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Wild Things - Birds in Backyards

Wild Things - Birds in Backyards
Even though our cities and suburbs seem quite green, they can be hard places for many native birds to survive. Our gardens and parks are mostly made up of lawns with a few scattered trees and shrubs that are interspersed across cities with lots of concrete, roads and buildings. This type of habitat, lawn with a few trees is only good for a few types of native birds and even these trees may not offer much in the way of food and shelter, as many native birds are nectar feeders and need hollows for nesting that form mostly in older gum trees.

All this has meant that there is not much variety in the types of native birds we see in our cities. There are lots of Lorikeets, Cockatoos, Currawongs, Noisy and Indian Mynahs but very few of our smaller birds, such as Superb Fairy-wrens, Thornbills and Eastern Spinebills.

What is so bad about this you ask? Besides missing out on the pleasure a variety birdlife in our cities brings us, it is indicative of what is happening to our native birds across Australia. Land clearing, climate change, feral animals and pollution are all affecting the survival of many native birds in our rural and more remote areas.

Cities are big places and we could make them important refuges for native birds; approximately half of Australia's threatened species occur on our urban fringes. By planting the right species and including understory, shrubs and trees in our gardens we can make many little gardens into one big garden, creating habitat across the neighbourhood, the suburb and the whole city.

The links below provide information on how to create a bird friendly yard, resources such as discounted plants and bird baths and bird citizen science projects where you can add you own bird observations to important research.

Council is also giving away native local plants to Rockdale City residents to help create backyard bird habitat. To find out what native plants are available and how to collect them, please email Council's Environmental Projects Officer or call 9562 1663.

Rockdale City Council and Hollow Creation

Photographs courtesy of Flickr and Creative Commons, Percita, Roger Smith, Michael Jefferies and Gaye Launder

Birdy Links:

The Secret Life of Sydney's Parrots
Parramatta Sea Eagle webcam
Bird cams from around the world

Habitat Stepping Stones Birds in Backyards The Australian Bird Feeding and Watering Study Backyard Aussie Bird Count Hollows as Homes

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