With over 24,000 native plants and 800 native birds, the only issue to realising your own amazing Australian backyard is choosing which ones!
Birds and plants share a symbiotic relationship that is mutually beneficial to one another. Simply put, birds want the nutritious nectar, fruits and seeds that your plants have to offer. In return, the plants are pollinated and have their seeds dispersed – all of which results in a colourful and vibrant garden for you!
To make things easy, we’ll show you four plants you can use to bring your flying friends back into your garden. SPOILER ALERT – it involves flowers!
Planting natives such as kangaroo grass and wallaby grass are a great place to start to attract smaller feeders to your garden, such as blue wrens and zebra finches. These birds will flock to your yard to feast on the abundance of seeds in these grasses and the insects they harbour, as well as sheltering and nesting in their sprawl. The birds will even help you with pest control (free of charge!), devouring aphids, caterpillars and mealy bug, giving you healthier plants. Grasses are also perfect for filling in empty spaces and covering otherwise uninspiring terrain. Flowering varieties such as spear grass can be particularly impressive and attract small birds to land on their long stems during spring.
Bottlebrushes produce magnificent coloured flowers that are chock-a-block with nectar, making them an absolute magnet for birds! These plants can be found in a variety of shapes and sizes, from trees down to low lying shrubs – catering both to the restrictions of your garden and to the preference of your flying visitors. Bottlebrushes will attract rosellas and lorikeets, finches, wrens and small honeyeaters, not to mention honey-bees!
Recommended varieties include: Endeavour (tree) and Firebrand (shrub)
The flowers of banksias produce very high levels of nectar. These plants attract an array of birdlife, including cockatoos, wattlebirds, honeyeaters, spinebills and waxeyes and like bottlebrushes, come in all shapes and sizes, providing shelter for larger birds. Whilst most plant varieties will flower in the spring, many banksias flower in autumn and winter, ensuring your garden has year round colour and a year round supply of food for birds to enjoy. Banksias predominantly flower in reds and yellows, known to be the most successful colours for attracting native birds.
Last but not least… no list of Australian natives would be complete without the iconic Australian Eucalyptus. Don’t hold your breath for a koala invasion (sad, we know), but we guarantee the birds will love it! As woody trees, Eucalyptus often have hollows in their trunks, perfect for any number of nesting birds, who will also enjoy nectar from the aromatic and colourful flowers. They range in size from the diminutive Eucalyptus depauperata all the way to the gigantic Eucalyptus regnans, which regularly grows to 85 metres and is the tallest flowering tree in the world (although we don’t necessarily recommend selecting this variety!). Different parts of a single Eucalyptus plant can flower at different times of the year, meaning a staggered, potentially all year round supply of nectar is available to your roosting birds!
We recommend the Eucalyptus pyriformis, commonly known as Dowerin Rose, for its garden friendly size and beautiful red or yellow flowers, making it immensely popular with local wildlife!