Where have all the Flow­ers Gone?

Galston, Glenorie and Hills Rural News - - News - By Barry Lees

This morn­ing I went for a bush­walk. I was look­ing for flow­ers that would pro­vide nec­tar for birds, mi­cro­bats, glid­ers, ring­tail pos­sums to feed on. I found very few. This will be the case right through Au­tumn and Winter. Small birds will like your gar­den if it has na­tive plants that flower dur­ing this pe­riod, sup­ply­ing much needed nec­tar, in­sects and shel­ter.

Choose lo­cal na­tives, or nurs­ery cul­ti­vars and hybrids that closely re­sem­ble them. Have some densely planted ar­eas so that small birds are pro­tected from preda­tors. They can dart out, have a quick nib­ble and dart back be­fore dan­ger ar­rives. A shal­low bird bath with clean water will also help.

Big flow­er­ing hy­brid Gre­vil­leas look good and flower most of the year, but they at­tract larger birds that are ag­gres­sive and ter­ri­to­rial. They will chase away small birds. Some peo­ple clear shrubs, leav­ing only large trees and grass. This is an open in­vi­ta­tion for ag­gres­sive birds like na­tive mi­nors to take over. Smaller birds will avoid the area – there is no pro­tec­tion or food for them.

A small sam­ple of na­tive shrubs that flower in Au­tumn and Winter in­clude: Banksia, Brachyscome, Bauera ru­bioides, some Cal­lis­te­mon, Cor­rea, Crowea, Lam­ber­tia, Lep­tosper­mum squar­ro­sum, Scaevola “Mauve Clus­ters”, na­tive vi­o­let, Epacris, Hakea bak­e­ri­ana and gib­bosa, Zieria “Pink Crys­tals”, Aca­cia ter­mi­nalis and myr­ti­fo­lia, and Gre­vil­lea mu­cronu­lata.

For more in­for­ma­tion, go to the “Birds in Back­yards” web­site. And visit still­creekland­care.com.au.

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