YOU can turn a small garden into an attractive and busy haven for birds just by choosing the right plants. Not only will you be helping to conserve wildlife, you also get free insect patrol, as well as some interesting window watching for the whole family.
An easy way to attract birds is to grow some fruit such as papaya or mango. These two staples will attract the gorgeous yellow and black Black-naped Oriole as well as the plain looking Oriental Magpie Robin with its black body and white “go faster” stripe.
The Oriole will eat the fruit and will then clear your trees of insects like beetles. The Robin is a marvelous songbird that will also swoop about at dusk, eating flying insects like mosquitoes. If it is hungry, it will also go to the ground to pick up ants and other small bugs.
If you grow flowers, you will attract the Olive-backed Sunbird, a gloriously green backed, yellow bellied and blue faced songster that will hover like a hummingbird while it feeds on nectar. If you encourage it to build a nest in your garden, it will also act as an insect eater, dragging off any beetles it finds to feed to its young.
As Malaysia is very hot, birds living in cities often find it hard to find clean water. If you set up a birdbath you will have birds from the whole neighbourhood coming to drink and bathe. Tip: always buy a cat proof birdbath and set it out of jumping reach from garden walls and fences.
Finally, did know that if you use pesticides to kill weeds and insects, birds will eat these and die? Use organic methods of control instead.