Parrots and cockatoos

Highly intelligent, colourful and charismatic, parrots and cockatoos are fun to have around. Some of the most common urban parrots are the aptly named Rainbow Lorikeet and the Sulphur-crested Cockatoo. These birds are easy to attract with the right plants. Parrots love to feed on nectar and seeds, so they love banksias, she-oaks and hakeas.

Activity:
Create a parrot parlour

Encourage local parrots to raise their young in your garden by installing nest boxes to substitute for the tree hollows they'd naturally use. Install boxes 3-5m above the ground in tall trees to keep young parrots out of reach of predators. The more parrot-food trees you plant, the more likely parrots will move in.

Honeyeaters

Australia’s honeyeaters can be quite shy, but, with the right plantings, you can create a garden full of dense shrubs where these nectar-loving birds will feel right at home.

New Holland Honeyeaters, Eastern Spinebills and Red Wattlebirds are a few species common in urban areas. To attract them, start by planting prickly wattles for shelter and nectar-rich plants to feed on such as grevilleas, Needlewood, hakeas and banksia species.

Activity:
A Honeyeater haven

Provide your feathery friends with somewhere to bathe, shelter, feed and nest, and they will come! As well as planting native shrubs, you can also install a low, wide dish or bowl filled with water to act as a bird bath. Place your chosen vessel at ground level under a large shrub and change the water regularly to help prevent the spread of disease.

Small songbirds

Much like the honeyeaters, small songbirds prefer dense shrubs and trees. Pardalotes in particular favour the canopies of gum trees while fairywrens and Willy Wagtails tend to stay closer to the ground. Shrubs such as prickly wattles, grevilleas, Needlewood, hakeas and banksias can be planted relatively densely around the garden. Supplement these with ground covers such as Lomandras, Poas and Dianellas.

Activity:
A pardalote nest box

If you want to encourage pardalotes to breed in your yard, install a pardalote nest box somewhere quiet and sheltered to substitute for the hollows of dry riverbanks where they'd naturally nest. If you’re installing a nest box on your balcony, you might add native ground covers, vines and shrubs in pots for shade and shelter.

Predatory birds

Our urban areas play host to numerous predatory birds, from the smaller species such as kookaburras and currawongs, through to larger owls.
These predators eat smaller animals such as lizards, frogs, rats, possums and gliders (which are favoured by owls). By encouraging these prey animals into your garden, you can provide a suitable food source for larger predatory birds.

The Kookaburra is an Australian bird

Garden guides

Choose one of the guides below to learn how you can create more habitat for each group of species right in your own backyard.