpies and many more.

Attracting birds to your garden

The best way to attract birds is to prepare a diverse and multi-storied garden, where several layers of vegetation are featured.

The ground level may be called the 'litter level' and features leaves, bark, rocks, logs and branches. The litter level provides shelter and food.

The second storey comprises ground flora such as native grasses, heaths, lillies and creepers. Suitable plants include poa grasses, goodenias, bush peas, mat rush and daisies.

The third level, the 'under-storey', features a range of shrubs such as correas, hakeas and cassinias. The highest level of a wildlife garden is the upperstorey. It includes tall trees such as eucalypts, acacias, sheoaks and malaleucas.

Planting a mixture of trees, shrubs and ground covers is far more beneficial to birds than a bare lawn with one specimen tree and a feeding tray. Birds don’t need artificial nectar feeders – there are many nectar-bearing shrubs available. Artificial nectar feeders attract honeybees and wasps, can ferment in warm weather making birds ill, can be taken over by aggressive birds and can make birds ill and unhealthy if they only eat nectar and not a mix of food groups.

Birdbaths are a great addition to any wildlife garden and will encourage birds to visit all year round. Place birdbaths near a dense, perhaps prickly bush where the birds can hide quickly from predators such as cats and hawks.

For tips on how to attract birds to your garden and how to keep them coming back, visit the Sustainable Gardening Australia website.

Download the Southern Dandenongs Community Nursery factsheet: 'Attract Native Birds'.

Impacts of feeding birds

There is nothing we can feed wildlife that can adequately replace their own natural diet. Whilst providing certain kinds of foods can cause a variety of problems, the activity itself impacts on the local ecology.

To better understand the detrimental effect of feeding birds, visit our Impacts of Feeding Birds web page.

Nest Boxes

Many birds rely on tree hollows for nesting sites. Hollow-bearing trees are old and well-established but their numbers are declining. In areas where there are no tree hollows, nest boxes provide reasonable alternatives. Different birds have particular requirements regarding the size, shape and orientation of their nest boxes. See our nest boxes page for details on how to make your own nest boxes; how to maintain them; and the specific requirements needed by different species.

Click on the images below to view enlarged images.

Wattlebird
Scarlet Robin
Magpie
Tawny Frogmouth
Powerful Owl
Kookaburra
Souther Boobook Owl
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