National Bird Week runs in Australia from the 21st October to the 27th October. It is a celebration that aims to inspire Australians to get involved in bird conservation efforts, and combines with the Great Aussie Bird Count – one of the largest citizen science events in the country, which involves 20 minutes of bird watching in your favourite outdoor space…even your own garden.
Many people wish to invite birds into the garden. They’re colourful, they eat insects, and are a delight to watch. Some revisit the same place year in, year out, so are almost like pets, without the responsibility.
If you’re keen to encourage feathered friends to your place, there are a few tips:
- Put out a bird bath. In this dry weather this can be a life saver. Just make sure you also have some pebbles or a branch going into the bath so that animals don’t accidentally drown in there.
- Plant Australian natives. Grevilleas, bottlebrush, waratahs and wattles are all terrific nectar and seed producing plants for native birds. Smaller birds love grasses, so plant some native grasses too.
- Create cover. This means allowing some plants to grow low to the ground, and giving small birds especially somewhere safe to shelter. Prickly shrubs like fine leafed grevilleas and hakeas are great for this.
- Make sure your cat stays inside or at the very least has multiple bells on its collar, to alert birds of any attack.
- Don’t artificially feed birds as it can cause problems to wild birds. Having said that, if you still are determined to do it, check out Feeding the Birds at Your Table: A guide for Australia, by Darryl Jones. That way you at least can do it properly, so it benefits the birds themselves.