Put down roots to attract birds
Encourage birds to visit your garden by planting trees and flowers that will provide them with food, writes
So what planting appeals most to a bird’s stomach?
‘‘Different birds eat different things, so plants that produce nectar, seeds, berries or insects will help bring lots of varieties into the garden,’’ says McCarroll. ‘‘You want to plant a range of vegetation that flowers and produces fruit at different times of the year, so there’s something for the birds to eat all year round. A jumble of things is better than focusing on just one plant type.’’
The po¯hutukawa is a perfect all-rounder that encourages natives like ka¯ka¯, tui, bellbirds, stitchbirds and ka¯ka¯riki to flock to your garden. Of course, they do grow quite big, so the smaller bottlebrush, although not native, is a great alternative – you might even see lots of monarch butterflies too.
Kawakawa bears fruit in January and February and is great for tui and bellbirds, while the berries of the pu¯riri are a big hit with kereru¯.
Of course, you’re not limited to native planting; apples and crab apples offer nectar, blossom and of course fruit, while the yulan magnolia flowers and therefore provides nectar and insects during winter, a time when birds need extra support.
Not sure if you’ve got enough space? Don’t let small sections put you off planting with birds in mind. If everyone on your street did something to support bird life, your neighbourhood would quickly become a bird hotspot. Encourage your community to plant bird-friendly plants in their gardens via Neighbourly.
‘‘There are no downsides to planting your garden with birds in mind,’’ says McCarroll. ‘‘You can have plants that are beautiful, colourful and fragrant, and create an absolutely beautiful garden that’s lovely for you, lovely for your neighbourhood, and lovely for the birds.’’
The po¯hutukawa is a perfect all-rounder to plant because it encourages natives like this tui to flock to your garden.